This article will explore how to stop email spoofing, in 5 ways. Imagine you get to work one day, settle down at your desk, and open up your computer to check the news. Then you see it. Your organization’s name is all over the headlines — and it’s not good news. Someone launched an email spoofing attack from your domain, sending phishing emails to people all over the world. And many of them fell for it. Your company just became the face of a huge phishing attack, and now no one trusts your security or your emails.

This is exactly the situation that employees of the World Health Organization (WHO) found themselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic in February 2020. Attackers were using the WHO’s actual domain name to send emails requesting people to donate to a coronavirus relief fund. This incident is hardly an isolated one, however. Countless organizations have fallen victim to very convincing phishing emails that innocuously ask for sensitive personal information, bank details, or even login credentials. These can even be in the form of emails from within the same organization, casually asking for access to a database or company files.

As much as 90% of all data loss incidents have involved some element of phishing. And yet, domain spoofing isn’t even particularly complex to pull off. So why is it able to do so much damage?

How Does Domain Spoofing Work?

Domain spoofing attacks are pretty simple to understand.

  • The attacker forges the email header to include your organization’s name and sends fake phishing emails out to someone, using your brand name so they trust you.
  • People click on malicious links or give away sensitive information thinking it’s your organization asking for them.
  • When they realize it’s a scam, your brand image takes a hit, and customers will lose trust in you

 

You’re exposing people outside (and inside) your organization to phishing emails. Even worse, malicious emails sent from your domain could really hurt your brand reputation in the eyes of customers.

So what can you do about this? How can you defend yourself and your brand against domain spoofing, and avert a PR disaster?

How to Stop Email Spoofing?

1. Modify Your SPF Record

One of the biggest mistakes with SPF is not keeping it concise. SPF records have a limit of 10 DNS Lookups to keep the cost of processing each email as low as possible. This means that simply including multiple IP addresses in your record could make you exceed your limit. If that happens, your SPF implementation becomes invalid and your email fails SPF and might not get delivered. Don’t let that happen: keep your SPF record short and sweet with auto SPF flattening.

2. Keep Your List of Approved IPs up-to-date

If your organization uses multiple third-party vendors approved to send email from your domain, this is for you. If you discontinue your services with one of them, you need to make sure you update your SPF record, too. If the vendor’s email system is compromised, someone might be able to use it to send ‘approved’ phishing emails from your domain! Always make sure only third-party vendors still working with you have their IPs on your SPF record.

3. Implement DKIM

DomainKeys Identified Mail, or DKIM, is a protocol that gives every email sent from your domain a digital signature. This allows the receiving email server to validate if the email is genuine and if it’s been modified during transit. If the email has been tampered with, the signature doesn’t get validated and the email fails DKIM. If you want to preserve the integrity of your data, get DKIM set up on your domain!

4. Set The Right DMARC Policy

Far too often, an organization implements DMARC but forgets the most important thing — actually enforcing it. DMARC policies can be set to one of three things: none, quarantine, and reject. When you set up DMARC, having your policy set to none means even an email that fails authentication gets delivered. Implementing DMARC is a good first step, but without enforcing it, the protocol is ineffective. Instead, you should preferably set your policy to reject, so emails that don’t pass DMARC are automatically blocked.

It’s important to note that email providers determine the reputation of a domain name when receiving an email. If your domain has a history of spoofing attacks associated with it, your reputation goes down. Consequently, your deliverability takes a hit too.

5. Upload Your Brand Logo To BIMI

Brand Indicators for Message Identification, or BIMI, is an email security standard that uses brand logos to authenticate email. BIMI attaches your logo as an icon next to all your emails, making it instantly recognizable in someone’s inbox. If an attacker were to send an email from your domain, their email wouldn’t have your logo next to it. So even if the email got delivered, the chances of your customers recognizing a fake email would be much higher. But BIMI’s advantage is twofold.

Every time someone receives an email from you, they see your logo and immediately associate you with the product or service your offer. So not only does it help your organization stop email spoofing, it actually boosts your brand recognition.

Sign up for your free DMARC analyzer today!

 

PowerDMARC, an email authentication solutions provider headquartered in Delaware,  USA, is partnering with Dubai-based information security distribution company, Disti360. In June 2020, Disti360 the Hub of Virtual Distribution signed on to become a value-added distributor of PowerDMARC’s suite of email security and DMARC services. Primarily targeting businesses and organizations, their new partnership is set to bring the latest in email authentication technology to the mainstream.

“We’re extremely happy to be teaming up with Disti360,” said PowerDMARC Co-Founder & CEO Faisal Al Farsi. “The Middle East has relatively low DMARC adoption rates, leaving their email exposed to spoofing and impersonation attacks. It’s our job to build awareness among organizations and protect their brands’ reputation. With Disti360’s help, we can establish ourselves as the leading provider of DMARC solutions across several countries in the region.”

Disti360, hub of virtual distribution headquartered in Dubai, will be PowerDMARC’s first major distributor in the Middle East. With many new businesses and organizations forming all around the region, there’s a growing need for a proper solution that protects against malicious phishing scams.

Through distribution and hands-on support for PowerDMARC services, they plan on building strong channels in KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. Crucially, they will be responsible for increasing the adoption of DMARC and robust email security practices across the Middle East.

“We’re excited to be among the first ones to offer fully-featured email security services to businesses in our region,” said Abdullah Abu-Hejleh, Founder & CEO of Disti360. “It’s a rare opportunity for us and our partners. Together with PowerDMARC, we can forge strong connections with organizations all across the Middle East, securing domains and making email and cyber safer for everyone.”

 

 

PowerDMARC, a Delaware-based DMARC and email security solutions provider, has announced its partnership with Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) in May 2020. CSA is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing.

“This is the first time we’re partnering with a cloud security organization like CSA,” said Faisal Al Farsi, Co-Founder of PowerDMARC, when asked about the announcement. “We’ve always made sure we work with the best in any industry. Having been in cloud security for over 11 years, no one fits the bill better than CSA. We’re looking forward to working together for many, many years to come.”

Since 2009, CSA has worked with industry practitioners, governments and associations, pioneering research, education, certification, events and products in cloud security. They operate STAR and CSSK, some of the most popular cloud security certifications, as well as a Global Consulting Program which allows cloud users to work directly with a network of trusted security professionals. 

PowerDMARC has been refining its anti-spoofing platform with innovative new features like AI-based threat detection and reporting. Through this partnership, they seek to bolster their email security and anti-spoofing solutions with the cloud security resources of CSA. By collaborating with them to bring the latest in cloud computing security to PowerDMARC’s web-based software platform, CSA looks to bring awareness about email security and domain spoofing to the cloud community. PowerDMARC will also provide them with critical data points from their platform that will facilitate new research into the emerging technology of cloud-based email security.

“There’s incredible potential in the future of cloud email security solutions,” said Jim Reavis, co-founder CEO, CSA. “By partnering with PowerDMARC, we will have the chance to investigate how cloud solutions can be leveraged to combat email spoofing, enabling us to actively contribute to building a safer cyberspace.”

About the Cloud Security Alliance

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. CSA harnesses the subject matter expertise of industry practitioners, associations, governments, and its corporate and individual members to offer cloud security-specific research, education, certification, events and products. CSA’s activities, knowledge and extensive network benefit the entire community impacted by cloud — from providers and customers, to governments, entrepreneurs and the assurance industry — and provide a forum through which diverse parties can work together to create and maintain a trusted cloud ecosystem.  CSA has developed the definitive best practices for the industry, such as the “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing”, the “Cloud Controls Matrix”, “Top Threats to Cloud Computing” and 50 other cloud security research artifacts. For further information, visit them at www.cloudsecurityalliance.org.