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Email authentication is a crucial aspect of an email provider’s job. Email authentication also known as SPF and DKIM checks the identity of an email provider. DMARC adds to the process of verifying an email by checking if an email has been sent from a legitimate domain through alignment, and specifying to receiving servers how to respond to messages failing authentication checks. Today we are going to discuss the various scenarios that would answer your query on why is DMARC failing.

DMARC is a key activity in your email authentication policy to help prevent forged “spoofed” emails from passing transactional spam filters. But, it’s just one pillar of an overall anti-spam program and not all DMARC reports are created equal. Some will tell you the exact action mail receivers took on each message, and others will only tell you if a message was successful or not. Understanding why a message failed is as important as knowing whether it did. The following article explains reasons for which messages fail DMARC authentication checks. These are the most common reasons (some of which can be easily fixed) for which messages can fail DMARC authentication checks.

Common Reasons Why Messages Can Fail DMARC

Identifying why is DMARC failing can be complicated. However I will go over some typical reasons, the factors that contribute to them, so that you as the domain owner can work towards rectifying the problem more promptly.

DMARC Alignment Failures

DMARC makes use of domain alignment to authenticate your emails. This means that DMARC verifies whether the domain mentioned in the From address (in the visible header) is authentic by matching it against the domain mentioned in the hidden Return-path header (for SPF) and DKIM signature header (for DKIM). If either matches, the email passes DMARC, or else DMARC fails.

Hence, if your emails are failing DMARC it can be a case of domain misalignment. That is neither SPF nor DKIM identifiers are aligning and the email is appearing to be sent from an unauthorized source. This however is just one of the reasons why is DMARC failing.

DMARC Alignment Mode 

Your protocol alignment mode also plays a huge role in your messages passing or failing DMARC. You can choose from the following alignment modes for SPF authentication:

  • Relaxed: This signifies that if the domain in the Return-path header and the domain in the From header is simply an organizational match, even then SPF will pass.
  • Strict: This signifies that only if the domain in the Return-path header and the domain in the From header is an exact match, only then SPF will pass.

You can choose from the following alignment modes for DKIM authentication:

  • Relaxed: This signifies that if the domain in the DKIM signature  and the domain in the From header is simply an organizational match, even then DKIM will pass.
  • Strict: This signifies that only if the domain in the DKIM signature and the domain in the From header is an exact match, only then DKIM will pass.

Note that for emails to pass DMARC authentication, either SPF or DKIM need to align.  

Not Setting Up Your DKIM Signature 

A very common case in which your DMARC may be failing is that you haven’t specified a DKIM signature for your domain. In such cases, your email exchange service provider assigns a default DKIM signature to your outbound emails that doesn’t align with the domain in your From header. The receiving MTA fails to align the two domains, and hence, DKIM and DMARC fails for your message (if your messages are aligned against both SPF and DKIM).

Not Adding Sending Sources to Your DNS 

It is important to note that when you set up DMARC for your domain, receiving MTAs perform DNS queries to authorize your sending sources. This means that unless you have all your authorized sending sources listed in your domain’s DNS, your emails will fail DMARC for those sources that are not listed, since the receiver would not be able to find them in your DNS. Hence, to ensure that your legitimate emails are always delivered be sure to make entries on all your authorized third party email vendors that are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain, in your DNS.

In Case of Email Forwarding

During email forwarding the email passes through an intermediary server before it ultimately gets delivered to the receiving server. During email forwarding SPF check fails since the IP address of the intermediary server doesn’t match that of the sending server, and this new IP address is usually not included within the original server’s SPF record. On the contrary, forwarding emails usually don’t impact DKIM email authentication, unless the intermediary server or the forwarding entity makes certain alterations in the content of the message.

As we know that SPF inevitably fails during email forwarding, if in case the sending source is DKIM neutral and solely relies on SPF for validation, the forwarded email will be rendered illegitimate during DMARC authentication. To resolve this issue, you should immediately opt for full DMARC compliance at your organization by aligning and authenticating all outgoing messages against both SPF and DKIM, as for an email to pass DMARC authentication, the email would be required to pass either SPF or DKIM authentication and alignment.

Your Domain is Being Spoofed

If you have your DMARC, SPF and DKIM protocols properly configured for your domain, with your policies at enforcement and valid error-free records, and the problem isn’t either of the above-mentioned cases, then the most probable reason why your emails are failing DMARC is that your domain is being spoofed or forged. This is when impersonators and threat actors try to send emails that appear to be coming from your domain using a malicious IP address.

Recent email fraud statistics have concluded that email spoofing cases are on the rise in recent times and are a very big threat to your organization’s reputation. In such cases if you have DMARC implemented on a reject policy, it will fail and the spoofed email will not be delivered to your recipient’s inbox. Hence domain spoofing can be the answer to why is DMARC failing in most cases.

We recommend that you sign up with our free DMARC Analyzer and start your journey of DMARC reporting and monitoring.

  • With a none policy you can monitor your domain with DMARC (RUA) Aggregate Reports and keep a close eye on your inbound and outbound emails, this will help you respond to any unwanted delivery issues
  • After that we help you shift to an enforced policy that would ultimately aid you in gaining immunity against domain spoofing and phishing attacks
  • You can take down malicious IP addresses and report them directly from the PowerDMARC platform to evade future impersonation attacks, with the help of our Threat Intelligence engine
  • PowerDMARC’s DMARC (RUF) Forensic reports help you gain detailed information about cases where your emails have failed DMARC so that you can get to the root of the problem and fix it

Prevent domain spoofing and monitor your email flow with PowerDMARC, today!

Is DMARC Required?

If you run an organization that makes use of a substantial amount of email flow on a daily basis, chances are you have already come across the term “DMARC”. So what is DMARC? Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance is your email checkpoint on your receiver’s side that helps you authenticate your outbound emails as well as respond to situations where these emails have questionable legitimacy. DMARC offers several advantages and it is especially useful in today’s world where remote-working environments are being adopted and electronic communication has become the most commonly used method of interaction for businesses. Let’s list down the 5 important reasons why is DMARC required in the context of today:

1) DMARC Helps Mitigate Impersonation Attacks

Ever since the news of the COVID-19 vaccine broke out worldwide in February 2021, cyber attackers took advantage of the situation to create forged emails using authentic company domains, offering vaccine lures to employees and customers. Several users, especially aged citizens fell victim to the lures and ended up losing money. This explains why is DMARC required now more than ever.

A new form of BEC (Business Email Compromise) has recently taken the internet by storm, exploiting loopholes in Microsoft 365’s read receipts and manipulating authentication protocols to evade spam filters and security gateways. Sophisticated social engineering attacks like these can easily bypass robust security measures and trick unsuspecting customers into submitting their credentials.

DMARC minimizes the chances of BEC and domain spoofing attacks and helps secure your emails from fraud and impersonation. This is because DMARC works differently than your ordinary integrated security gateways that come with your cloud-based email exchange services, offering a way for domain owners to decide how they want receiving servers to respond to emails failing SPF/DKIM email authentication protocols.

2) DMARC Improves Email Deliverability

When your email domain gets spoofed, your receivers who have been interacting with your brand  for years are the last people to be suspicious of fraudulent activities from your side. Hence, they readily open the spoofed emails and fall prey to these attacks. However, the next time they receive an email from you, even if the message is authentic and from an authorized source they would be reluctant to open your email. This will drastically impact your email deliverability, as well as your company’s email marketing strategies and agendas.

However, DMARC can improve email deliverability by almost 10% over time! DMARC is required for you to remain in complete control of your domain by choosing which messages get delivered to your recipients’ inboxes. This keeps illegitimate emails at bay and makes sure legitimate emails always get delivered without delay.

3) DMARC Aggregate Reports Help You Gain Visibility

DMARC Aggregate reports can help you view your authentication results and mitigate errors in email delivery at a faster pace. It helps you gain insight on sending sources and IP addresses that are sending emails on behalf of your domain and failing authentication. This helps you track down malicious IP addresses as well, explaining why is DMARC required.

PowerDMARC’s DMARC aggregate reports are available in 7 distinctive views on the platform that helps you gain an unfiltered perspective on your email sending sources and hostnames, like never before! Additionally, we provide you with the option to instantly convert your DMARC reports into PDF documents that you can share with your whole team, as well as create a schedule for them to be emailed to you at regular intervals.

4) DMARC Forensic Reports Help You Respond to Forensic Incidents

DMARC forensic reports are generated whenever a forensic incident is triggered, such as when the outbound email fails SPF or DKIM authentication. Such an incident may be triggered in case of domain spoofing attacks when an email domain is forged by an impersonator using a malicious IP address to send a fraudulent message to an unsuspecting receiver that appears to be coming from an authentic source they know and can trust. Forensic reports provide in-detail analysis of malicious sources that may have attempted to spoof you, so that you can take action against them and prevent future incidents.

Note that forensic reports are highly detailed and may contain your mail body. However, you can avoid disclosing your email contents while viewing your DMARC forensic reports by encrypting your reports with a private key that only you have access to, with PowerDMARC.

5) DMARC Helps Improve Your Domain Reputation

A good domain reputation is like a feather in your cap, as the domain owner. A good domain reputation indicates to receiving email servers that your emails are legitimate and from reliable sources and hence are less likely to be marked as spam or land up in the junk folder. DMARC helps you improve your domain reputation by validating your message sources and indicates that your domain has extended support towards secure protocols by implementing standard email authentication practices like SPF and DKIM.

With this, it is evident why is DMARC required, and can prove to be beneficial for your business! So the next step is :

How to Configure DMARC for Your Domain?

PowerDMARC’s DMARC Analyzer can help you implement DMARC in 4 easy steps:

  • Publish your SPF, DKIM and DMARC record in your domain’s DNS
  • Sign up with PowerDMARC to gain access to your DMARC aggregate and forensic reports and monitor your email flow
  • Shift from a policy of monitoring to DMARC enforcement, to gain maximum protection against BEC and spoofing
  • Stay under the SPF 10 lookup limit with PowerSPF

Sign up today for your free DMARC Analyzer and avail of the multiple benefits of DMARC today!

Email spoofing is a growing problem for an organization’s security. Spoofing occurs when a hacker sends an email that appears to have been sent from a trusted source/domain. Email spoofing isn’t a new concept. Defined as “the forgery of an email address header in order to make the message appear to be sent from someone or somewhere other than the actual source,” it has plagued brands for decades. Whenever an email is sent, the From address doesn’t display what server the email was actually sent from—instead it displays whatever domain is entered during the address creation process, thereby raising no suspicion among email recipients.

With the amount of data passing through email servers today, it should come as no surprise that spoofing is an issue for businesses.At the end of 2020,  we found that phishing incidents rose by a staggering 220% compared to the yearly average during the height of global pandemic fears.. Since not all spoofing attacks are carried out on a large scale, the actual number could be much higher. It is 2021, and the problem seems to be only worsening with each passing year. This is why brands are availing of secure protocols to authenticate their emails and steer clear of the malicious intentions of threat actors.

Email Spoofing: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Email spoofing is used in phishing attacks to trick users into thinking the message came from a person or entity they either know or can trust. A cybercriminal uses a spoofing attack to trick recipients into thinking the message came from someone it didn’t. This lets attackers harm you without letting you trace them back. If you see an email from the IRS saying that they sent your refund to a different bank account, it may be a spoofing attack. Phishing attacks can also be carried out via email spoofing, which is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details (PIN numbers), often for malicious ends. The term comes from ‘fishing’ for a victim by pretending to be trustworthy.

In SMTP, when outgoing messages are assigned a sender address by the client application; outbound emails servers have no way to tell if the sender address is legitimate or spoofed. Hence, email spoofing is possible because the email system used to represent email addresses does not provide a way for outgoing servers to verify that the sender address is legitimate. This is why large industry players are opting for protocols like SPF, DKIM and DMARC to authorize their legitimate email addresses, and minimize impersonation attacks.

Breaking Down the Anatomy of an Email Spoofing Attack

Each email client uses a specific application program interface (API) to send email. Some applications allow users to configure the sender address of an outgoing message from a drop- down menu containing email addresses. However, this ability can also be invoked using scripts written in any language. Each open mail message has a sender address that displays the address of the originating user’s email application or service. By reconfiguring the application or service, an attacker can send email on behalf of any person.

Let’s just say that now it is possible to send thousands of fake messages from an authentic email domain! Moreover, you don’t have to be an expert in programming to use this script. Threat actors can edit the code according to their preference and begin sending a message using another sender’s email domain. This is exactly how an email spoofing attack is perpetrated.

Email Spoofing as a Vector of Ransomware

Email spoofing paves the way for the spread of malware and ransomware. If you don’t know what ransomware is, it is a malicious software which perpetually blocks access to your sensitive data or system and demands an amount of money (ransom) in exchange for decrypting your data again. Ransomware attacks make organizations and individuals lose tons of money every year and lead to huge data breaches.

DMARC and email authentication also acts as the first line of defense against ransomware by protecting your domain from the malicious intentions of spoofers and impersonators.

Threats Involved for Small, Medium and Large Businesses

Brand identity is vital to a business’s success. Customers are drawn to recognizable brands and rely on them for consistency. But cybercriminals use anything they can to take advantage of this trust, jeopardizing your customers’ safety with phishing emails, malware, and email spoofing activities. The average organization loses between $20 and $70 million a year due to email fraud. It is important to note that spoofing can involve trademark and other intellectual property violations as well, inflicting a considerable amount of damage to a company’s reputation and credibility, in the following two ways:

  • Your partners or esteemed customers can open a spoofed email and end up compromising their confidential data. Cybercriminals can inject ransomware into their system leading to financial losses, through spoofed emails posing to be you. Therefore the next time they might be reluctant to open even your legitimate emails, making them lose faith in your brand.
  • Recipient email servers can flag your legitimate emails as spam and lodge them in the junk folder due to deflation in server reputation, thereby drastically impacting your email deliverability rate.

Either ways, without an ounce of doubt, your customer-facing brand will be on the receiving end of all complications. Despite the efforts of IT professionals, 72% of all cyber attacks begin with a malicious email, and 70% of all data breaches involve social engineering tactics to spoof company domains – making email authentication practices like DMARC, a critical priority.

DMARC: Your One-Stop Solution against Email Spoofing

Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an email authentication protocol which when implemented correctly can drastically minimize email spoofing, BEC and impersonation attacks. DMARC works in unison with two standard authentication practices- SPF and DKIM, to authenticate outbound messages, providing a way to specify to receiving servers how they should respond to emails failing authentication checks.

Read more about what is DMARC?

If you want to protect your domain from the malicious intentions of spoofers, the first step is to implement DMARC correctly. But before you do so, you need to set up SPF and DKIM for your domain. PowerDMARC’s free SPF and DKIM record generators can aid you in generating  these records to be published in your DNS, with a single click. After successfully configuring these protocols, go through the following steps to implement DMARC:

  • Generate an error-free DMARC record using PowerDMARC’s free DMARC record generator
  • Publish the record in your domain’s DNS
  • Gradually move to a DMARC enforcement policy of p=reject
  • Monitor your email ecosystem and receive detailed authentication aggregate and forensic (RUA/RUF) reports with our DMARC analyzer tool

Limitations to Overcome While Achieving DMARC Enforcement

You have published an error-free DMARC record, and moved to a policy of enforcement, and yet you are facing issues in email delivery? The problem can be far more complicated than you think. If you didn’t already know, your SPF authentication protocol has a limit of 10 DNS lookups. However, if you used cloud-based email service providers and various third-party vendors, you can easily exceed this limit. As soon as you do so, SPF breaks and even legitimate emails fail authentication, leading your emails to land in the junk folder or not being delivered at all.

As your SPF record gets invalidated due to too many DNS lookups, your domain again becomes vulnerable to email spoofing attacks and BEC. Therefore staying under the SPF 10 lookup limit is imperative to ensure  email deliverability. This is why we recommend PowerSPF, your automatic SPF flatenner, that shrinks your SPF record to a single include statement, negating redundant and nested IP addresses. We also run periodical checks to monitor changes made by your service providers to their respective IP addresses, ensuring that your SPF record is always up-to-date.

PowerDMARC assembles a range of email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, MTA-STS, TLS-RPT and BIMI to give your domain a reputation and deliverability boost. Sign up today to get your free DMARC analyzer.

Phishing is a type of attack vector that involves a website or email that looks as if it is from a reputable organization but is actually created with the intent of gathering sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (also known as Card Data). Phishing attacks are common in the online world. When your company falls victim to a phishing attack, it can cause brand name harm and interfere with your search engine ranking or conversion rate. It should be a priority for marketers to protect against phishing attacks because they are a direct reflection of your company’s consistencies. Hence, as marketers, we need to proceed with extreme caution when it comes to phishing scams.

Phishing scams have been around for many years. Don’t worry if you didn’t hear about it before, it isn’t your fault. Some say that the cyber scam was born 10 years ago but phishing officially became a crime in 2004. As Phishing techniques continue to evolve, encountering a new phishing email can quickly become confusing, and sometimes it’s hard to tell if the message is legitimate or not. You can better protect yourself and your organization by being alert to these five common phishing techniques.

5 Common Phishing Terms You Need to Know

1) Email Phishing 

Phishing emails are usually sent out in bulk from a domain that mimics a legitimate one. A company might have the email address [email protected], but a phishing company might use [email protected] The goal is to fool you into clicking on a malicious link or sharing sensitive information by pretending to be a real company you do business with.  A fake domain often involves character substitution, like using ‘r’ and ‘n’ next to each other to create ‘rn’ instead of ‘m’.

Phishing attacks are constantly evolving and getting more and more undetectable with time. Threat actors are using social engineering tactics to spoof domains and send fraudulent emails from a legitimate domain, for malicious ends.

2) Spear Phishing 

The spear phishing attack is a new form of cyber attack that uses false information to gain access to accounts that have a higher level of security. Professional attackers have a goal of compromising a single victim, and in order to carry out this idea, they research the company’s social profile and the names and role of employees within that company. Unlike phishing, Spear phishing is a targeted campaign against one organization or individual. These campaigns are carefully constructed by threat actors with the sole purpose of targeting a specific person(s) to gain access into an organization.

3) Whaling

Whaling is a highly targeted technique that can compromise the emails of higher-level associates. The objective, which is similar to other phishing methods, is to trick employees into clicking on a malicious link. One of the most devastating email attacks to pass through corporate networks is the whaling scam. These attempts at personal gain using powers of persuasion to lower victims’ resistance, tricking them into handing over company funds.Whaling is also known as CEO fraud, as attackers often impersonate people in authoritarian positions such as the CEO of a company.

4) Business Email Compromise 

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a form of cyber crime which can be extremely costly to businesses. This type of cyber attack uses email fraud to influence organizational domains into partaking on fraudulent activity resulting in the compromise and theft of sensitive data. Examples of BEC can include invoice scams, domain spoofing and other forms of impersonation attacks. Each year an average organization can lose up to $70 million dollars to BEC scams. In a typical attack, fraudsters target specific employee roles within an organization by sending a series of fraudulent emails that claim to be from a senior colleague, customer or business partner. They may instruct recipients to make payments or release confidential data.

5) Angler Phishing 

Many corporations have thousands of customers and receive hundreds of complaints daily. Through social media, companies are able to escape the confines of their limitations and reach out to their customers. This enables a corporation to be flexible and adjust to the demands of their customers. Angler phishing is the art of reaching out to disgruntled customers over social media and pretending to be part of a company.The angler phishing scam is a simple ploy used to trick casual social media users into thinking that a company is trying to remedy their problems, when in reality, the person on the other end is taking advantage of them.

How to Protect Your Organization from Phishing and Email Fraud

Your email service provider may come with integrated security packages as a part of their service. These however act as spam filters that offer protection against inbound phishing attempts. However, when an email is being sent by scammers using your domain name to recipient inboxes, like in case of BEC, whaling and other forms of impersonation attacks listed above, they won’t serve the purpose. This is why you need to avail of email authentication solutions like DMARC, immediately and shift to a policy of enforcement.

  • DMARC authenticates your emails by aligning them against SPF and DKIM authentication standards.
  • It specifies to receiving servers how they should respond to emails failing authentication checks.
  • DMARC aggregate (RUA) reports provide you with enhanced visibility into your email ecosystem and authentication results, and helps you monitor your domains easily.
  • DMARC forensic (RUF) reports give you in-depth analysis of your DMARC failure results, helping you respond to impersonation attacks faster.

How Can PowerDMARC Help Your Brand?

PowerDMARC is more than just your DMARC service provider, it is a multi-tenant SaaS platform that provides a wide range of authentication solutions and DMARC MSSP programs. We make email authentication easy and accessible for every organization, from small businesses to multinational enterprises.

  • We help you move from p=none to p=reject in no time, so as to protect your brand from impersonation attacks, domain spoofing and phishing.
  • We help you easily configure DMARC reporting for your with comprehensive charts and tables and RUA report views in 6 different formats for ease of use and amplified visibility
  • We cared about your privacy, so you can encrypt your DMARC RUF reports with your private key
  • We help you generate scheduled PDF reports on your authentication results
  • We provide dynamic SPF flattening solution like PowerSPF so that you never exceed the 10 DNS lookup limit
  • We help you make TLS encryption mandatory in SMTP, with MTA-STS to protect your domain from pervasive monitoring attacks
  • We help you make your brand visually identifiable in your recipient inboxes with BIMI

Sign up with PowerDMARC today to get your free DMARC analyzer tool trial, and shift from a policy of monitoring to enforcement to provide your domain maximum protection against BEC, phishing and spoofing attacks.

How to Stop My Emails from Going to the Junk Folder?

A very common question asked by domain owners is “why are my emails landing up in the junk folder instead of the recipients’ inboxes?”. Now it is important to note that the underlying reason behind emails going to the junk folder is never unidirectional, but can be due to various reasons starting from simple inducements like a poorly written email to more complex causes like in case your domain name has been previously used for spam. In either of the cases, your emails landing in the spam folder drastically affects your email deliverability rate and domain reputation. 

If you want to quickly resolve this obstacle all while ensuring that your emails always reach their designated destinations in future, you have come to the right place. Without beating around the bush much, let’s get right into the solution for stopping your emails from getting flagged as spam: opt for email authentication solutions from a reliable service provider today!

How Does Email Authentication Improve Email Deliverability?

Remember that it is all about boosting your domain’s reputation and ensuring that your domain is not used to carry out malicious activities like spoofing or phishing attacks and BEC. This is exactly what an email authentication protocol like DMARC does. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an industry-recommended email authentication standard that makes use of SPF and DKIM to authenticate email messages sent from your domain. DMARC exists in your domain’s DNS as a DNS TXT record specifying to receiving servers how they should treat emails that fail authentication (probable spoofing/phishing emails sent by threat actors using your domain name).

However, it isn’t as easy and it appears to be. Simply publishing a DMARC record would not protect you against email fraud, rather it might worsen the situation in case you have incorrectly configured your authentication protocols. For implementing DMARC correctly you need to set up SPF and DKIM for your domain with the correct syntax and policy mode. Furthermore, only a DMARC policy level of enforcement (p=reject/quarantine) can adequately protect your domain against BEC and spoofing.

Keeping all of this in mind, eventually with DMARC you can observe a more than 10% increase in your email deliverability rate and a noticeable decrease in the number of emails landing in the spam folder.

How Can I Properly Configure DMARC to Stop Being Marked as Spam?

You can follow the steps given below to setup DMARC correctly for your domain:

  • Make a note of all authorized sending sources that can send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • Setup SPF for your domain completely free of cost, with PowerDMARC’s  free SPF record generator.
  • Configure DKIM for your domain with PowerDMARC’s free DKIM record generator.
  • Configure DMARC for your domain with PowerDMARC’s free DMARC record generator.
  • Lookup and validate your records.
  • Monitor your authentication results and email flow with automatically generated and easy to comprehend DMARC aggregate and forensic reports using our DMARC analyzer tool, so that you can shift from a none policy to DMARC enforcement in no time!

You can find all the record generators in the PowerDMARC toolbox

Additional Recommendations on Stopping Emails from Going to the Junk Folder

Stay under the SPF hard limit

You may not be aware of this but SPF authentication comes with a DNS lookup limit of 10. Exceeding this limit invalidates your SPF record causing SPF to break and even legitimate emails to fail authentication checks. In such cases an SPF permerror result is returned if you have enabled DMARC monitoring for your domain. Hence, staying under the SPF 10 DNS Lookup Limit is imperative to ensure your emails reach your recipients’ inboxes.

Report abusive IP addresses

Blacklisting abusive IP addresses that are using your domain name to conduct fraud can be an important step towards ensuring that similar incidents do not take place in the future. Our DMARC analyzer can help your report malicious addresses from all around the world, in real-time, to make sure they can no longer use your domain for fraudulent activities again!

Gain 100% DMARC compliance

Align emails sent via your domain against both SPF and DKIM authentication standards to gain 100% DMARC compliance. This would considerably improve your senders’ reputation over time and minimize the chances of your emails being flagged as spam.

Sign up with PowerDMARC today to get your free DMARC and take the first step towards preventing your emails from going to the junk folder!

Email serves as a critical channel for B2B lead generation and customer communications, but it is also one of the most widely targeted channels for cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are always innovating their attacks in order to steal more information and financial assets. As organizations continue to fight back with stronger security measures, cybercriminals must constantly evolve their tactics and improve their phishing and spoofing techniques. In 2021, a drastic increase in the use of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) based phishing attacks that are going undetected by traditional email security solutions have been detected by security researchers from around the world. The main aim of these attacks are to manipulate human behaviour and trick people into performing unauthorized actions – like transferring money to fraudsters’ accounts.

While the threat of email-based attacks and email fraud are always evolving, don’t stay behind. Know the email fraud trends that will take place in the following years in terms of fraudster tactics, tools, and malware. Through this blog post I’ll show you how cybercriminals are developing their tactics, and explain how your business can prevent this kind of email attack from taking place.

Types Of Email Fraud Scams to Beware of in 2021

1. Business Email Compromise (BEC)

COVID-19 has compelled organizations to implement remote-working environments and shift to virtual communication between employees, partners and customers. While this has a few benefits to list down, the most apparent down-side is the alarming rise in BEC over the past year. BEC is a broader term used for referring to email-based cyber attacks like email spoofing and phishing. The common idea is that a cyber attacker uses your domain name to send emails to your partners, customers or employees trying to steal corporate credentials to gain access to confidential assets or initiate wire transfers. BEC has affected more than 70% organizations over the past year and has led to the loss of billions of dollars worth of company assets.

2. Evolved Email Phishing Attacks

Email phishing attacks have drastically evolved in the past few years although the motive has remained the same, it is the medium to manipulate your trusted partners, employees and clients into clicking on malicious links encapsulated within an email that appears to be sent from you, in order to initiate installation of malware or credential theft. Evolved email scammers are sending phishing emails that are hard to detect. From writing impeccable subject lines and error-free content to creating fake landing pages with a high level of accuracy, manually tracing their activities have become increasingly difficult in 2021.

3. Man-In-The-Middle

Gone are the days when attackers sent out poorly-written emails that even a layman could identify as fraudulent. Threat actors these days are taking advantage of SMTP security problems like the use of opportunistic encryption in email transactions between two communicating email servers, by eavesdropping on the conversation after successfully rolling back the secured connection to an unencrypted one. MITM attacks like SMTP downgrade and DNS spoofing have been increasingly gaining popularity in 2021.

4. CEO Fraud

CEO fraud refers to the schemes that are being conducted that target high-level executives in order to gain access to confidential information. Attackers do this by taking the identities of actual people such as CEOs or CFOs and sending a message to people at lower levels within the organization, partners and clients, tricking them into giving away sensitive information. This type of attack is also called Business Email Compromise or whaling. In a business setting, some criminals are venturing to create a more believable email, by impersonating the decision-makers of an organization. This allows them to ask for easy money transfers or sensitive information about the company.

5. COVID-19 Vaccine Lures

Security researchers have unveiled that hackers are still trying to capitalize on the fears tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent studies shed light on the cybercriminal mindset, revealing a continued interest in the state of panic surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and a measurable uptick in phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attacks targeting company leaders. The medium for perpetrating these attacks is a fake COVID-19 vaccine lure that instantly raises interest among email receivers.

How Can You Enhance Email Security?

  • Configure your domain with email authentication standards like SPF, DKIM and DMARC
  • Shift from DMARC monitoring to DMARC enforcement to gain maximum protection against BEC, CEO fraud and evolved phishing attacks
  • Consistently monitor email flow and authentication results from time to time
  • Make encryption mandatory in SMTP with MTA-STS to mitigate MITM attacks
  • Get regular notifications on email delivery issues with details on their root causes with SMTP TLS reporting (TLS-RPT)
  • Mitigate SPF permerror by staying under the 10 DNS lookup limit at all times
  • Help your recipients visually identify your brand in their inboxes with BIMI

PowerDMARC is your single email authentication SaaS platform that assembles all email authentication protocols  like SPF, DKIM, MTA-STS, TLS-RPT and BIMI on a single pane of glass. Sign up today to get your free DMARC analyzer!