In this article, we will explore how to optimize SPF record easily for your domain. For enterprises as well as small businesses who are in possession of an email domain for sending and receiving messages among their clients, partners and employees, it is highly probable that an SPF record exists by default, which has been set up by your inbox service provider. No matter if you have a pre-existent SPF record or you need to create a new one, you need to optimize your SPF record correctly for your domain in order to ensure that it causes no email delivery issues.

Some email recipients strictly require SPF, which indicates that if you do not have an SPF record published for your domain your emails may be marked as spam in your receiver’s inbox. Moreover, SPF helps in detecting unauthorized sources sending emails on behalf of your domain.

Let us first understand what is SPF and why do you need it?

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF is essentially a standard email authentication protocol that specifies the IP addresses that are authorized to send emails from your domain. It operates by comparing sender addresses against the list of authorized sending hosts and IP addresses for a specific domain that is published in the DNS for that domain.

SPF, along with DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is designed to detect forged sender addresses during email delivery and prevent spoofing attacks, phishing, and email scams.

It is important to know that although the default SPF integrated into your domain by your hosting provider ensures that emails sent from your domain are authenticated against SPF if you have multiple third-party vendors to send emails from your domain, this pre-existent SPF record needs to be tailored and modified to suit your requirements. How can you do that? Let’s explore two of the most common ways:

  • Creating a brand new SPF record
  • Optimizing an existing SPF record

Instructions on How to Optimize SPF Record

Create a Brand New SPF Record

Creating an SPF record is simply publishing a TXT record in your domain’s DNS to configure SPF for your domain. This is a mandatory step that comes before you start on how to optimize SPF record. If you are just starting out with authentication and unsure about the syntax, you can use our free online SPF record generator to create an SPF record for your domain.

An SPF record entry with a correct syntax will look something like this:

v=spf1  ip4:38.146.237 include:example.com -all

v=spf1Specifies the version of SPF being used
ip4/ip6This mechanism specifies the valid IP addresses that are authorized to send emails from your domain.
includeThis mechanism tells the receiving servers to include the values for the SPF record of the specified domain.
-allThis mechanism specifies that emails that are not SPF compliant would be rejected. This is the recommended tag you can use while publishing your SPF record. However it can be replaced with ~ for SPF Soft Fail (non-compliant emails would be marked as soft fail but would still be accepted) Or + which specifies that any and every server would be allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain, which is strongly discouraged.

If you already have SPF configured for your domain, you can also use our free SPF record checker to lookup and validate your SPF record and detect issues.

Common Challenges and Errors while Configuring SPF

1) 10 DNS Lookup limit 

The most common challenge faced by domain owners while configuring and adopting SPF authentication protocol for their domain, is that SPF comes with a limit on the number of DNS lookups, which cannot exceed 10. For domains relying on multiple third-party vendors, the 10 DNS lookup limit exceeds easily which in turn breaks SPF and returns an SPF PermError. The receiving server in such cases automatically invalidates your SPF record and blocks it.

Mechanisms that initiate DNS lookups: MX, A, INCLUDE, REDIRECT modifier

2) SPF Void Lookup 

Void lookups refer to DNS lookups which either return NOERROR response or NXDOMAIN response (void answer). While implementing SPF it is recommended to ensure DNS lookups do not return a void answer in the first place.

3) SPF Recursive loop

This error indicates that the SPF record for your specified domain contains recursive issues with one or more of the INCLUDE mechanisms. This takes place when one of the domains specified in the INCLUDE tag contains a domain whose SPF record contains the INCLUDE tag of the original domain. This leads to a never-ending loop causing email servers to continuously perform DNS lookups for the SPF records. This ultimately leads to exceeding the 10 DNS lookup limit, resulting in emails failing SPF.

4) Syntax Errors 

An SPF record may exist in your domain’s DNS, but it is of no use if it contains syntax errors. If your SPF TXT record contains unnecessary white spaces while typing the domain name or mechanism name, the string preceding the extra space would be completely ignored by the receiving server while performing a lookup, thereby invalidating the SPF record.

5) Multiple SPF records for the same domain

A single domain can have only one SPF TXT entry in the DNS. If your domain contains more than one SPF record, the receiving server invalidates all of them, causing emails to fail SPF.

6) Length of the SPF record 

The maximum length of a SPF record in the DNS is limited to 255 characters. However, this limit can be exceeded and a TXT record for SPF can contain multiple strings concatenated together, but not beyond a limit of 512 characters, to fit the DNS query response (according to RFC 4408). Though this was later revised, recipients relying on older DNS versions would not be able to validate emails sent from domains containing a lengthy SPF record.

Optimizing your SPF Record

In order to promptly modify your SPF record you can use the following SPF best practices:

  • Try typing down your email sources in decreasing order of importance from left to right in your SPF record
  • Remove obsolete email sources from your DNS
  • Use IP4/IP6 mechanisms instead of A and MX
  • Keep your number of INCLUDE mechanisms as low as possible and avoid nested includes
  • Do not publish more than one SPF record for the same domain in your DNS
  • Make sure your SPF record doesn’t contain any redundant white spaces or syntax errors

Note: SPF flattening is not recommended since it isn’t a one-time deal. If your email service provider changes their infrastructure, you’re going to have to change your SPF records accordingly, every single time.

Optimizing Your SPF Record Made Easy with PowerSPF

You can go ahead and try implementing all those above-mentioned modifications to optimize your SPF record manually, or you can forget the hassle and rely on our dynamic PowerSPF to do all that for you automatically! PowerSPF helps you optimize your SPF record with a single click, wherein you can:

  • Add or remove sending sources with ease
  • Update records easily without having to manually make changes to your DNS
  • Get an optimized auto SPF record with the single click of a button
  • Stay under the 10 DNS lookup limit at all time
  • Successfully mitigate PermError
  • Forget about SPF record syntax errors and configuration issues
  • We take away the burden of resolving SPF limitations on your behalf

Sign up with PowerDMARC today to bid adieu to SPF limitations forever!  

The rate at which emails make it through to the recipients’ inboxes is called the email deliverability rate. This rate can get slowed down or delayed or even lead to failure in delivery when emails end up in the spam folder or get blocked out by receiving servers. It is essentially an important parameter to measure the success of your emails reaching your desired receivers’ inboxes without being marked as spam. Email authentication is definitely one of the options authentication novices out there can resort to, to see a substantial improvement in email deliverability over time.

In this blog we are here to talk to you about how you can improve your email deliverability rate with ease and also discuss the best industry practices to ensure smooth flow of messages across all your email channels!

What is Email Authentication?

Email authentication is the technique used for validating your email for authenticity against all authorized sources that are allowed to send emails from your domain. It further helps in validating the domain ownership of any Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) involved in transferring or modifying an email.

Why Do You Need Email Authentication?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) which is the internet standard for email transfer, contains no feature to authenticate inbound and outbound emails, allowing cybercriminals to exploit the lack of secure protocols in SMTP. This can be used by threat actors to perpetrate email phishing scams, BEC and domain spoofing attacks wherein they can impersonate your brand and harm its reputation and credibility. Email authentication enhances the security of your domain against impersonation and fraud, indicating to receiving servers that your emails are DMARC compliant and arise from valid and authentic sources. It also serves as a checkpoint for unauthorized and malicious IP addresses sending emails from your domain.

To protect your brand image, minimize cyber threats, BEC and ensure improved deliverability rate, email authentication is a must!

Email Authentication Best Practices

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF is present in your DNS as a TXT record, displaying all the valid sources that are authorized to send emails from your domain. Every email that leaves your domain has an IP address that identifies your server and the email service provider used by your domain that is enlisted within your DNS as an SPF record. The receiver’s mail server validates the email against your SPF record to authenticate it and accordingly marks the email as SPF pass or fail.

Note that SPF has a 10 DNS lookup limit, exceeding which can return a PermError result and lead to SPF failure. This can be mitigated by using PowerSPF to stay under the lookup limit at all times!

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is a standard email authentication protocol that assigns a cryptographic signature, created using a private key, to validate emails in the receiving server, wherein the receiver can retrieve the public key from the sender’s DNS to authenticate the messages. Much like SPF, the DKIM public key also exists as a TXT record in the DNS of the domain owner.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Simply implementing SPF and DKIM is just not enough since there is no way for domain owners to control how receiving servers respond to emails that fail authentication checks.

DMARC is the most widely used email authentication standard in the current time, which is designed to empower domain owners with the ability to specify to receiving servers how they should handle messages that fail SPF or DKIM or both. This in turn helps in protecting their domain from unauthorized access and email spoofing attacks.

How Can DMARC Improve Email Deliverability?

  • When publishing a DMARC record in your domain’s DNS, the domain owner requests receiving servers supporting DMARC, to send feedback on the emails which they receive for that domain, automatically indicating to receiving servers that your domain extends support towards secure protocols and authentication standards for emails, like DMARC, SPF and DKIM.
  • DMARC aggregate reports help you gain increased visibility into your email ecosystem, enabling you to view your email authentication results, detect authentication failures and mitigate delivery issues.
  • By enforcing your DMARC policy you can block malicious emails impersonating your brand from landing into the inboxes of your receivers.

Additional Tips on Improving Email Deliverability:

  • Enable visual identification of your brand in your receivers’ inboxes with BIMI
  • Ensure TLS encryption of emails in transit with MTA-STS
  • Detect and respond to email delivery issues by enabling extensive reporting mechanism with TLS-RPT

PowerDMARC is a single email authentication SaaS platform that combines all email authentication best practices such as DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS and TLS-RPT, under the same roof. Sign up today with PowerDMARC and witness a considerable improvement in email deliverability with our enhanced email security and authentication suite.

Business Email Compromise or BEC is a form of email security breach or impersonation attack that affects commercial, government, non-profit organizations, small businesses and startups as well as MNCs and enterprises to extract confidential data that can negatively influence the brand or organization. Spear phishing attacks, invoice scams and spoofing attacks are all examples of BEC.

Cybercriminals are expert schemers who intentionally target specific people within an organization, especially those in authoritarian positions like the CEO or someone similar, or even a trusted customer. The worldwide financial impact due to BEC is huge, especially in the US which has emerged as the prime hub. Read more about the global BEC scam volume. The solution? Switch to DMARC!

What is DMARC?

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an industry-standard for email authentication. This authentication mechanism specifies to receiving servers how to respond to emails failing SPF and DKIM authentication checks. DMARC can minimize the chances of your brand falling prey BEC attacks by a substantial percentage, and help protect your brand’s reputation, confidential information and financial assets.

Note that before publishing a DMARC record, you need to implement SPF and DKIM for your domain since DMARC authentication makes use of these two standard authentication protocols for validating messages sent on behalf of your domain.

You can use our free SPF Record Generator and DKIM Record Generator to generate records to be published in your domain’s DNS.

How to Optimize Your DMARC Record to Protect Against BEC?

In order to protect your domain against Business Email Compromise, as well as enable an extensive reporting mechanism to monitor authentication results and gain complete visibility into your email ecosystem, we recommend you to publish the following DMARC record syntax in your domain’s DNS:

v=DMARC1; p=reject; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; fo=1;

Understanding the tags used while generating a DMARC Record:

v (mandatory)This mechanism specifies the version of the protocol.
p (mandatory)This mechanism specifies the DMARC policy in use. You can set your DMARC policy to:

p=none (DMARC at monitoring only wherein emails failing authentication checks would still land into receivers’ inboxes). p=quarantine (DMARC at enforcement, wherein emails failing authentication checks will be quarantined or lodged into the spam folder).

p=reject (DMARC at maximum enforcement, wherein emails failing authentication checks will be discarded or not delivered at all).

For authentication novices, it is recommended to start out with your policy at monitoring only (p=none) and then slowly shift to enforcement.However, for the purpose of this blog if you want to safeguard your domain against BEC, p=reject is the recommended policy for you to ensure maximum protection.

sp (optional)This tag specifies the subdomains policy which can be set to sp=none/quarantine/reject requesting a policy for all subdomains wherein emails are failing DMARC authentication.

This tag is only useful if you desire to set a different policy for your main domain and subdomains. If not specified the same policy will be levied upon all your subdomains by default.

adkim (optional)This mechanism specifies the DKIM identifier alignment mode which can be set to s (strict) or r (relaxed).

Strict alignment specifies that the d=field in the DKIM signature of the email header must align and match exactly with the domain found in the from header.

However, for Relaxed alignment the two domains must share the same organizational domain only.

aspf (optional) This mechanism specifies the SPF identifier alignment mode which can be set to s (strict) or r (relaxed).

Strict alignment specifies that the domain in the “Return-path” header must align and match exactly with the domain found in the from header.

However, for Relaxed alignment the two domains must share the same organizational domain only.

rua (optional but recommended)This tag specifies the DMARC aggregate reports that are sent to the address specified after the mailto: field, providing insight on emails passing and failing DMARC.
ruf (optional but recommended)This tag specifies the DMARC forensic reports that are to be sent to the address specified after the mailto: field. Forensic reports are message-level reports that provide more detailed information on authentication failures. Since these reports may contain email content, encrypting them is the best practice.
pct (optional)This tag specifies the percentage of emails to which the DMARC policy is applicable. The default value is set to 100.
fo (optional but recommended)The forensic options for your DMARC record can be set to:

->DKIM and SPF don’t pass or align (0)

->DKIM or SPF don’t pass or align (1)

->DKIM doesn’t pass or align (d)

->SPF doesn’t pass or align (s)

The recommended mode is fo=1 specifying that forensic reports are to be generated and sent to your domain whenever emails fail either DKIM or SPF authentication checks.

You can generate your DMARC record with PowerDMARC’s free DMARC Record Generator wherein you can select the fields according to the level of enforcement you desire.

Note that only an enforcement policy of reject can minimize BEC, and protect your domain from spoofing and phishing attacks.

While DMARC can be an effective standard to protect your business against BEC, implementing DMARC correctly requires effort and resources. Whether you are an authentication novice or an authentication aficionado, as pioneers in email authentication, PowerDMARC is a single email authentication SaaS platform that combines all email authentication best practices such as DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS and TLS-RPT, under the same roof for you. We help you:

  • Shift from monitoring to enforcement in no time to keep BEC at bay
  • Our aggregate reports are generated in the form of simplified charts and tables to help you understand them easily without having to read complex XML files
  • We encrypt your forensic reports to safeguard the privacy of your information
  • View your authentication results in 7 different formats (per result, per sending source, per organization, per host, detailed stats, geolocation reports, per country) on our user-friendly dashboard for optimal user-experience
  • Gain 100% DMARC compliance by aligning your emails against both SPF and DKIM so that emails failing either of the authentication checkpoints do not make it through to your receivers’ inboxes

How Does DMARC Protect Against BEC?

As soon as you set your DMARC policy to maximum enforcement (p=reject), DMARC protects your brand from email fraud by reducing the chance of impersonation attacks and domain abuse. All inbound messages are validated against SPF and DKIM email authentication checks to ensure that they arise from valid sources.

SPF is present in your DNS as a TXT record, displaying all the valid sources that are authorized to send emails from your domain. The receiver’s mail server validates the email against your SPF record to authenticate it. DKIM assigns a cryptographic signature, created using a private key, to validate emails in the receiving server, wherein the receiver can retrieve the public key from the sender’s DNS to authenticate the messages.

With your policy at reject, emails are not delivered to your recipient’s mailbox at all when the authentication checks fail, indicating that your brand is being impersonated. This ultimately keeps BEC like spoofing and phishing attacks at bay.

PowerDMARC’s Basic Plan for Small Businesses

Our basic plan starts from only 8 USD per month, so small businesses and startups trying to adopt secure protocols like DMARC can easily avail of it. The advantages that you will have at your disposal with this plan are as follows:

Sign up with PowerDMARC today and protect your brand’s domain by minimizing the chances of Business Email Compromise and email fraud!

In 1982, when SMTP was first specified, it did not contain any mechanism for providing security at the transport level to secure communications between the mail transfer agents. However, in 1999, the STARTTLS command was added to SMTP that in turn supported the encryption of emails in between the servers, providing the ability to convert a non-secure connection into a secure one that is encrypted using TLS protocol.

However, encryption is optional in SMTP which implies that emails can be sent even in plaintext. Mail Transfer Agent-Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS) is a relatively new standard that enables mail service providers the ability to enforce Transport Layer Security (TLS)  to secure SMTP connections, and to specify whether the sending SMTP servers should refuse to deliver emails to MX hosts that that does not offer TLS with a reliable server certificate. It has been proven to successfully mitigate TLS downgrade attacks and Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks. SMTP TLS Reporting (TLS-RPT) is a standard that enables the reporting of issues in TLS connectivity that is experienced by applications that send emails and detect misconfigurations. It enables the reporting of email delivery issues that take place when an email isn’t encrypted with TLS. In September 2018 the standard was first documented in RFC 8460.

Why Do Your Emails Require Encryption in Transit?

The primary goal is to improve transport-level security during SMTP communication and ensuring the privacy of email traffic. Moreover, encryption of inbound and outbound messages enhances information security, using cryptography to safeguard electronic information.  Furthermore, cryptographic attacks such as Man-In-The-Middle (MITM)  and TLS Downgrade have been gaining popularity in recent times and have become a common practice among cybercriminals, which can be evaded by enforcing TLS encryption and extending support to secure protocols.

How Is a MITM Attack Launched?

Since encryption had to be retrofitted into SMTP protocol, the upgrade for encrypted delivery has to rely on a STARTTLS command that is sent in cleartext. A MITM attacker can easily exploit this feature by performing a downgrade attack on the SMTP connection by tampering with the upgrade command, forcing the client to fall back to sending the email in plaintext.

After intercepting the communication a MITM attacker can easily steal the decrypted information and access the content of the email. This is because SMTP being the industry standard for mail transfer uses opportunistic encryption, which implies that encryption is optional and emails can still be delivered in cleartext.

How Is a TLS Downgrade Attack Launched?

Since encryption had to be retrofitted into SMTP protocol, the upgrade for encrypted delivery has to rely on a STARTTLS command that is sent in cleartext. A MITM attacker can exploit this feature by performing a downgrade attack on the SMTP connection by tampering with the upgrade command. The attacker can simply replace the STARTTLS with a string that the client fails to identify. Therefore, the client readily falls back to sending the email in plaintext.

In short, a downgrade attack is often launched as a part of a MITM attack, so as to create a pathway for enabling an attack that would not be possible in case of a connection that is encrypted over the latest version of TLS protocol, by replacing or deleting the STARTTLS command and rolling back the communication to cleartext.

Apart from enhancing information security and mitigating pervasive monitoring attacks, encrypting messages in transit also solves multiple SMTP security problems.

Achieving Enforced TLS Encryption of Emails with MTA-STS

If you fail to transport your emails over a secure connection, your data could be compromised or even modified and tampered with by a cyber attacker. Here is where MTA-STS steps in and fixes this issue, enabling safe transit for your emails as well as successfully mitigating cryptographic attacks and enhancing information security by enforcing TLS encryption. Simply put, MTA-STS enforces the emails to be transferred over a TLS encrypted pathway, and in case an encrypted connection cannot be established the email is not delivered at all, instead of being delivered in cleartext. Furthermore, MTAs store MTA-STS policy files, making it more difficult for attackers to launch a DNS spoofing attack.

 

MTA-STS offers protection against :

  • Downgrade attacks
  • Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks
  • It solves multiple SMTP security problems, including expired TLS certificates and lack of support for secure protocols.

Major mail service providers such as Microsoft, Oath, and Google support MTA-STS. Google being the largest industry player, attains centre-stage while adopting any protocol, and the adoption of MTA-STS by google indicates the extension of support towards secure protocols and highlights the importance of email encryption in transit.

Troubleshooting Issues in Email Delivery with TLS-RPT

SMTP TLS Reporting provides domain owners with diagnostic reports (in JSON file format) with elaborate details on emails that have been sent to your domain and are facing delivery issues, or couldn’t be delivered due to a downgrade attack or other issues, so that you can fix the problem proactively. As soon as you enable TLS-RPT, acquiescent Mail Transfer Agents will begin sending diagnostic reports regarding email delivery issues between communicating servers to the designated email domain. The reports are typically sent once a day, covering and conveying the MTA-STS policies observed by senders, traffic statistics as well as information on failure or issues in email delivery.

The need for deploying TLS-RPT :

  • In case an email fails to be sent to your recipient due to any issue in delivery, you will get notified.
  • TLS-RPT provides enhanced visibility on all your email channels so that you gain better insight on all that is going on in your domain, including messages that are failing to be delivered.
  • TLS-RPT provides in-depth diagnostic reports that enable you to identify and get to the root of the email delivery issue and fix it without any delay.

Adopting MTA-STS and TLS-RPT Made Easy and Speedy by PowerDMARC

MTA-STS requires an HTTPS-enabled web server with a valid certificate, DNS records, and constant maintenance. PowerDMARC makes your life a whole lot easier by handling all of that for you, completely in the background- from generating certificates and MTA-STS policy file to policy enforcement, we help you evade the tremendous complexities involved in adopting the protocol. Once we help you set it up with just a few clicks, you never even have to think about it again.

With the help of PowerDMARC’s Email Authentication Services, you can deploy Hosted MTA-STS at your organization without the hassle and at a very speedy pace, with the help of which you can enforce emails to be sent to your domain over a TLS encrypted connection, thereby making your connection secure and keeping MITM attacks at bay.

PowerDMARC makes your life easier by making the process of implementation of SMTP TLS Reporting (TLS-RPT) easy and speedy, at your fingertips! As soon as you sign up with PowerDMARC and enable SMTP TLS Reporting for your domain, we take the pain of converting the complicated JSON files containing your reports of email delivery issues, into simple, readable documents (per result and per sending source), that you can go through and understand with ease! PowerDMARC’s platform automatically detects and subsequently conveys the issues you are facing in email delivery, so that you can promptly address and resolve them in no time!

Sign up to get your free DMARC today!

If you are here reading this blog, chances are you have come across either of the three common prompts:

  • No DMARC record 
  • No DMARC record found 
  • DMARC record is missing
  • DMARC record not found 
  • No DMARC record published 
  • DMARC policy not enabled
  • Unable to find DMARC record

Either way, this only implies that your domain is not configured with the most highly acclaimed and popularly used email authentication standard- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance or DMARC. Let’s take a look at what it is:

What is DMARC and why do you need email authentication for your domain?

In order to learn about how to fix the “No DMARC record found” issue, let’s learn what DMARC is all about. DMARC is the most widely used email authentication standard in the current time, which is designed to empower domain owners with the ability to specify to receiving servers how they should handle messages that fail authentication checks. This in turn helps in protecting their domain from unauthorized access and email spoofing attacks. DMARC uses popular standard authentication protocols to validate inbound and outbound messages from your domain.

Protect Your Business from Impersonation Attacks and Spoofing with DMARC

Did you know that email is the easiest way cybercriminals can abuse your brand name?

By using your domain and impersonating your brand, hackers can send malicious phishing emails to your own employees and customers. Since SMTP is not retrofitted with secure protocols against fake “From” fields, an attacker can forge email headers to send fraudulent emails from your domain. Not only will this compromise security in your organization, but it will seriously harm your brand reputation.

Email spoofing can lead to BEC (Business Email Compromise), loss of valuable company information, unauthorized access to confidential data, financial loss and reflect poorly on your brand’s image. Even after implementing SPF and DKIM for your domain, you cannot prevent cybercriminals from impersonating your domain. This is why you need an email authentication protocol like DMARC, which authenticates emails using both the mentioned protocols and specifies to receiving servers of your clients, employees, and partners how to respond if an email is from an unauthorized source and fails authentication checks. This gives you maximum protection against exact-domain attacks and helps you be in complete control of your company’s domain.

Furthermore, with the help of an effective email authentication standard like DMARC, you can improve your email delivery rate, reach, and trust.

 


Adding The Missing DMARC Record for Your Domain

It can be annoying and confusing to come across prompts saying “Hostname returned a missing or invalid DMARC record” when checking for a domain’s DMARC record while using online tools.

For fixing the “No DMARC record found” issue for your domain all you need to do is add a DMARC record for your domain. Adding a DMARC record is essentially publishing a text (TXT) record in your domain’s DNS, in the _dmarc.example.com subdomain in compliance with DMARC specifications. A DMARC TXT Record in your DNS may look something like this:

v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[email protected]

And Voila! You have successfully resolved the “No DMARC record found” prompt as your domain is now configured with DMARC authentication and contains a DMARC record.

But is this enough? The answer is no. Simply adding a DMARC TXT record to your DNS may resolve the missing DMARC prompt, but it is simply not enough to mitigate impersonation attacks and spoofing.

Implement DMARC the Right Way with PowerDMARC

PowerDMARC helps your organization achieve 100% DMARC Compliance by aligning authentication standards, and helping you shift from monitoring to enforcement in no time, resolving the “no DMARC record found” prompt in no time! Furthermore, our interactive and user-friendly dashboard automatically generates:

  • Aggregate Reports (RUA) for all your registered domains, which are simplified and converted into readable tables and charts from complex XML file format for your understanding.
  • Forensic reports (RUF) with encryption

In order to mitigate “no DMARC record found”, all you need to do is:

  • Generate your free DMARC record with PowerDMARC and select your desired DMARC policy with ease.

The DMARC policy can be set to :

  • p=none (DMARC is set at monitoring only, wherein emails failing authentication will still be delivered to your recipient’s inboxes, however, you will be getting aggregate reports informing you about the authentication results)
  • p=quarantine (DMARC is set at enforcement level, wherein emails failing authentication will be delivered to the spam box instead of your recipient’s inbox)
  • p=reject (DMARC is set at maximum enforcement level, wherein emails failing authentication would either be deleted or not delivered at all)

Why PowerDMARC?

PowerDMARC is a single email authentication SaaS platform that combines all email authentication best practices such as DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS and TLS-RPT, under the same roof. We provide optimal visibility into your email ecosystem with the help of our detailed aggregate reports and help you automatically update changes to your dashboard without you having to update your DNS manually.

We tailor solutions to your domain and handle everything for you completely in the background, all the way from configuration to set up to monitoring. We help you implement DMARC correctly to help keep impersonation attacks at bay!

So sign up with PowerDMARC to configure DMARC for your domain correctly today!

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance is the most widely acclaimed email authentication protocol in recent times, that can help small businesses, as well as multinational enterprises, mitigate impersonation, email spoofing attacks and BEC. DMARC makes use of two of the standard existent protocols in the arena of email authentication, namely SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). DMARC solutions can help in validating every inbound and outbound email for authenticity and mitigate email-based attacks and security breaches.

When selecting the best DMARC software solution for your business, you need to look for a few basic features that the solution must include! Let’s discuss what they are:

A User-Friendly Dashboard

A user-friendly dashboard offering you complete visibility into your email ecosystem and effectively displaying reports on emails passing and failing DMARC authentication from your domain in a readable and comprehensible format is imperative. This is one of the key points that you must look out for when choosing the best DMARC software solution for your company.

Detailed Aggregate and Forensic Reporting

It is indispensable that your DMARC solution has an extensive reporting mechanism. Aggregate and Forensic reports are both imperative to monitor threats and configure authentication protocols.

Detailed DMARC aggregate reports are generated in an XML file format. To a non-technical person, these records may appear indecipherable. The best DMARC software solution for your organization will covert these incomprehensible aggregate reports from complex XML files into information you can easily understand that allow you to analyze your results and do the needful changes

For SMEs as well as MNCs, Forensic reports provide valuable insight into your email ecosystem, which are generated every time an email sent from your domain fails DMARC. They dispense detailed information about individual emails that failed authentication to detect spoofing attempts and fix issues in email delivery at a speedy pace.

DMARC Forensic Reports Encryption

DMARC Forensic reports contain data about every individual email that failed DMARC. This implies that they might potentially include confidential information that was present in those emails. This is why when selecting the best DMARC software solution for your business, you should choose a service provider that values your privacy, and lets you encrypt your forensic reports so that only authorized users have access to them.

SPF and DKIM Alignment

Although DMARC compliance can be achieved by SPF or DKIM alignment, it is preferable to align your emails against both the authentication standards. Unless your emails are aligned and authenticated against both SPF and DKIM authentication protocols and rely on only SPF for validation, there is a chance that legitimate emails may still fail DMARC authentication (like in the case of forwarded messages). This is because the IP address of the intermediary server may not be included in the SPF record of your domain, thereby failing SPF.

However, unless the mail body gets altered during forwarding, the DKIM signature is retained by the email, which can be used to validate its authenticity. The best DMARC software solution for your business will make sure that all your inbound and outbound messages are aligned against both SPF and DKIM.

Staying under the 10 DNS Lookup Limit

SPF records have a limit of 10 DNS lookups. If your organization has a wide base of operations or you rely on third-party vendors to send emails on your behalf, your SPF record could easily exceed the limit and hit the permerror. This invalidates your SPF implementation, and make your emails inevitably fail SPF. This is why you should search for a solution that helps you instantly optimize your SPF record to always stay under the 10 DNS lookup limit to mitigate SPF permerror!

An Interactive and Efficient Setup Wizard

when choosing the best DMARC software solution for your organization, one should not forget the setup process. An interactive and efficient setup wizard that is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, taking you through the process of entering your domain name to setting your DMARC policy to generating your own DMARC record in a synchronized and methodical way, is the need of the hour! It will help you get settled down seamlessly, and understand all the settings and functionalities on your dashboard within the least possible time.

Scheduling Executive PDF Reports

With an effective DMARC solution for your organization, you can convert your DMARC reports into convenient PDF easily readable documents that can be shared with your whole team. Depending on your needs, you can have them scheduled to be sent to your email regularly or simply generate them on demand.

 

Hosted BIMI Record

Brand Indicators for Message Identification or BIMI, allows your email recipients to visually identify your unique brand logo in their inboxes, and rest assured that the email is from an authentic source. An efficient service provider can hook you up with BIMI implementation along with standard authentication protocols like DMARC, SPF and DKIM, thereby enhancing your brand recall and upholding your brand’s reputation and integrity.

Platform Security and Configuration

An effective DMARC solution will make your work easy by detecting all your subdomains automatically, as well as providing two-factor authentication to enable absolute security of your authentication platform.

Threat Intelligence

For enhanced visibility and insight, what you need is an AI-driven Threat Intelligence (TI) engine which actively roots out suspicious IP addresses, checking them against a live, updated blacklist of known abusers so you can have them taken down. This will armour you against malicious activities and repeated occurrences of domain abuse in the future.

A Proactive Support Team

When implementing DMARC at your organization and generating aggregate reports, what you need is a proactive support team, available round-the-clock to help you mitigate issues in configuration even after onboarding, throughout the time you are availing of their services.

PowerDMARC Analyzer Tool

Our DMARC Analyzer Tool is effective enough to take you through the entire process of implementation and help you shift from monitoring to DMARC enforcement and 100% DMARC compliance in the least amount of time. Our advanced DMARC software solution will aid you in configuring your domain, DMARC policy, and aggregate reports and help you gain complete visibility into your email ecosystem at the earliest. From hosted BIMI record generation, to forensic reporting with encryption, PowerDMARC is your one-stop destination for the ultimate email security suite.

When choosing a DMARC solution for your organization, it is important to confide in a service provider who offers premium technology at reasonable rates. Sign up to get your free DMARC trial today with PowerDMARC !