Users of information systems in large organizations often have strong reactions to their experience with the system. The need to navigate an IT environment composed of a myriad of point solutions can be frustrating for end users. Consequently, many departments develop and rely on their own point solutions to overcome perceived limitations with a single organization-wide solution. This marked the origin of Shadow IT. A department that has shadow IT resources has more agility in its processes. Also, it avoids the alignment between departments, which is often impossible: which is the main benefit it revolves around. However, Shadow IT poses a colossal collection of security risks and challenges that completely nullifies its one benefit. These security risks can be resolved with DMARC

Let’s learn more about what Shadow IT is and how DMARC helps combat Shadow IT security risks with enhanced visibility.

What is Shadow IT?

Big companies often have large central IT departments to monitor networks, provide support, and manage the services used by the organization. However, it has been observed that a trend of shadow IT has started in recent years as employees often bypass the central authority and purchase their own technology to fulfil work-related goals. In an increasingly mobile world, employees prefer to bring their own devices to work because they already have them, they’re familiar with them, or they aren’t as bogged down by an IT department that requires complicated setups.  As cloud-based consumer applications gain traction, the adoption of shadow IT is increasing. RSA, the security division of EMC, reports that 35 percent of employees circumvent their company’s security policies to get their job done. 

Although it has been estimated that such a considerable population of employees belonging to other departments would use non-compliant methods to do their jobs, companies must keep in mind that uncontrolled use of Shadow IT could lead to losses in productivity and security.

Shadow IT Risks and Challenges for Organizations

According to a recent survey conducted by the Cloud Computing Association, over 30% of business’s run cloud applications that IT doesn’t know about. Many businesses face data breaches and failures due to their use of cloud applications. These cloud applications are typically already in use by employees, but aren’t being monitored by the IT department.

You never know when a non-IT department in your company is using Shadow IT to bypass organizational security, and sending out emails using cloud-based applications and services that are not authorized sending sources for your organization, using your identity. This can pave the way to unfiltered malicious activities, spam, and exchange of fraudulent messages that can potentially harm your company’s reputation and credibility. Shadow IT, as it’s called, can be vulnerable to data breaches and system failures if not monitored properly. This is exactly where DMARC steps in to resolve the shadow IT risks in security by authenticating sending sources even if they are successful in bypassing integrated security gateways to reach your client’s email server.

How Does DMARC Protect Against Risks Imposed by Shadow IT

The principal problem induced by Shadow IT is the lack of visibility on different departmental activities and their communication with external sources like clients and partners via third-party email-exchange services, without the knowledge of the IT department.  This increased and unauthorized usage of cloud-based applications for exchanging information and communication causes a major influx in email fraud, impersonation attacks and BEC. DMARC as the most recommended email authentication protocol in the industry helps organizations stay one step ahead of Shadow IT activities.

  • DMARC Aggregate reports provide visibility on sending sources and the IP addresses behind them, showing the IT department the exact origin of all unauthorized sending sources
  • With DMARC enforcement at your organization, emails originating from illegitimate sources are rejected by receiving MTAs before it lands into your client’s inbox
  • DMARC forensic reports elaborate in great detail, any attempts at domain spoofing, impersonation, BEC and other fraudulent activities
  • This helps put an end to Shadow IT practices by non-IT departments without approval from the IT department
  • This also helps in gaining visibility on all emails being sent to and from your domain by different departments at all times, what they entail, and the status of their authentication

Sign up today with DMARC analyzer and start your email authentication journey to curtail Shadow IT activities at your organization and maintain complete transparency across all departments.

No matter which type of business you are in, whether small, medium, or large, email has become an irrefutable tool for communicating with your employees, partners, and customers. But if you have errors in your email authentication records, it can be a real problem! A domain record checker tool helps you stay one step ahead of these problems.

Emails are sent and received each day in bulk by companies from various sources. In addition, organizations may also employ third-party vendors who may be authorized to send emails on behalf of the company. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between sources that are legitimate and malicious.

Here’s a solution – PowerDMARC. This SaaS platform helps you assess your email authentication protocols from time to time and see if your domain is secure against spoofing with a DMARC record checker, so you can make changes if necessary.

Check Your Domain Today! Use our free domain record checker to examine your domain’s DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, and MTA-STS records instantly to ensure your domain is protected from impersonation and email fraud!

Importance of Having Robust Email Security in 2021

Security researchers from around the world have recently concluded in their findings that :

  • 62% of all cyberattacks in 2021 have been email-based so far.
  • Email fraud attacks have increased by 220% over the past two years, the numbers escalating after the onset of the global pandemic and adoption of remote working environments
  • The FBI’s IC3 Report of 2020 has flagged Business Email Compromise (BEC) to be the most financially damaging cybercrime of 2020
  • The IRS has recently spread the word of caution against impending phishing attacks on educational institutions

The damage caused by phishing attacks leads to billions of dollars in losses every year, as well as the compromise of sensitive company information and health information. This data gives a clearer picture of the organizational domain security situation under the current circumstances.

This is why it is crucial for you to evaluate your domain’s email security with a domain record checker to understand where you stand and subsequently identify what measures you will need to take to improve it.

How to Check If Your Domain Is Protected?



The first step towards improving the email security of your domain is to assess how properly it is secured against security breaches, email fraud, BEC, and spoofing. Use the PowerDMARC domain record checker tool free of charge to check and test your domain’s DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS, and TLS-RPT records. This helps you check instantly whether your website is secure against online fraud. Domain security scores give you a snapshot of your protection against impersonation and spoofing.

If your domain has a lower rating, it may be due to poor email security infrastructure and insufficient or incorrect email authentication protocols, both of which can damage your domain’s reputation and credibility.

A high score means that your domain has the best protection against all types of attacks and attempts at impersonation. Setting up security protocols and reporting mechanisms correctly for your domain can have the following benefits:

  • Chances of falling prey to BEC, domain spoofing, and phishing attacks are minimized
  • You gain full control of your domain’s email ecosystem
  • Experience a boost in your brand reputation, credibility and authenticity
  • Experience a boost in email deliverability by almost 10% over time
  • Reduced chances of your legitimate emails being marked as spam

Therefore, you must strive to get the highest possible domain security ranking so that your business domain is adequately protected and your emails are secure again. Learn how to boost your domain security rating by following the domain security rate guide.

Enhance Your Domain’s Email Security with PowerDMARC

Configuring authentication protocols is a complex and arduous task that requires you to navigate the complexities of protocol implementation, configuration, and finally enforcement to ensure that your configuration is correct. PowerDMARC, however, is your multi-tenant SaaS platform to help you configure your authentication protocols quickly. It takes care of most of the implementation chores behind the scenes and automates the process.

When you sign up with the DMARC analyzer, you can improve your domain security and get a better rating on the free domain checker. It helps you:

  • Implement DMARC, SPF, and DKIM with error-free syntax with just a few clicks
  • Gain access to your personal dashboard to gain complete visibility on your DMARC authentication results
  • Implement an extensive reporting mechanism that constantly monitors your domain for abuse and impersonation
  • Stay under the 10 DNS lookup limit at all times with dynamic SPF flattening
  • Make TLS encryption mandatory in SMTP and get notified on issues in email delivery with MTA-STS and SMTP TLS Reporting, respectively
  • Make your brand visually identifiable in customer inboxes and boost the impact of your email marketing campaigns with BIMI.

PowerdMARC services for small, medium and large enterprises help you attain the exact level of security that you wish to leverage for your domain so that the next time you check your domain security rating on the domain record checker, you get an impressive score!

To configure your DMARC setup, you need to start by creating a DMARC record. As complicated as it may sound, the process for how to setup DMARC is comparatively straightforward! DMARC is a TXT (text) record that can be published on your DNS following a few simple steps to configure the protocol for your domain.

To create a free record use our DMARC generator tool:

  • Choose your DMARC policy
  • Click on “Generate”
  • Copy the TXT record to the clipboard and paste it on your DNS to activate the protocol

Manual DMARC Setup

Here is an example of how to manually configure your DMARC setup:

DMARC record example:

v=DMARC1; p=reject; adkim=s; aspf=s; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; pct=100; fo=0;

Note: While beginning your email authentication journey, you can keep your DMARC policy (p) at none instead of reject, to monitor your email flow and resolve issues before shifting to a strict policy.

Learn how to publish DMARC record on your DNS.

How to Setup DMARC Easily with PowerDMARC

When you create an account on PowerDMARC, we handle protocol implementation and setup for you. We also manage and monitor the health of your domain and emails, parse your aggregate reports and organize your authentication results on a dedicated dashboard.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of a manual setup, you can automate the process by taking a free 15-day trial with us.

Why is DMARC Needed in the Current Situation?

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center of 2020 (FBI IC3 Report 2020) reported that 28,500 complaints were received in the US pertaining to email-based attacks. The FBI investigated e-mail scam attacks describing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which strived to provide assistance to small businesses during the pandemic. These attacks specifically targeted unemployment insurance, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Small Business Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Did You Know?

  • 75% of organizational domains from all around the world were spoofed in 2020 to send phishing emails to victims
  • 74% of those phishing campaigns were successful
  • The frequency of BEC has increased by 15% since last year
  • IBM reported that one in every 5 companies in the last year has experienced data breaches caused by malicious emails

Every 14 seconds, an organizational domain is spoofed by an attacker to send out phishing emails to receivers who trust them. This is why email authentication is a mandatory addition to your security.

Check your domain right now to see how protected you are against email fraud!

Leveraging DMARC to Prevent Domain Spoofing

Note that if you are configuring DMARC to stop your domain from being Spoofed and keep phishing and BEC attacks at bay, we recommend you select the following criterion while generating your DMARC record with our DMARC record generator tool:

Set your DMARC policy to p=reject

When you are opting for DMARC enforcement at your organization by choosing a reject policy, this means that whenever an email sent from your domain fails DMARC authentication checks and fails DMARC, the malicious email would be instantly rejected by the receiving MTA, instead of being delivered to your receiver’s inbox.

Another factor that you would want to consider is gaining visibility on your email flow and monitoring emails passing and failing authentication. DMARC reporting ensures that you never miss a malicious activity on your domain and you stay informed at all times. To enjoy the benefits of email authentication, and setup DMARC in a way that would effectively protect your domain, sign up with DMARC analyzer today!

One of the largest focuses for email security in the last year has been around DMARC and ransomware has emerged as one of the most financially damaging cybercrimes of this year. Now what is DMARC? Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance as an email authentication protocol is used by domain owners of organizations big and small, to protect their domain from Business Email Compromise (BEC), direct domain spoofing, phishing attacks and other forms of email fraud.

DMARC helps you enjoy multiple benefits over time like a considerable boost in your email deliverability, and domain reputation. However a lesser known fact is that DMARC also serves as the first line of defense against Ransomware. Let’s enunciate how DMARC can protect against Ransomware and how ransomware can affect you.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that is installed on a computer, usually through the use of malware. The goal of the malicious code is to encrypt files on the computer, after which it typically demands payment in order to decrypt them.

Once the malware installation is in place, the criminal demands a ransom be paid by the victim to restore access to the data. It allows cybercriminals to encrypt sensitive data on computer systems, effectively protecting it from access. The cybercriminals then demand the victim pay a ransom sum to remove the encryption and restore access. Victims are typically faced with a message that tells them their documents, photos, and music files have been encrypted and to pay a ransom to allegedly “restore” the data. Typically, they ask the users to pay in Bitcoin and inform them how long they have to pay to avoid losing everything.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware has shown that poor security measures put companies at great risk. One of the most effective delivery mechanisms for ransomware is email phishing. Ransomware is often distributed through phishing. A common way this occurs is when an individual receives a malicious email that persuades them to open an attachment containing a file they should trust, like an invoice, that instead contains malware and begins the infection process.

The email will claim to be something official from a well-known company and contains an attachment pretending to be legitimate software, which is why it is very likely that unsuspecting customers, partners, or employees who are aware of your services would fall prey to them.

Security researchers have concluded that for an organization to become a target of phishing attacks with malicious links to malware downloads, the choice is ” opportunistic.” A lot of ransomware doesn’t have any external guidance as to who to target, and often the only thing guiding it is pure opportunity. This means, any organization whether it is a small business or a large enterprise, can be the next target if they have loopholes in their email security.

2021 recent security trends report have made the following distressing discoveries:

  • Since 2018, there has been a 350% rise in ransomware attacks making it one of the most popular attack vectors in recent time.
  • Cyber security experts believe there will be more ransomware attacks than ever in 2021.
  • More than 60% of all ransomware attacks in 2020 involved social actions, such as phishing.
  • New ransomware variants have increased by 46% in the last 2 years
  • 68,000 new ransomware Trojans for mobile have been detected
  • Security researchers have estimated that every 14 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack

Does DMARC Protect Against Ransomware? DMARC and Ransomware

DMARC is the first line of defense against ransomware attacks. Since ransomware is usually delivered to victims in the form of malicious phishing emails from spoofed or forged company domains, DMARC helps protect your brand from being impersonated, which means such fake emails will be marked as spam or not get delivered when you have the protocol correctly configured.  DMARC and Ransomware: how does DMARC help?

  • DMARC authenticates your emails against SPF and DKIM authentication standards that helps filter malicious IP addresses, forgery and domain impersonation.
  • When a phishing email curated by an attacker with a malicious link to install ransomware arising from your domain name reaches a client/employee server, if you have
  • DMARC implemented the email is authenticated against SPF and DKIM.
  • The receiving server tries to verify the sending source and DKIM signature
  • The malicious email will fail verification checks and ultimately fail DMARC authentication due to domain misalignment
  • Now, if you have implemented DMARC at an enforced policy mode (p=reject/quarantine) the email after failing DMARC will either get marked as spam, or rejected, nullifying the chances of your receivers falling prey to the ransomware attack
  • Finally, evade additional SPF errors like too many DNS lookups, syntactical errors and implementation errors, to prevent your email authentication protocol from being invalidated
  • This ultimately safeguards your brand’s reputation, sensitive information and monetary assets

The first step to gaining protection against ransomware attacks is to sign up for DMARC analyzer today! We help you implement DMARC and shift to DMARC enforcement easily and in the least possible time. Start your email authentication journey today with DMARC.

If you are on this page reading this blog, chances are that you have come across either one of the following prompts:

  • No DKIM record found
  • DKIM record is missing
  • No DKIM record
  • DKIM record not found
  • No DKIM record published
  • Unable to find DKIM record

DKIM is an industry-renowned email authentication standard that assigns a cryptographic signature to outgoing emails that is used by receiving MTAs to verify the sending source. When you receive a “No DKIM record found” message it simply implies that your domain is not configured with DKIM email authentication standards. Configuring DKIM for your domain can improve your domain’s security. Check out how protected your domain is against impersonation with our DKIM record checker.

What is DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)?

Domainkeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a standard employed by companies to protect email domains from spammers pretending to be genuine senders. This is achieved by cryptographic signatures which are verifiable by the recipient of the email and others. The sender generates a DomainKeys Identified Mail public/private key pair and attaches the public key as a DNS TXT record. The message is signed with the private key and authenticated using domain authentication information.

DKIM as an email authentication protocol allows the sender of an email to take responsibility for their message by curating the portion of the message that is actually from them and securing it with a cryptographic signature. It’s primary goal is to stop email address forgeries.

Why Do I Need to Configure DKIM?

You’ve probably been suggested that you need DKIM email authentication. But why do businesses really need it and what are the subsequent benefits involved in implementing the protocol? An enterprise is usually a large email exchanger for their organization with daily email blow and email marketing campaigns.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a great way to provide extra assurance for any emails your organization sends. It  is one of the mechanisms specified in RFC 6376 for email validation, authentication, and delivery. Using private and public keys, DKIM allows a domain to digitally sign an email message after all other mail processing stages so it can be verified if the message has been modified by a third party, including transport providers and filtering services. DKIM helps you improve your email deliverability and protects your domain against impersonation attempts.

  • Emails signed with DKIM are more likely to end up in the inbox rather than your recipient’s spam folder as it adds an extra layer of security and authenticity to your emails.
  • DKIM can be easily configured for existing email service providers like Gmail, Sendgrid, MailChimp, etc. Learn how you can configure DKIM for them.
  • Having your domain configured with DKIM helps ISPs build up a positive reputation for your email domain over time, reducing the chances of your legitimate emails failing delivery.
  • DKIM also helps your legitimate emails pass authentication checks and get delivered to your recipients’ inboxes during email forwarding, where SPF inevitably fails.

Breaking Down the Syntax of a DKIM Record

Before the verification process, when you configure your domain with DKIM, your sending server signs each message as it is sent. When a message is sent, a hash from the content of the message headers is created and then your private key is used to sign the hash. This DKIM signature appears something like this:

DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha1; c=relaxed/relaxed; s=s1;;


[email protected]; bh=wAsbKJhhfgqwOy8qkdk1MjM0NTY3ODkwMTI=;


vversion of DKIM
cthe canonical tag for header and body
sDKIM selector
dthe signing domain
hthe message headers
iidentity of the signing domain
bhbody hash value
bthe cyptographic DKIM signature for the header and body


This signature is added to the outgoing email headers by the sending server. The message is now ready for a recipient server to authenticate it and ensure that it hasn’t been altered.

A receiving email server begins to verify your email message by ensuring that the DKIM version meets the specifications, the sending domain and DKIM signature domain is a match and the header tag has the From header field included in it.

While authenticating your outbound email the receiving server uses the domain name and the DKIM selector to perform a DNS lookup and retrieve the public key from the sender’s DNS. The TXT resource record to be looked up can appear to be something like: 

In the above example, s1= DKIM selector.

A generated DKIM record for a domain can look like this (this DNS TXT record is published in your domain’s DNS and contains the public key that is retrieved by receiving MTAs during DKIM verification):


vSpecifies the version of DKIM being used
pThis mechanism specifies the public key that the receiving server tries to retrieve from the sending domain in order to verify DKIM


Resolving the “No DKIM Record Found” Message

If you want to stop getting the annoying “No DKIM record found” prompt all you need to do is configure DKIM for your domain by publishing a DNS TXT record. You can use our free DKIM record generator to create an instant record with the correct syntax, to publish in your DNS.

All you need to do is:

  • Type in your DKIM selector. Lean how to find DKIM selector easily for your domain
  • Insert your domain name (e.g.
  • Click of Generate DKIM record
  • You will get your Private key generated (You must enter this key in your DKIM signer. It must be kept secret, as anyone with access to it can stamp tokens pretending to be you)
  • You will get your generated DKIM record with your public key, that you need to publish in your domain’s DNS

I Have Resolved No DKIM Record Found: What Next?

DKIM alone cannot prevent your brand from impersonation attacks. For optimal protection against direct-domain spoofing, phishing attacks, and BEC, you need to configure SPF and DMARC for your domain. The authentication protocols in unison help check for domain alignment to ensure that the email is being sent from a legitimate source and helps specify to receiving MTAs how to respond to messages failing authentication. This mechanism ultimately protects your domain against forgery.

Hopefully this blog helped you resolve your problem and you never have to worry about the “No DKIM record found” message bothering you again. Sign up for a free email authentication trial to improve your email deliverability and email security today!

Have you ever seen an email fail SPF? If you have, then I’m going to tell you exactly why SPF authentication fails. Sender Policy Framework, or SPF, is one of the email verification standards we’ve all used for years to stop spam. Even if you weren’t aware of it, I’ll bet if I checked your login account settings for Facebook it would likely show you “opt-in” to “email from friends only”. That is effectively the same thing as SPF.

What is SPF Authentication?

SPF is an email authentication protocol that is used to verify that the email sender matches with their domain name in the From: field of the message. The sending MTA will use DNS to query a preconfigured list of SPF servers to check if the sending IP is authorized to send email for that domain. There may be inconsistencies in how SPF records are set up, which is critical to understanding why emails can fail SPF verification, and what part you can play to ensure issues don’t occur in your own email marketing efforts.

Why SPF Authentication Fails : None, Neutral, Hardfail, Softfail, TempError, and PermError

SPF authentication failures can happen due to the following reasons:

  • The receiving MTA fails to find an SPF record published in your DNS
  • You have multiple SPF records published in your DNS for the same domain
  • Your ESPs have changed or added to their IP addresses which have not been updated on your SPF record
  • If you exceed the 10 DNS lookup limit for SPF
  • If you exceed the maximum number of permitted void lookup limit of 2
  • Your flattened SPF record length exceeds the 255 SPF characters limit

Given above are various scenarios of why SPF authentication fails. You can monitor your domains with our DMARC analyzer to get reports on SPF authentication failures. When you have DMARC reporting enabled, the receiving MTA returns any one of the following SPF authentication failure results for the email depending on the reason for which your email failed SPF. Let’s get to know them better:

Case 1: SPF None result is Returned

In the first case scenario,- if the receiving email server performs a DNS lookup and is unable to find the domain name in the DNS, a none result is returned. None is also returned in case no SPF record is found in the sender’s DNS, which implies that the sender doesn’t have SPF authentication configured for this domain. In this case SPF authentication for your emails fails.

Generate your error-free SPF record now with our free SPF record generator tool to avoid this.

Case 2: SPF Neutral Result is Returned

While configuring SPF for your domain, if you have affixed a ?all mechanism to your SPF record, this means that no matter what the SPF authentication checks for your outbound emails conclude, the receiving MTA returns a neutral result. This happens because when you have your SPF in neutral mode, you are not specifying the IP addresses that are authorized to send emails on your behalf and allowing unauthorized IP addresses to send them as well.

Case 3: SPF Softfail Result

Similar to SPF neutral, SPF softfail is identified by ~all mechanism which implies that the receiving MTA would accept the mail and deliver it into the inbox of the recipient, but it would be marked as spam, in case the IP address is not listed in the SPF record found in the DNS, which can be a reason why SPF authentication fails for your email. Given below is an example of SPF softfail:

 v=spf1 ~all

Case 4: SPF Hardfail Result

SPF hardfail, also known as SPF fail is when receiving MTAs would discard emails originating from any sending source that is not listed within your SPF record. We recommend you to configure SPF hardfail in your SPF record, if you want to gain protection against domain impersonation and email spoofing. Given below is an example of SPF hardfail:

v=spf1 -all

Case 5: SPF TempError (SPF Temporary Error)

One of the very common and often harmless reasons why SPF authentication fails is SPF TempError (temporary error) which is caused due to a DNS error such as a DNS timeout while an SPF authentication check is being performed by the receiving MTA. It is, therefore, just as the name suggests, usually an interim error returning a 4xx status code that can cause temporary SPF failure, however, yielding an SPF pass result when tried again later.

Case 6: SPF PermError (SPF Permanent Error)

Another common result that domain errors are faced with is SPF PermError. This is why SPF authentication fails in most case scenarios. This happens when your SPF record gets invalidated by the receiving MTA. There are many reasons why SPF might break and be rendered invalid by the MTA while performing DNS lookups:

  • Exceeding the 10 SPF lookup limit
  • Incorrect SPF record syntax
  • More than one SPF record for the same domain
  • Exceeding the SPF record length limit of 255 characters
  • If your SPF record is not up to date with changes made by your ESPs

Note: When an MTA performs an SPF check on an email, it queries the DNS or conducts a DNS lookup to check for the authenticity of the email source. Ideally, in SPF you are allowed a maximum of 10 DNS lookups, exceeding which will fail SPF and return a PermError result.

How Can Dynamic SPF Flattening Resolve SPF PermError?

Unlike the other SPF errors, SPF PermError is much more tricky and complicated to resolve. PowerSPF helps you mitigate it easily with the help of automatic SPF flattening. It helps you:

  • Stay under the SPF hard limit
  • Instantly optimize your SPF record
  • Flatten your record to a single include statement
  • Make sure your SPF record is always updated on changes made by your ESPs

Want to test if you have SPF configured correctly for your domain? Try out our free SPF record lookup tool today!