Posts

PowerDMARC, a leading DMARC and email security services provider based in Delaware, USA, is joining hands with the security experts at Huntmetrics. As a leading cybersecurity services provider in India and Qatar, Huntmetrics is signing on as a value-added reseller of DMARC and related products.

“We’re really looking forward to this partnership,” said Faisal Al Farsi, Co-Founder and CEO of PowerDMARC. “As we expand our operations around the world, we rely more on experienced and well-connected partners. The people at Huntmetrics have been in security for decades now, and we couldn’t think of anyone better to help us bring DMARC to more businesses globally.”

Huntmetrics specializes in cybersecurity, application security and risk assessment, offering a plethora of services including security testing, vulnerability management, and security compliance. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, they have a strong presence across the subcontinent as well as Qatar and Kuwait. Their driving business philosophy is not to pitch products based on profitability, but rather offer “practical solutions that work”.

Through this partnership, they seek to expand their catalogue of services and help businesses combat domain spoofing. By integrating PowerDMARC’s products into their ecosystem, they’re looking to push DMARC compliance rates across Asia and secure brands against impersonation and phishing attacks.

“Email security is an exciting frontier for us,” said Huntmetrics Founder and CEO, Ayub Shaikh. “With domain spoofing attacks growing more frequent, the PowerDMARC platform is exactly what brands need to protect themselves. We already have a mature roster of cybersecurity offerings, and we’re looking forward to a fresh new addition to keep giving our clients the best experience possible.”

Ayub Shaikh

 

One of the easiest ways to put yourself at risk of losing your data is to use email. No, seriously — the sheer number of businesses that face data breaches or get hacked because of an email phishing scam is staggering. So why do we still use email, then? Why not just use a more secure mode of communication that does the same job, only with better security?

It’s simple: email is incredibly convenient and everyone uses it. Pretty much every organization out there uses email either for communication or marketing. Email is integral to how business works. But the biggest flaw of email is something that’s unavoidable: it requires humans to interact with it. When people open emails, they read the contents, click on links, or even enter personal information. And because we don’t have the time or ability to carefully scrutinize every email, there’s a chance that one of them ends up being a phishing attack.

Attackers impersonate well-known, trusted brands to send emails to unsuspecting individuals. This is called domain spoofing. The recipients believe the messages to be genuine and click on malicious links or enter their login information, putting themselves at the attacker’s mercy. As long as these phishing emails continue entering people’s inboxes, email won’t be totally safe to use.

How Does DMARC Make Email Secure?

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is an email authentication protocol designed to combat domain spoofing. It uses two existing security protocols—SPF and DKIM—to protect users from receiving fraudulent email. When an organization sends email through their domain, the receiving email server checks their DNS for a DMARC record. The server then validates the email against SPF and DKIM. If the email successfully authenticates, it gets delivered to the destination inbox.

 

 Look up and generate records for DMARC, SPF, DKIM and more with Power Toolbox for free!

 

Only authorized senders are validated through SPF and DKIM, which means if someone tried to spoof their domain, the email would fail DMARC authentication. If that happens, the DMARC policy set by the domain owner tells the receiving server how to handle the email.

What is a DMARC Policy?

When implementing DMARC, the domain owner can set their DMARC policy, which tells the receiving email server what to do with an email that fails DMARC. There are 3 policies:

  • p=none
  • p=quarantine
  • p = reject

If your DMARC policy is set to none, even emails that don’t pass DMARC get delivered to the inbox. This is almost like not having a DMARC implementation at all. Your policy should only be set to none when you’re just setting up DMARC and want to monitor the activity in your domain.

Setting your DMARC policy to quarantine sends the email to the spam folder, while reject outright blocks the email from the receiver’s inbox. You need to have your DMARC policy set to either p=quarantine or p=reject in order to have full enforcement. Without enforcing DMARC, users receiving your emails will still receive emails from unauthorized senders spoofing your domain.

But all of this raises an important question. Why doesn’t everyone just use SPF and DKIM to verify their emails? Why bother with DMARC at all? The answer to that is…

DMARC Reporting

If there’s one key shortcoming of SPF and DKIM, it’s that they don’t give you feedback on how emails are being processed. When an email from your domain fails SPF or DKIM, there’s really no way to tell, and no way to fix the issue. If someone’s trying to spoof your domain, you wouldn’t even know about it.

That’s what makes DMARC’s reporting feature such a game-changer. DMARC generates weekly Aggregate Reports to the owner’s specified email address. These reports contain detailed information about which emails failed authentication, which IP addresses they were sent from, and lots more useful, actionable data. Having all this information can help the domain owner see which emails are failing to authenticate and why, and even identify spoofing attempts.

So far, it’s pretty clear that DMARC benefits email recipients by protecting them from unauthorized phishing emails. But it’s the domain owners that are implementing it. What advantage do organizations get when they deploy DMARC?

DMARC For Brand Safety

Although DMARC wasn’t created with this purpose, there’s one major advantage organizations stand to gain by implementing it: brand protection. When an attacker impersonates a brand to send malicious emails, they’re effectively co-opting the brand’s popularity and goodwill to peddle a scam. In a survey conducted by the IBID Group, 83% of customers said that they’re concerned about purchasing from a company that was previously breached.

The intangible elements of a transaction can often be as powerful as any hard data. Consumers put a lot of trust in the organizations they buy from, and if these brands become the face of a phishing scam, they stand to lose not only the customers who got phished, but many others who heard about it in the news. Brand safety is fragile, and must be guarded for the sake of the business and the customer.

 

There’s more to brand safety than just DMARC. BIMI lets users see your logo next to their emails! Check it out:

 

DMARC enables brands to take back control of who gets to send emails through their domain. By shutting out unauthorized senders from exploiting them, organizations can ensure only safe, legitimate emails go out to the public. This not only boosts their domain’s reputation with email providers, but it also goes a long way in ensuring a relationship built on trust and reliability between the brand and consumers.

DMARC: Making Email Safe for Everyone

DMARC’s purpose has always been greater than helping brands safeguard their domains. When everyone adopts DMARC, it creates an entire email ecosystem inoculated against phishing attacks. It works exactly like a vaccine — the more people that enforce the standard, the smaller the chances of everyone else falling prey to fake emails. With each domain that gets DMARC-protected, email as a whole becomes that much safer.

By making email safe for ourselves, we can help everyone else use it more freely. And we think that’s a standard worth upholding.

 

 

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

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

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

How Does Domain Spoofing Work?

Domain spoofing attacks are pretty simple to understand.

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

 

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

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

How to Stop Email Spoofing?

1. Modify Your SPF Record

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

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

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

3. Implement DKIM

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

4. Set The Right DMARC Policy

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

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

5. Upload Your Brand Logo To BIMI

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

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

Sign up for your free DMARC analyzer today!

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

About the Cloud Security Alliance

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

 

PowerDMARC, one of the leading DMARC solutions providers, has announced their newest Executive Advisory Board Member. Dr. Saqib Ali, Ph.D., an information systems expert, IT professional and business analyst is slated to join the company as an advisor in the month of May.

Dr. Saqib Ali is serving as the Head of the Information Systems Department at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, and for the last 12 years has held various distinguished positions such as the Director of the Information Systems Program and Associate Professor. He had previously held the roles of Associate Professor and Visiting Fellow at UNSW Canberra and La Trobe University, where he completed his Ph.D. in computer science.

“With Dr. Saqib Ali joining our Advisory Board, we hope to get a new perspective on our business models,” said Faisal Al Farsi, Co-Founder of PowerDMARC. “His work in academia and research is extensive, and I can’t wait to see what fresh thinking he can bring to the company. We’re all looking forward to working with him, a partnership that I’m sure will benefit both of us.”

Dr. Saqib Ali’s research and body of academic work at the Sultan Qaboos University has extended to publishing and participation in various leading conferences, seminars and workshops around the world. His experience in academic and empirical research is expected to help PowerDMARC expand on their current sphere of thought, giving them new, innovative strategies to approach ever more competitive international markets.