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Do you know how secure your domain is? Most organizations operate with the assumption that their domains are highly secure and in a short while, they learn it isn’t the case. One of the tell-tale signs of a low security score is if your domain name is being spoofed – this means that someone is using your domain in order to impersonate you (or create confusion) and fool email recipients. But why should you care? Because these spoofing activities can potentially endanger your reputation. 

In a world full of domain impersonators, email domain spoofing shouldn’t be something that companies take lightly. Those who do could be putting themselves, as well as their clients at risk. A domain’s security rating can have a huge effect on whether or not you get targeted by phishers looking to make a quick buck or to use your domain and brand to spread ransomware without you being aware!

Check your domain’s security rating with our Free DMARC Lookup tool. You may be surprised by what you learn!

How Do Attackers Spoof Your Domain?

Email spoofing can occur when an attacker uses a forged identity of a legitimate source, usually with the intent of impersonating another person or masquerading as an organization. It can be carried out by:

Manipulating the domain name: Attackers can use your domain name to send emails to your unsuspecting recipients who can fall prey to their malicious intentions. Popularly known as direct-domain spoofing attacks, these attacks are especially harmful to a brand’s reputation and how your customers perceive your emails.

Forging the email domain or address: wherein attackers exploit loopholes in existing email security protocols to send emails on behalf of a legitimate domain. The success rate of such attacks is higher as attackers use third-party email exchange services to carry out their malicious activities that do not verify the origin of email sending sources.

Since domain verification wasn’t built into the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the protocol that email is built on,email authentication protocols that were developed more recently, such as DMARC, provide greater verification.

How Can a Low Domain Security Impact Your Organization?

Since most organizations transmit and receive data through emails, there must be a secure connection to protect the company’s brand image. However, in case of low email security, it can lead to disaster for both enterprises and individuals. Email remains one of the most widely used communication platforms. Email sent out from a data breach or hack can be devastating for your organization’s reputation. Using email can also result in the spread of malicious attacks, malware, and spam. Therefore, there is a huge need for revising how security controls are deployed within email platforms.

In 2020 alone, brand impersonation accounted for 81% of all phishing attacks, while a single spear-phishing attack resulted in an average loss of $1.6 million. Security researchers are predicting the numbers to potentially double by the end of 2021. This adds more pressure on organizations to improve their email security at the earliest.

While multinational enterprises are more open to the idea of adopting email security protocols, small businesses and SMEs are still reluctant. This is because it’s a common myth that SMEs do not fall in the potential target radar of cyber attackers. That, however, is untrue. Attackers target organizations based on the vulnerabilities and loopholes in their email security posture, rather than the size of the organization, making any organization with poor domain security a potential target.

Learn how you can get a higher domain security rating with our email security rating guide.

Leverage Authentication Protocols to Gain Maximum Domain Security

While checking your domain’s email security rating, a low score can be due to the following factors:

  • You don’t have email authentication protocols like SPF, DMARC, and DKIM deployed within your organization
  • You have deployed the protocols but have not enforced them for your domain
  • You have errors in your authentication records
  • You have not enabled DMARC reporting to gain visibility on your email channels
  • Your emails in transit and server communication are not secured over TLS encryption with MTA-STS
  • You have not implemented SMTP TLS reporting to get notified on issues in email delivery
  • You have not configured BIMI for your domain to improve your brand recollection
  • You have not resolved SPF permerror with dynamic SPF flattening

All of these contribute to making your domain more and more vulnerable to email fraud, impersonation, and domain abuse.

PowerDMARC is your one-stop email authentication SaaS platform that brings all the authentication protocols (DMARC, SPF, DKIM, MTA-STS, TLS-RPT, BIMI) across a single pane of glass to make your emails safe again and improve your domain’s email security posture. Our DMARC analyzer simplifies protocol implementation by handling all the complexities in the background and automating the process for domain users. This helps you leverage your authentication protocols to unleash their maximum potential and get the best out of your security solutions.

Sign up for your free DMARC report analyzer today to get a high domain security rating and protection against spoofing attacks.

Your customer-facing brand is what draws in visitors to your products/services and leads to conversion. Having an impeccable brand reputation can not only place your brand in a position of unmatched credibility, it can also make or break your business. This is where email security and BIMI comes into play. While you are sending out marketing emails to your customers and partners on a daily basis to promote your services, hackers and impersonators can spoof your domain using social engineering tactics, to send malicious emails. These emails get lost among the legitimate ones sent by you, urging unsuspecting clients to open them eventually instigating wire transfers or leading to credential thefts.

Well, the next time your clients receive an email from you, it is natural human instinct that they would be reluctant to even open it even if it is legitimate after being scammed once. Even if you use email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM and DMARC, there is no way for your recipients to know whether an email sent from your domain is legitimate or not. This is why you need Brand Indicators for Message Identification or BIMI that makes way for your receivers to visually identify your brand in their inboxes.

What is BIMI?

When you use Brand Indicators for Message Identification, or BIMI, to verify your email, your subscribers will know you are a legitimate business and are more likely to open your emails. By integrating your brand logo into emails, it acts as a second layer of security that makes recipients less likely to doubt the authenticity of your email. Then, if the email is ever cloned by a spammer, recipients will know it’s fake because your logo won’t be present.

BIMI is nothing but a short set of instructions that can be passed to the email client. BIMI works with different types of email clients and can only work if the receiver has BIMI activated. Much more than just an email authentication protocol, BIMI is an easy-to-implement email marketing solution designed to help you build your brand recognition.

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How Can BIMI Help Your Brand?

  • With BIMI every time you send an email, your customers will see your logo in their inbox, reinforcing your image, driving new customer inquiries, and building brand loyalty.
    It’s a great way to get your customers thinking about your brand even when you’re not around.
  • A familiar logo will be recognizable to customers as a brand they have a relationship with. BIMI paved the way for enhancing your brand recall and enhancing your customer’s confidence.
  • A trusted email will instantly catch the attention of recipients. BIMI is a visual identifier that displays your brand’s unique logo making it easy for recipients to identify and trust your brand. Thereby boosting email deliverability.
  • BIMI is an easy way to indicate your message has been authenticated through visual confirmation.

Note: BIMI builds on a foundation of DMARC, giving you more security with your existing DMARC deployment.

Steps to Protect Your Brand from Scammers with BIMI

Before implementing BIMI, there are a few essential requirements that must be met:

1. BIMI Record demands that your domain is DMARC-authenticated at a policy level of enforcement (‘reject’ or ‘quarantine’)

2. You must create and upload an SVG file for your logo as per the BIMI SVG to a server.

3. You need to access your domain’s DNS to publish a new BIMI DNS record.

Sounds complicated? PowerDMARC makes the deployment process simpler for you. With us you no longer have to ponder over complexities in configuring the protocol, instead you can focus on using it to your and your brand’s benefit.

3 Step BIMI Implementation with PowerDMARC

When you sign up for DMARC deployment with PowerDMARC, you’re also getting BIMI implementation on the house. With PowerBIMI implementation of your part is reduced to three basic steps:

  • Shift to a DMARC policy of enforcement (p=reject/quarantine)
  • Upload your BIMI-compliant SVG logo image
  • Generate your BIMI record with our free BIMI record generator.

And voila! You’re done configuring BIMI in the click of a button. In the present situation, Verizon Media Group (Yahoo, AOL etc) support the display of logos if you meet the requirements, and even leading industry players like Gmail are in their pilot program.

Make BIMI a part of your organization’s email security suite today with PowerDMARC, and take your brand recall to the next level. Sign up for free BIMI trial now. SEO Consultancy

With the ongoing surge in phishing attacks, email and domain spoofing attacks, BEC, and other fraudulent activities by cybercriminals, an extra layer of security and email protection is always a good idea! Recipients of emails are growing more and more suspicious of the messages landing in their inboxes due to the rise in cyber attacks. The solution? A well-rounded email security suite that includes BIMI implementation.

A recent survey conducted by security professionals in the US disclosed that 60% of US citizens claim to have fallen prey to a cyber scam or know of someone who has been affected by the same, in their close circle, post-pandemic. Therefore, in order to provide their emails with an additional layer of protection, businesses need to implement a new standard like Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), as it promises to take consumer confidence to the next level.

What is BIMI?

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, which is a newly formed standard of email authentication that affixes your brand’s logo to all emails authorized by you. This may feel like a very small step, but visual verification can in fact increase your brand’s credibility by allowing receivers to recognize and trust the emails you send out from your business email domain.

You might be wondering, if you already have DMARC implemented in your organization, that makes use of SPF and DKIM authentication standards, do you even need BIMI? Let us discuss in brief how each of these standards functions to authenticate inbound emails:

  • SPF authenticates your emails to identify the mail servers that are allowed to send emails from your email domain, enlisted in the SPF record.
  • DKIM authenticates emails by adding a digital signature to them, allowing the receiver to check whether an email claiming to be coming from a specific domain was indeed authorized by the owner of that domain.
  • DMARC specifies to inbox providers how to respond to emails that fail SPF and DKIM email authentication.
  •  BIMI affixes your brand’s logo to the emails you send out to your employees, partners, and customers so that they can promptly identify that it is from an authorized source.

Therefore it is quite evident from the discussion above that among all the email authentication protocols, BIMI is the only standard that provides a scope for visual identification, offering email receivers a visual clue to identify the email source and recognize its authenticity.

PowerDMARC Logo Mobile

BIMI Implementation- A Brief Guide

While BIMI is an emerging and still evolving authentication standard, it is still relatively new. As of yet, only Yahoo! Mail has officially adopted the technology. Due to this reason, BIMI does not guarantee the display of your brand logo as it works with only supported email clients. There are a few essential steps to follow, prior to BIMI implementation, which are:

  • In order to implement BIMI at your organization, your domain requires to be DMARC- authenticated at a policy level of enforcement, i.e. either reject or quarantine.
  • You must create and upload an SVG file of your brand’s logo as per the BIMI requirements to a server so that it is accessible from anywhere.
  • You have to create a BIMI record, which, similar to a DMARC record is essentially a string that consists of multiple tags, separated by semicolons.
  • You need to have access to your domain’s DNS to publish this new BIMI record.
  • It is a rather useful practice to check the validity of your BIMI record after it is published in your DNS.

How can BIMI implementation prove to be advantageous for your business?

BIMI is an email authentication protocol that exercises visual identification to help email receivers recognize and trust your brand in the inbox. This trust prevents customers and partners from unsubscribing your services and keeps spam complaints at bay as well, which can subsequently lead to a  boost in email deliverability.

Without BIMI, a generic placeholder logo with brand initials is displayed by email clients. Due to this reason, the recipient might have a hard time recognizing your brand without resorting to the brand name. However, with BIMI implemented, the brand logo is displayed next to your email message, boosting brand awareness.

In addition to that, it is an extra layer of email security against domain spoofing attacks, phishing attacks, and other attempts at impersonation as receivers would be more wary about cybercriminals posing to be you.

Furthermore, BIMI allows you to market your brand. Yes, you heard me right! Sometimes recipients do not have a lot of time in hand, and your subject line might not be compelling enough to click on at the moment. Regardless of that, your recipients will connect your sender address, subject line, and preheader text with your logo, helping further build your brand.

Lastly, BIMI implementation also has a very positive impact on your email deliverability rate! For mailbox providers who do support BIMI, it will add another layer of email authentication to your messages, thereby increasing the chance of them delivering your email more promptly. In addition to that, your email receivers can visually identify and recognize your brand, through the displayed logo, decreasing the chances of them marking it as spam.

Ease up Your BIMI Implementation Process with PowerBIMI

With PowerBIMI we make BIMI record publishing very speedy and simple for you! All you have to do is simply upload your SVG image, we will host it securely and provide you with a DNS record instantly, so that you can publish it in your DNS. We take off from your shoulder the pain of hosting the image and securing it.

With PowerBIMI you can update, delete or do any changes to your image, at any time, without the need for updating your DNS records again. PowerBIMI provides you with a very speedy and easy one-click implementation procedure to upload your logo and shift to BIMI authentication successfully, adding it as a part of your email security suite after signing up for free BIMI record.