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Beginner’s guide to DMARC | Everything you need to know
Email is the online equivalent of direct mail, with the same potential to grow your business exponentially.
But email can also be a very risky proposition if you’re not taking advantage of the correct email security protocols.
So, in this blog, let’s understand the three main areas of email security namely- SPF, DKIM, & DMARC.
What is DMARC?
DMARC is an anti-email phishing technology that helps organizations to safeguard themselves from malicious e-mails. With DMARC, users can set filters where incoming emails can be sent to the spam folder. By doing so, enterprises can restrict ‘no-authority’ emails that invade their inboxes.
A survey suggests that nearly 2 million domains have embraced the DMARC standards since 2019. Though this accounts for a minority of 28% of DMARC users, the numbers are increasing rapidly.
Furthermore, following the footsteps of the top mailbox providers including Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo Mail, over a thousand IT CEOs and organizations plan to implement DMARC soon.
Needless to say, the appetite for DMARC is on the rise.
How does DMARC work?
It uses SPF and DKIM to determine the authenticity of an email message. They work together to sort legitimate and phishing or other malicious emails. Additionally, users can set filters wherein the spoof emails can be sent to their junk inbox or restrict them completely. This framework allows companies to have complete control over their inboxes.
A Verizon data breach investigation suggests that 94% of malware is delivered via emails. Here, DMARC weeds out the fraud emails and allows only genuine ones to occupy the corporate inbox.
What is SPF?
Sender Policy Framework or ‘SPF’ validates an email message only when it has been sent from a legal mail server. This helps to detect fraudulent emails by matching the email addresses.
What is DKIM?
DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM ensures the authenticity of an email. DKIM is a technique that checks if the email was indeed sent by a legal recipient. In fact, a digital signature along with the message helps to add multiple layers of security.
Moreover, authorized emails that are signed with DKIM are directed to the intended inboxes rather than spam folders. This technique makes it easier for organizations to derive results from their e-mail marketing strategies.
How do SPF and DKIM work together?
When organization ‘A’ sends an email, the SPF helps them determine which emails can be sent on their behalf. On the other hand, when organization ‘B’ receives an email, the DKIM checks if the email is sent from a legal source. ie. Organization ‘A’.
Businesses that send and receive marketing e-mails must use the DMARC mechanism. By doing so, organizations can protect customer relationships and brand reputation. Also, it helps to create better transparency among new and potential clients.
Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) 2019 suggests 48% of malicious email attachments are office files. This calls for a DMARC mechanism that guards a corporate inbox. By incorporating this system, companies get a stronger hold on their inboxes. Also, this framework helps organizations target their emails and gain maximum action from their strategies.
DMARC Validation System:
Following are the steps an email undergoes through a DMARC validation system:
- The incoming email goes through a DMARC policy check in the DNS record.
- Factors like valid DKIM signature, SPF IP address and domain aliment are verified.
- With this information, the DMARC policy decides whether the mechanism will accept, reject or flag the email.
Benefits of DMARC
Companies have benefited tremendously by deploying DMARC as their email protection protocol. Below are a few benefits that DMARC grants its users.
- Access to BIMI
The users of the DMARC system are less likely to be sent to the recipient’s spam folder. This inculcates trust and awareness regarding the organization’s authenticity. Moreover, the users of DMARC gain access to BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification), an extra layer to determine a brand’s legitimacy.
The BIMI allows senders to stand out in the recipient inboxes by displaying their logo next to the e-mail message. A survey reveals that brands observed a 21% increase in e-mail opening rates as they used BIMI. Not only this but, the use of BIMI and its features improved customer confidence by 90%. This implies that receivers tend to respond to emails with a logo rather than those without.
Consider this as a new standard focused to upsurge a brand’s credibility. Currently, only Yahoo and Gmail support the BIMI standard.
- Email activity Reports
The DMARC helps domain owners to be in better control of their email activity. The DMARC generates an organization’s email activity reports that give insights into data that cannot be found elsewhere.
The reports include the following information:
- Origin of the received email
- Number of authorized emails
- Number of unauthorized emails
- Receivers of the email
The valuable data received in these reports helps brands to make informed decisions about their e-mail marketing strategies.
- Increased ROI on Trust
Investing in trust solutions pays for itself.
With a trustworthy impact on the customer’s inbox, organizations successfully drive more customers towards themselves. On the other hand, as brands drive spoof emails away, it helps to reduce the chances of falling for a counterfeit email.
Another astounding feature of DMARC includes the ability to set controls and policies on the ongoing email activity. Policies like p=quarantine and p=reject help to send unauthorized emails to the spam folder or stop the delivery of counterfeit emails respectively.
- Clean Corporate inbox
Corporates receive hundreds of emails daily. Just like files and important documents, emails need orderly management too.
By incorporating DMARC, organizations set strong security policies against fraudulent emails. This modern-day email plumbing allows companies to grow their digital footprint as responsible DMARC-capable sender/receivers.
Also, the no-spam mechanism successfully drives phishing emails away, thus keeping a corporate inbox clean.
DMARC is a framework to help fight phishing and other malicious emails. It allows companies to have complete control over their inboxes. In fact, brands increase the security of their domains and give users peace of mind.
Earn your share of a customer’s inbox, the correct way.
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