What is DMARC?
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. It is an email authentication protocol designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized usage, such as email spoofing.
What is Email Spoofing?
Email spoofing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick recipients into thinking they are receiving an email from a trusted source such as their bank, government agency, or even a friend or colleague. The cybercriminal creates a fake email that appears to be from a legitimate sender, but the email address is actually different.
DMARC Protects Against Email Spoofing
DMARC puts the power of email authentication in the hands of the owner of the sending domain. Through a combination of Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), DMARC enables the receiver of an email to authenticate that an email is coming from the domain owner.
DMARC allows an email domain owner to publish a policy in their Domain Name System (DNS) records that tells email receivers how to handle unauthenticated messages. This policy is then enforced by email receivers that check incoming emails for DMARC compliance, and take appropriate actions based on the published policy.
Working of DMARC
When an email is sent, DMARC checks the SPF and DKIM records for the domain in the email. If either fails, DMARC can take appropriate action based on the published policy. Email messages that fail DMARC are typically blocked or sent to the spam folder.
DMARC also provides reporting that allows domain owners to see where their email is being sent from, and who is trying to spoof their email addresses.
Why is DMARC Important?
DMARC is important for businesses of all sizes because email is one of the most common attack vectors for cybercriminals. According to a recent study, over 90% of cyberattacks begin with a phishing email.
DMARC adoption is growing rapidly. According to the Global Cyber Alliance, in 2020, there was a 90% increase in the number of domains using DMARC, and a 56% increase in DMARC enforcement.
Future Challenges for DMARC
While DMARC is an effective way to protect against email spoofing, it is not a silver bullet. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics to bypass email authentication protocols. One of the biggest challenges for DMARC is to keep pace with these evolving tactics.
Another challenge for DMARC is the issue of false positives. DMARC can sometimes block legitimate emails that fail DMARC checks. It is important for domain owners to monitor their DMARC reports and adjust their policies to minimize the impact of false positives.
Email spoofing is a major threat to organizations and individuals alike. DMARC provides an effective way to protect against email spoofing by giving email domain owners the power to authenticate their email, and enforce policies that block unauthenticated messages. As the adoption of DMARC continues to grow, it will become an increasingly important tool for businesses to protect against cyberattacks. Aiming to enhance your understanding of the topic? Check out this external resource we’ve prepared for you, offering additional and relevant information to expand your comprehension of the topic. Get to know this complementary resource.
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