Why a Strong DMARC Policy for Email Authentication is the need?

Why a Strong DMARC Policy for Email Authentication is the need?

Dec 27, 2021, 7:21:50 AM Business

The DMARC policy of a transmitting domain may be the most misunderstood and underutilized part of email authentication. However, it's also a great tool for combating email spoofing, which protects your subscribers and your brand's image in the long run.

The difficulty is that this specification's adoption has been gradual, and too many DMARC policies have lax settings, preventing companies from reaping their full benefits. Let's take a look at how to deconstruct DMARC so you can get the most out of it.

What is DMARC?

DMARC is an acronym that stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. Its principal function is to ensure that SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) are in sync. 

The DMARC policy instructs recipient mail servers on whether or not to send messages and how to appropriately filter them. SPF is a list of hostnames and IP addresses that are allowed to send an email for your domain and are published on your DNS. DKIM entails an encrypted digital signature or private key that corresponds to a public key on a domain's DNS. 

Both these techniques aid in the validation of communications and the prevention of faked emails reaching the inbox. A DMARC policy sits on top of SPF and DKIM, integrating the two for more robust authentication.

Benefits of DMARC

Protects brand reputation

Regardless of the size or breadth of the organization, cybercriminals will attempt to spoof websites and leverage a brand's internet presence for illegal conduct. DMARC safeguards brand integrity by keeping the brand name out of an attacker's arsenal of forged email domains.

Provides more insight into cyber threats

DMARC allows organizations to keep track of all authorized and non-authorized third parties who send emails on their behalf, ensuring compliance with security best practices.

Prevents email spoofing

Every corporation wants to keep its domain safe from spoofing attacks. While this is advantageous to internal personnel, it also stops spammers from using the organization's domain to attack or impersonate other organizations. SPF and DKIM are two tools that can aid in this process. DMARC can be established after these two are in place.

Increases email deliverability

Even genuine emails may end up in spam or junk folders, which can be problematic when the emails include sensitive medical information or other critical data. DMARC adds further confidence that emails sent by a given organization are genuine, improving deliverability to inboxes while also reducing spam.

DMARC Policy

The most important aspect of your DMARC record is your company's DMARC policy. It is a TXT record located in your hosting provider's DNS settings, similar to SPF and DKIM.

When it comes to configuring your DMARC policy in the record, you’ll have three options which are reflected in the “p=” value.

  1. p=none: This instructs mailbox providers to ignore emails that fail authentication. They will almost certainly be delivered.
  2. p=quarantine: This policy instructs mailbox providers to forward emails that do not pass authentication to spam or trash folders. These messages may also be suppressed.
  3. p=reject: This is the most powerful DMARC policy value. It guarantees that any malicious email is halted in its tracks.

So, why would a sender have a ‘p=none’ policy? It appears to defeat the sole purpose of installing DMARC in the first place.

The rationale is straightforward. If there are difficulties with DKIM and/or SPF alignment, legitimate communications may fail DMARC and be discarded. Of course, every email marketer wants their emails to reach as many individuals as possible. As a result, even prominent brands have lenient DMARC rules.

Senders with a "p=none" policy will continue to receive DMARC reports, but they will not be able to use the standard to prevent email forging and spoofing. It is generally suggested that the "p=none" policy be used exclusively during DMARC setup and testing.

Unfortunately, that isn't how things have turned out. Senders frequently set their DMARC policy to ‘none’ and leave it at that. A new email standard that is closely related to DMARC, on the other hand, is urging companies to implement tighter email authentication methods.

BIMI and its relationship with DMARC

BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) is a new email standard that offers a visual indication that an email has been authenticated. When you successfully implement BIMI, supported mailbox providers may display a logo at the list and message levels.

BIMI is also persuading businesses to rethink their usage of DMARC. This is because BIMI compliance necessitates a DMARC policy of ‘p=quarantine’ or ‘p=reject’. The aim is that the opportunity to have a better-branded email experience will persuade more enterprises to embrace stricter DMARC compliance procedures.

How does DMARC improve email deliverability?

While some email marketers are hesitant to impose rigorous DMARC regulations for fear of negatively impacting delivery, the reverse may be true. Improved email authentication leads to higher deliverability.

There are differing viewpoints on the direct impact of DMARC on deliverability. By no means is a robust DMARC policy a panacea for email deliverability. It does, however, provide a strong signal to mailbox providers that you are taking email authentication seriously.

Major mailbox providers will take notice if you take the time to properly verify your sending services. Fake emails that attempt to utilize your domain for harmful reasons will have no effect on your sender score. DMARC also contributes to a better domain reputation. Of course, email authentication is only one aspect of deliverability. To prevent spam traps, you must ensure that your domain is not blacklisted, that your emails are not detected in spam filters, and that you follow cyber hygiene best practices.

Original source: https://www.reddit.com/user/emailauth-io/comments/rmprnd/why_a_strong_dmarc_policy_for_email/

Published by nimisha rawat

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