How to Implement DMARC

August 2o, 2021

1:00-2:00AM PST

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) integrates with Domain Name Servers (DNS) to prevent crooks from using your domain names and email addresses to defraud your partners, clients, suppliers, and even your own employees. No business person is oblivious to the headlines about email-based security threats. Cybercriminals increasingly target businesses through social engineering attacks. A 2020 report revealed that Business Email Compromise scams alone cost victim companies $1.8 billion. Email attacks increased 64 percent last year. 

As email scams have become more sophisticated, so have the industry defenses against them. DMARC is one of the powerful components of cutting-edge email security solutions. Most domains, email servers, and web hosts don't come with this essential security standard by default. The configuration and establishment of DMARC policies are the responsibility of email administrators within companies. The DMARC security standard might not be built into your email servers, but it can be added. Whether you DIY it or look to a trusted partner to simplify the process, you do not want your domains and email servers to face the criminal onslaught without DMARC. 

Trustifi's email security solution builds in leading-edge DMARC defenses. Businesses can rely on Trustifi for foolproof email security. 

Using DMARC, you as a domain owner receive reports of how emails sent from your domain are being used. DMARC effectively invites the email servers of other companies to verify the authenticity of emails from your servers by comparing the encoded policy in the email with the policy published through DMARC. If the encoded information in the email doesn’t match the sending server, the receiver server can confidently drop that email and not deliver it to the recipient because it is bogus. 

The same holds true for emails that circulate internally within your organization. Many phishing and spoofing attacks masquerade as messages from someone inside the recipient's own company. DMARC ensures that if the suspicious email actually came from the outside and not from the inside, it can be dropped as fraudulent. So, deploying DMARC not only helps your neighbor, but you also protect yourself from some of the most pernicious Business Email Compromise attacks. 

How to Implement DMARC

Employing DMARC is vital for ensuring your business's growth, stability, and security. To implement DMARC on your own requires in-depth knowledge of DNS server technology. A well trained and experienced DNS server administrator can add a DMARC record to your DNS server. This record essentially tells the world how to handle unauthorized emails from your domain. Once the DMARC record is published on your domain server, you will begin receiving reports telling you how and where your email traffic is going. You will then be able to identify to whom emails are going that did not originate on your servers but were pirated your domain name.  

The DMARC reports, however, are not simple to read. They arrive in XML format, which requires an intermediate program to translate the data into human-readable form. So, along with publishing your DMARC record, you must also implement an XML report package to make the reports useful.

How Implementing DMARC Can Help My Business

If you are wondering how DMARC can benefit your business, look no further than the recent COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, phishing scams increased rapidly. For example, in February, 2021, cybercriminals lured Twitter users into a Coronavirus vaccine scam using phishing emails posing as the NHS. Because the victims were expecting to receive emails from the NHS regarding vaccines, the unsuspecting email recipients were tricked into providing sensitive information to a fake website. 

Think about the possibility of criminals using your domain to spoof or fake your address in order to send phishing emails to your employees, partners, or clients. These people are crucial to your business. They trust you. The DMARC protocol can provide additional protection against these attacks. 

Implementing DMARC immediately for your business makes sense for a number of reasons.

  • DMARC can safeguard against domain spoofing, Business Email Compromised attacks, and email phishing attacks. 
  • DMARC increases the confidence of your legitimate email recipients, resulting in your email deliverability rate success increasing by 10 percent.
  • DMARC boosts your domain's reputation among your customers and suppliers.
  • DMARC ensures you receive your necessary emails instead of marking them as spam.  

Implementing DMARC in Three Steps 

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) are two of the most important email authentication protocols to ensure the authenticity of your emails when deploying DMARC. Your email administrator can configure DMARC by publishing the DNS records in the Domain Name Server of your domain. If your admin makes a mistake in your DMARC record's syntax, however, the resulting invalid record will be useless. The following three steps can help you successfully implement DMARC into your email ecosystem. 

  1. Use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC record generators to publish your policy records.
  2. Use a DMARC analyzer to protect your domain from being spoofed by modifying the DMARC policy from ‘none’ to ‘enforcement’.
  3. Set up DMARC monitoring and recording for your domain to see a full view of the entire organization’s email system. 

Additional Thoughts

If the above steps sound like a lot of highly technical work, you’re right. The most efficient and effective way to implement DMARC is to look to an email security solution provider to handle the work for you. Trustifi is an email security solution that includes DMARC implementation services to help increase the security of your email ecosystem. It is very easy and simple to integrate DMARC into your system using the Trustifi solution. Contact a Trustifi representative today for a free demo of their email security solution, including DMARC, and learn how easily and affordably you can protect your domain’s reputation.

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