DMARC stands for Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance, an email authentication protocol that works on the basis of SPF and DKIM results. A DMARC record contains a DMARC policy according to which recipients handle illegitimate incoming emails from your domain and subdomain.
It’s a TXT record that’s created manually or using online DMARC record generators and updated on the domain’s DNS (domain name system).
Here’s a DMARC record example:
v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; rua=mailto:email@example.com; ruf=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org; fo=1; adkim=r; aspf=r;
Below is the explanation of all the elements/values-
- v=DMARC1 indicates the DMARC version used.
- p=quarantine instructs recipients’ servers to mark suspicious emails and place them in the spam folders.
- rua=mailto:email@example.com is the email address where rua or aggregate reports will be sent.
- ruf=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address where ruf or forensic reports will be sent.
- fo=1 sets the failure option to 1, which means the sender’s email should be treated as failed when SPF and/or DKIM authentication fails.
- adkim=r; aspf=r; specify that both the “relaxed” mode should be used for both the DKIM and SPF alignment checks, allowing for minor variations in the headers and body of the email.
DMARC Record Check Ensures the Best Protection Against Spoofing and Phishing
There are several online tools for performing a DMARC record check that validate the submitted TXT record against a list of requisites and highlight configurational and syntactical errors. All a domain owner has to do is open a DMARC record checker tool and enter their domain name.
Cyber Security Stats
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The SPF record checker will retrieve the DMARC record and form a comprehensive configuration analysis. This exercise helps spot and rectify issues before a malicious sender takes advantage of the vulnerabilities and security loopholes to send email messages on behalf of your business.
Here is more information on why a company should perform DMARC record checks on a regular basis-
Minimizing the Likelihood of Email Spoofing and Phishing
There are three DMARC policies (none, quarantine, and reject). Now, depending upon the rate of false positives, the domain’s reputation, domain utility, the time for which SPF, DKIM, and DMARC have been linked to your domain, etc., you can set your DMARC record to one of the policies for your platform.
Performing a DMARC record check once every week or 10 days gives you insight into how these policies are performing and if you need to make any transitions to stay within compliance. This ensures messages sent from your domain by untrusted and potentially fraudulent entities never show up in recipients’ spam folders, thus eliminating or minimizing the chances of email spoofing and phishing.
Protection of Brand Reputation
The spread of fake messages in your company’s name affects your reputation in the market, which consequently hits customers’ trust and gives your competitors the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. In addition to DMARC record checks, you should practice running SPF records through lookup tools.
Prevents Financial Losses
A company liable for phishing attacks undergoes financial losses by either paying legal penalties or directly to scammers or in many cases, it’s both.
In 2016, an Austrian aircraft parts manufacturer, FACC, terminated the employment of its CEO, who had served for 17 years, following a $56-million cyber scam. The fraudulent incident involved a “fake president” scam in which a FACC employee transferred around 50 million Euros, approximately 10 percent of the company’s annual revenue, after receiving deceptive emails impersonating the company’s leader, Stephan. By the time FACC recognized the deception, the funds had vanished, with the incident occurring in Slovakia and Asia.
Enhanced Email Deliverability
To enhance email delivery by performing a frequent DMARC DNS record check, you can adjust the percentage of emails to which the selected policies will be applied. For example, setting the percentage tag as p=quarantine; pct=60 indicates the implication of the quarantine policy to 60% of the emails sent from your domains or subdomains.
This ensures most emails sent from your domain reach the desired recipients’ mailboxes and that there are minimum instances of false positives. A good email delivery rate promises improved email marketing ROI.
Enabling to receive aggregate and forensic reports helps you monitor the performance of your DMARC record. However, these reports are originally in the XML reports format that you can get convert into simple English using an online tool.
Domain owners get the best visibility into their domains’ activities by combining information gathered from DMARC record checker and XML reports.
The DMARC record check process is an essential component of email security. A DMARC checker empowers organizations to take control of their email authentication and protect against email spoofing, phishing, and brand abuse. By implementing DMARC and regularly monitoring DMARC reports, you can enhance your email security, build trust with your recipients, and safeguard your organization’s reputation. As email-based threats continue to evolve, DMARC remains a crucial tool in the fight against email fraud and cybercrime.