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Cybersecurity compliance is a growing area of concern for many businesses. It is important that your business is aware of the requirements and has a plan in place to achieve compliance.

Cybersecurity compliance involves the following:

  1. Conducting risk assessments on your business, including the risks posed by external threats, such as viruses and malware, and internal threats such as insider misuse of confidential information.
  2. Creating an incident response team that can respond quickly to any incident. They should also be trained in how to respond to cyberattacks.
  3. Implementing an intrusion detection system that monitors the network and email traffic for unauthorized activity like a DMARC analyzer.
  4. Developing a strong cybersecurity strategy that includes best practices for developing security controls and training employees on how to use them correctly.

What Is Cybersecurity Compliance?

Cybersecurity compliance is a set of standards that companies and organizations must follow in order to be considered “compliant.” These standards can vary depending on the type of entity or organization, but they generally include policies, procedures, and controls that ensure that a company is protecting itself from cyberattacks.

For example, if your organization uses emails as a mode of communication you need to implement email security and authentication protocols like DMARC to secure your email transactions and verify sending sources. A lack thereof can make your domain vulnerable to domain spoofing, phishing attacks, and ransomware. 

One of the most important things you can do to protect your company is to make sure that your cybersecurity practices are up to snuff. You can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity violations—they’re the easiest way for hackers to get into your network and cause you serious harm.

But what is cybersecurity compliance, exactly?

Cybersecurity compliance is a set of best practices that companies use in their daily operations to ensure that they’re protecting themselves from cyber attacks. These best practices include:

  • Maintaining a secure network
  • Keeping systems patched and updated with security patches
  • Safeguarding customer information and data
  • Safeguarding your own data and email commmunications 

Where to start with your Cybersecurity Compliance?

The first step in achieving cybersecurity compliance is to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.

What are your goals? What are the specific expectations of the organization or individual who is managing your cybersecurity compliance? Is it for the business itself, or is it for an outside entity that could be a government agency, an organization like the NSA, or even a third-party vendor?

If it’s for the business itself, then you’ll need to understand how your organization operates and how it interacts with other entities. You’ll also want to know what kind of data they are collecting and where they’re storing it. And if they’re using cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, or Oracle Cloud Platform (OCP), then you’ll need to find out if there are any security controls in place around those services.

If you’re working with an outside entity like a government agency or third-party vendor, then you’ll want to make sure that they have a good understanding of both your organization and its needs as well as their own process for monitoring and responding to threats. You’ll also want them to be familiar with the types of attacks that could happen against your company’s systems and how. 

Cybersecurity Compliance Strategy: A Plan in Action

Email Security

Let’s start with the basics: You need to keep your email system secure. That means password-protecting your email, even if it’s just a single password for your entire system. And you need to make sure that any external services that send or receive emails from your organization are also secure—and have the same password requirements as your internal systems.

Your company’s email system is a critical part of your business. It’s how you connect with prospects, customers, and employees—and how you send out important updates and announcements.

But it’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your company.

So if you want to make sure your emails stay private and safe from hackers, cybersecurity compliance is a must. Here are some tips for making sure your emails are up-to-date on cybersecurity compliance:

  1. Make sure you’re using encryption (SSL) when sending sensitive information through email. This helps ensure that no one can intercept or read what’s being sent between your computer and the intended recipient’s device.
  2. Set up password policies so that all users have unique passwords that are changed regularly, and never used in any other service or application on the same account or device as the email service provider (ESP).
  3. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible so that only authorized people can access accounts with 2FA enabled—and even then only if they’ve been granted access before by someone else with 2FA already enabled
  4. Secure your email domain against spoofing, phishing, ransomware, and more by implementing email authentication protocols like DMARC, SPF, and DKIM 
  5. Secure your emails in transit from the prying eyes of a man-in-the-middle attacker by enforcing a TLS-encrypted email transaction with the help of MTA-STS

The importance of Cybersecurity Compliance

There are many ways a company can be non-compliant with cybersecurity. For example, if your company has an outdated firewall, it’s possible that hackers could use your system as a waypoint for their malware attacks. Or if your network is not protected by two-factor authentication, you could be at risk of having your website hacked. Or if your emails are not authenticated, it can pave the way for spoofing attacks and phishing. 

It’s important to note that compliance does not protect against all types of threat vectors. Cybersecurity solutions can help organizations prevent hackers from accessing their networks, preventing theft of intellectual property, protecting physical assets like computers and servers, preventing malware infections that may restrict access to critical systems or information, detecting fraud on online payment transactions and stopping other cyberattacks before they happen.

The enterprise attack surface is enormous, and it’s just getting more significant. To quantify risk, up to several hundred billion time-varying signals effectively must be processed. The amount of signals depends on the size of the company. As a result, it is no longer a human-scale task to analyze and improve cybersecurity posture. This is why we need AI in Cybersecurity. 

To combat this unprecedented challenge, PowerDMARC uses AI-based email security and DMARC solutions to assist information security teams. We reduce the breach risk and improve the security posture of emails more efficiently and effectively. 

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a crucial tool for strengthening the work of human information security teams. AI provides much-needed analysis and threat identification that cybersecurity professionals can utilize to decrease breach risk and improve security posture because humans can no longer adequately protect the dynamic corporate attack surface. In security, AI can identify and prioritize risk, detect malware on a network quickly, lead incident response, and detect intrusions before they occur.

Role of AI in Cybersecurity

An artificial intelligence (AI) system enables machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

The applications of AI in cybersecurity include:

  • Intrusion detection: AI can detect network attacks, malware infections, and other cyber threats.
  • Cyber analytics: AI is also used for analyzing big data to detect patterns and anomalies in an organization’s cybersecurity posture.
  • Secure software development: AI can help create more secure software by providing developers with real-time feedback on whether their code is closed or not.

Cybersecurity professionals have been using AI-based solutions for some time now. However, due to the growing number of cyberattacks, they see the need for more advanced tools and technologies to keep up with the attacks.

The Future of AI in Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence can change everything about how we live and work, including how we protect ourselves from cyber threats. It will enable us to understand risk more accurately than ever before and make decisions quickly without compromising accuracy. It will allow us to detect new attacks faster than ever before. Also, it determines how best to protect ourselves against them without waiting for humans to intervene.

How AI can Help Protect Against Cyberattacks?

AI can’t replace humans, but it does have a role to play in the fight against cyberattacks. Here’s how AI is helping protect against the next cyberattack:

1. Automated Threat Detection

The first way AI can help protect against cyberattacks is by automating threat detection. Machine learning algorithms detect user behaviour or system performance anomalies that may indicate a security breach.

2. Machine Learning

It uses algorithms to analyze large amounts of data and make predictions based on patterns it finds in the data. This is used to train AI systems to recognize previously unknown or unexpected attacks.

3. Predictive Analytics

You can forecast future threats using predictive analytics, such as which employee accounts are most likely to become compromised or what types of attacks are likely to occur on a specific day. This type of analysis helps organizations identify where their security gaps lie to close them before any real damage is done.

4. Anomaly Detection

AI systems also can detect anomalies in network traffic or other data streams by analyzing patterns for similarities or differences between what is expected and what occurs. This type of monitoring can help catch abnormal behaviour before it becomes malicious activity — like someone trying to access confidential information that they shouldn’t.

5. Security Automation

Another way that AI can help protect businesses from cyberattacks is by automating and implementing new security policies and protocols. It protects against major cyberattacks like Spoofing threats, phishing, and others. Automating your cybersecurity implementation can help you: 

  • Save time and effort 
  • Reduce human-error 
  • Provide cost-effective solutions with 100% accuracy 
  • Provide immediately noticeable results 

6. Security Orchestration

AI can automate many routine tasks that consume time and resources today, such as detecting abnormal behaviour or identifying suspicious users on your network. 

Take your Email Authentication to the next level with AI-Driven DMARC Solutions

Your network becomes easier to manage with true AI. While minimizing errors, you may swiftly configure, troubleshoot, and defend your network. And you’re providing a next-level experience when you can repair problems before they affect people.

DMARC Threat Intelligence

The DMARC Threat Intelligence (TI) engine from PowerDMARC helps you set up your protocols swiftly while also identifying potential risks. By monitoring, identifying, and analyzing harmful activities at every step of your email’s journey. The DMARC Threat Intelligence (TI) engine provides enterprises with actionable, timely, and relevant insight.

AI-driven record generator and lookup tools

PowerToolbox contains AI-driven DNS record generator and lookup tools that provide instant results. If you want to start your authentication journey but don’t know where to start, these beginner-friendly tools use artificial intelligence to help you create SPF, DKIM and DMARC records with a click of a button! If you already have protocols set up, you can cross-check the validity of your records using lookup tools.

An automated platform powered by AI

The PowerDMARC platform (DMARC report analyzer dashboard) is fully automated, with the capacity to track IP geolocations, organizations, and email sending sources across a single AI-driven interface, parsing DMARC reports in real-time and arranging data into an organized format.

To safeguard organizations from potential spoofing attacks, phishing attacks and other forms of email fraud, this platform helps you view your DMARC data to hunt down suspicious IPs and take actionable steps against them. 

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a complex issue, but AI can be a powerful tool in helping to protect against attacks. AI enables cybersecurity teams to establish powerful human-machine collaborations that expand our knowledge, enrich our lives, and drive cybersecurity in ways that appear to be larger than the sum of their parts.

With trustworthy partners, you can stay ahead of threats and gain real-time intelligence and security.

The patented DMARC Threat Intelligence (TI) engine from PowerDMARC is your sentry on a 24-hour watch. Their AI-based threat detection solution employs sophisticated algorithms to quickly identify the global blocklists where each IP is listed and the email reputation of the sender hostname. All of this is done at a level of precision that a person could never achieve.

Grab your free DMARC trial now!

PowerDMARC is extending its DMARC Services in France

PowerDMARC, a Delaware-based DMARC and cybersecurity services provider, is announcing their latest partnership with Config, a French IT solutions distributor operating in Paris. A major player in the IT security and network services space in France, Config is looking to expand into the spheres of email security and authentication seeking out the best DMARC services in France.

“Config is one of our first major distributors in Europe,” said Faisal Al Farsi, Co-Founder, and CEO of PowerDMARC. “It’s a big step for us as a growing email authentication platform because France is a very progressive country for pioneering tech in cyberspace. We’re really looking forward to expanding operations there and seeing increased DMARC adoption across Europe as a whole.”

For the last 20 years, Config has been a part of the growth of IT solutions and security in France. They boast a number of established clients that rely on their expertise to secure their network systems, servers and more. One of their hallmarks is providing tailor-made services that are fine-tuned to their clients’ needs, enabling them to act on security incidents quickly and effectively. 

Through this strategic partnership, Config has their sights on DMARC authentication services going big in France and securing their positions as the leading distributor of advanced PowerDMARC technology. By adding PowerDMARC solutions to their already wide array of solutions and implementing DMARC services in France, they’re expected to make an impact in helping businesses both big and small secure their brands against spoofing attacks and email compromise.

Zouhir El Kamel, Founder and CEO of Config, commented on the new partnership. “There’s a lot of ground to be covered,” he said. “French businesses have only begun to recognize the importance of DMARC authentication in the last few years. We already have an established base of operations in France, Switzerland, Morocco and Africa, and puts us in a good position to help businesses in these countries get the security they need. With PowerDMARC’s platform, we’re confident we can make a difference.”


CONFIG (www.config.fr) is a value-added distributor  who accompanies more than 1000 integrators, editors and resellers in the sale of solutions distributed in the following ecosystems: 

Security and Cybersecurity Networks  Storage  Virtualisation and Cloud Solutions of  Vidéoprotection Config proposes to his partners  a custom-made support thanks to innovative marketing actions encouraging lead generation, the developed skills via technical trainings and certifications (Approved Center ATC) and a lot of différenciants services to develop the activity of the suppliers and the partners.

Config is headquartered in Paris, France, and now has more than 120 employees and several subsidiaries (Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sub-Saharan Africa).

As a DMARC services provider, we get asked this question a lot: “If DMARC just uses SPF and DKIM authentication, why should we bother with DMARC? Isn’t that just unnecessary?”

On the surface it might seem to make little difference, but the reality is very different. DMARC isn’t just a combination of SPF and DKIM technologies, it’s an entirely new protocol by itself. It has several features that make it one of the most advanced email authentication standards in the world, and an absolute necessity for businesses.

But wait a minute. We’ve not answered exactly why you need DMARC. What does it offer that SPF and DKIM don’t? Well, that’s a rather long answer; too long for just one blog post. So let’s split it up and talk about SPF first. In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s a quick intro.

What is SPF?

SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication protocol that protects the email receiver from spoofed emails. It’s essentially a list of all IP addresses authorized to send email through your (the domain owner) channels. When the receiving server sees a message from your domain, it checks your SPF record that’s published on your DNS. If the sender’s IP is in this ‘list’, the email gets delivered. If not, the server rejects the email.

As you can see, SPF does a pretty good job keeping out a lot of unsavoury emails that could harm your device or compromise your organisation’s security systems. But SPF isn’t nearly as good as some people might think. That’s because it has some very major drawbacks. Let’s talk about some of these problems.

Limitations of SPF

SPF records don’t apply to the From address

Emails have multiple addresses to identify their sender: the From address that you normally see, and the Return Path address that’s hidden and require one or two clicks to view. With SPF enabled, the receiving email server looks at the Return Path and checks the SPF records of the domain from that address.

The problem here is that attackers can exploit this by using a fake domain in their Return Path address and a legitimate (or legitimate-looking) email address in the From section. Even if the receiver were to check the sender’s email ID, they’d see the From address first, and typically don’t bother to check the Return Path. In fact, most people aren’t even aware there is such a thing as Return Path address.

SPF can be quite easily circumvented by using this simple trick, and it leaves even domains secured with SPF largely vulnerable.

SPF records have a DNS lookup limit

SPF records contain a list of all the IP addresses authorized by the domain owner to send emails. However, they have a crucial drawback. The receiving server needs to check the record to see if the sender is authorized, and to reduce the load on the server, SPF records have a limit of 10 DNS lookups.

This means that if your organization uses multiple third party vendors who send emails through your domain, the SPF record can end up overshooting that limit. Unless properly optimized (which isn’t easy to do yourself), SPF records will have a very restrictive limit. When you exceed this limit, the SPF implementation is considered invalid and your email fails SPF. This could potentially harm your email delivery rates.

 

SPF doesn’t always work when the email is forwarded

SPF has another critical failure point that can harm your email deliverability. When you’ve implemented SPF on your domain and someone forwards your email, the forwarded email can get rejected due to your SPF policy.

That’s because the forwarded message has changed the email’s recipient, but the email sender’s address stays the same. This becomes a problem because the message contains the original sender’s From address but the receiving server is seeing a different IP. The IP address of the forwarding email server isn’t included within the SPF record of original sender’s domain. This could result in the email being rejected by the receiving server.

How does DMARC solve these issues?

DMARC uses a combination of SPF and DKIM to authenticate email. An email needs to pass either SPF or DKIM to pass DMARC and be delivered successfully. And it also adds one key feature that makes it far more effective than SPF or DKIM alone: Reporting.

With DMARC reporting, you get daily feedback on the status of your email channels. This includes information about your DMARC alignment, data on emails that failed authentication, and details about potential spoofing attempts.

If you’re wondering about what you can do to not get spoofed, check out our handy guide on the top 5 ways to avoid email spoofing.

Breaking Down DMARC Myths

For a lot of people, it’s not immediately clear what DMARC does or how it prevents domain spoofing, impersonation and fraud. This can lead to serious misconceptions about DMARC, how email authentication works, and why it’s good for you. But how do you know what’s right and what’s wrong? And how can you be sure you’re implementing it correctly? 

PowerDMARC is here to the rescue! To help you understand DMARC better, we’ve compiled this list of the top 6 most common misconceptions about DMARC.

Misconceptions about DMARC

1. DMARC is the same as a spam filter

This is one of the most common things people get wrong about DMARC. Spam filters block incoming emails that is delivered to your inbox. These can be suspicious emails sent from anyone’s domain, not just yours. DMARC, on the other hand, tells receiving email servers how to handle outgoing emails sent from your domain. Spam filters like Microsoft Office 365 ATP don’t protect against such cyberattacks. If your domain is DMARC-enforced and the email fails authentication, the receiving server rejects it.

2. Once you set up DMARC, your email is safe forever

DMARC is one of the most advanced email authentication protocols out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely self-sufficient. You need to regularly monitor your DMARC reports to make sure emails from authorized sources are not being rejected. Even more importantly, you need to check for unauthorized senders abusing your domain. When you see an IP address making repeated attempts to spoof your email, you need to take action immediately and have them blacklisted or taken down.

3. DMARC will reduce my email deliverability

When you set up DMARC, it’s important to first set your policy to p=none. This means that all your emails still get delivered, but you’ll receive DMARC reports on whether they passed or failed authentication. If during this monitoring period you see your own emails failing DMARC, you can take action to solve the issues. Once all your authorized emails are getting validated correctly, you can enforce DMARC with a policy of p=quarantine or p=reject.

4. I don’t need to enforce DMARC (p=none is enough)

When you set up DMARC without enforcing it (policy of p=none), all emails from your domain—including those that fail DMARC—get delivered. You’ll be receiving DMARC reports but not protecting your domain from any spoofing attempts. After the initial monitoring period (explained above), it’s absolutely necessary to set your policy to p=quarantine or p=reject and enforce DMARC.

5. Only big brands need DMARC

Many smaller organizations believe that it’s only the biggest, most recognizable brands that need DMARC protection. In reality, cybercriminals will use any business domain to launch a spoofing attack. Many smaller businesses typically don’t have dedicated cybersecurity teams, which makes it even easier for attackers to target small and medium-sized organizations. Remember, every organization that has a domain name needs DMARC protection!

6. DMARC Reports are easy to read

We see many organizations implementing DMARC and having the reports sent to their own email inboxes. The problem with this is that DMARC reports come in an XML file format, which can be very difficult to read if you’re not familiar with it. Using a dedicated DMARC platform can not only make your setup process much easier, but PowerDMARC can convert your complex XML files into easy-to-read reports with graphs, charts, and in-depth stats.

PowerDMARC has now extended DMARC services in Bahrain in partnership with NGN. Mr. Yaqoob Al Awadhi, CEO of NGN International, a full-fledged systems integrator and IT consultant headquartered in Bahrain, has spoken out regarding email security and spoofing. In a statement, he said that emails have become one of the most common methods of internet fraud employed to steal money and sensitive data from individuals and organizations alike.

He revealed that his company will be partnering with PowerDMARC, a Delaware-based DMARC solutions provider, to launch an email authentication and anti-spoofing platform in Bahrain to provide the most powerful cybersecurity standards for email.

“If there’s one thing common to nearly all major data breaches and internet scams you’ve read about in the news, it’s that they start with email,” Mr. Al Awadhi said. “These breaches may cost companies and organizations losses amounting to tens or possibly hundreds of millions of dinars or dollars.”

He explained that the attackers use the organization’s domain to send emails to their associates and customers asking for login credentials, credit card details, or fake offers. He added that phishing emails are one of the easiest ways for cyber attackers to compromise an organization’s security, which called for adopting DMARC services in Bahrain.

“As a business owner, you want to make sure that your customers, partners and organizations you deal with only see emails you’ve sent yourself, not fake emails that appear to originate from your domain and can be used to steal information,” Mr. Al Awadhi added.

Extending DMARC Services in Bahrain

Mr. Faisal Al Farsi, Co-Founder and CEO of PowerDMARC explained that their partnership with NGN is to increase adoption of their email authentication platform in Bahrain and Saudi to protect brands from business email compromise (BEC). PowerDMARC builds on widely deployed email verification techniques: SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) along with newer protocols like BIMI, MTA-STS & TLS-RPT. To make their security systems even more airtight, they make use of an AI-driven threat intelligence engine to detect and take down IPs abusing your domain.

“PowerDMARC uses the latest email authentication protocols and monitoring from a 24/7 Security Operations Center to protect corporate domains from being compromised,” said Mr. Al Farsi. “The technology specialists at NGN will tailor security solutions specifically for organizations based on their needs. From configuring SPF, DKIM and DMARC records, to setting up the dashboard, to achieving full DMARC enforcement, NGN will take care of the heavy lifting for the client. The end result is a secure domain and a DMARC implementation that allows the client to monitor the email traffic easily.”