To protect your brand from phishing, it is advised that you implement protocols such as DKIM, which help in verifying the legitimacy of the sender and establish trust. This article will tell you more about DKIM and all the steps required to set it up efficiently.
What is DKIM? How does it work?
DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is an anti-tamper protocol that ensures the security of your emails. It uses digital signatures to confirm whether the email was sent by an authentic sender.
DKIM authentication can be summarized in two simple actions. The first DKIM action occurs on the sending server that sends a DKIM signed email while the second takes place on the recipient server that affirms whether incoming emails have a DKIM signature.
A DKIM signature indicates which domain was used to sign the email. It consists of an encrypted header that is added to emails sent from domains that have DKIM implemented. This header provides details that enable a recipient mail server to validate an email by looking up the sender's public DKIM key and verifying the encrypted signature with it.
The entire process is made possible by a pair of private and public keys. The private key is kept safe either on your own server or with your ESP. The public key, however, is added to the DNS record of your domain to help verify your emails. This is done by providing a digital signature for the email. Once the receiver verifies that an email is signed with a valid DKIM signature, it’s clear that the integrity of the email is preserved.
DKIM: A unique advantage
Proper and secure communication channels are required and unavoidable for brands. Emails are a necessary component of doing business and are arguably the most common mode of communication both internally (employees) and externally (third-party vendors and clients).
However, with greater accessibility and convenience comes more hazards. Emails are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which may result in businesses losing millions of dollars in funds and consumer information. As a result, organizations and companies must take email security seriously and use email authentication methods like DKIM in order to save millions of dollars each year.
The major advantage is that DKIM allows the signing domain to properly identify a stream of valid emails, improving the effectiveness of domain-based blacklists and whitelists.
DKIM can be configured on your email servers in three simple yet major steps.
- Generate a public domain key for the concerned domain.
After you have decided the list of domains that you want to implement DKIM for, create a public key for the concerned domain. A selector name will have to be specified for your key pairs. It acts like a map for the receiving email server.
2. Add the public key to the DNS entries for that domain.
This key can be used by email servers to validate DKIM signatures in your messages. After you have created the key, you will need to add the pair of keys to your DNS for the selected domains. It will be a TXT record with some value. These changes will take a day or two to reflect.
3. To begin applying a DKIM signature to all outgoing messages, enable DKIM signing.
After completing steps 1 and 2 correctly, enable DKIM signing on all outbound emails for your domain. You can also test your DKIM set up by sending a test email or using EmailAuth free DKIM record lookup tool.
You have now successfully configured DKIM for your domain. To learn more about DMARC, DKIM, and SPF, head to https://emailauth.io/.