If you’re sending unencrypted data through your email, you might want to protect yourself from a data loss situation. That’s where email data loss prevention with DMARC comes in handy. Email data loss prevention (DLP) with DMARC introduces a new layer of protection for your email campaign.
DMARC is beneficial in enforcing protocols and standards for a strong email data loss prevention implementation. Therefore, preventing an organization’s sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
What is Email Data Loss?
When you’re talking about email data loss, you’re talking about the hacker having access to your emails. It could be through a password reset, or it could be through a phishing attack. Either way, your emails are at risk.
Email data loss is a common problem for businesses and individuals. When email data is lost, it can be difficult to recover.
It can happen for many reasons. While the most common cause is human error—someone who accidentally clicks the wrong button or types in the wrong URL. Other causes include viruses, malware, and nefarious interceptions, that corrupt an organization’s email flow.
How can loss of email data occur?
Email data loss can occur due to the following circumstances:
- Your email account is compromised
- Your email domain is forged
- As a result of man-in-the-middle-attacks
- As a result of DNS spoofing attacks
- As a result of email interception in transit
- Accidentally deleted or leaked information
- Emails being marked as spam on the receiver’s side
Does DMARC help in mitigating Email Data Loss?
DMARC can prove to be useful against email data loss by allowing email systems to identify and handle messages that may not be legitimate.
Email data loss prevention with DMARC protects the organization’s email domain and other personally identifiable information (PII) exchanged via email from being disclosed to unintended recipients.
To achieve compliance on your emails, you need to deploy some email authentication protocols and strategies such as:
- SPF and DKIM protocols to identify messages as being from someone who is authorized to send them
- Emails are sent to the right recipients
- No data leak or communication interception takes place during online email transactions
This in turn also offers a high degree of protection against email spoofing, phishing, and ransomware attacks deployed via mail.
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a process that goes beyond alerts and reports to protect your most sensitive data by enforcing compliance rules. Below we describe how DMARC fits in this very proactive DLP solution with its multiple email security benefits.
1. DMARC Sends Domain Visibility Reports
DMARC is a registry of domain ownership, which acts as a single source of truth for all domains that are sending email messages. DMARC allows your receivers to send aggregate reports that provide a wealth of information about your sending sources and authentication status that helps in identifying spam, phishing, and other nefarious activities that could result in email data loss.
These reports contain information such as the sender’s SMTP address, the recipient’s SMTP address, and the subject line, and more advanced insights like authorized and unauthorized IP addresses being used to send emails from your domains, the percentage of messages being properly authenticated, and the instances where protocols (DMARC, SPF, DKIM) were broken.
Such visibility allows you to take an informed approach toward improving your email channel, which can help prevent data loss.
2. Stops the Delivery of Invalid & Spammy Outgoing Messages
Email data loss can result in the misplacement of valuable company data in the wrong hands.. It also affects your reputation as a company because people will not trust you if they know that you have lost their confidential information.
DMARC helps stop the deliverability of redundant/unwanted messages from spammy sources that forge your domain name.
For instance, DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) uses public-key cryptography to sign messages from a domain and verify their authenticity. This means there’s no data loss while it’s en route to the receiving server.
This also prevents man-in-the-middle attackers from attempting to intercept messages before they reach the intended recipient.
3. Stops Incoming Messages from Spoofed Email Addresses
Email spoofing occurs when an attacker sends a message that appears to be coming from your legitimate domain. These fraudulent messages generally contain phishing links and ransomware attachments. This can result in your company’s employees or customers being fooled into opening the attachment or clicking on the link, installing malware on their computer system, and compromising their security.
DMARC uses SPF to prevent incoming and outgoing spam messages from spoofed email addresses. SPF does this by matching the IP address of a sender to the one listed in the domain owner’s SPF DNS record.
When receiving servers spot a different IP address–the IP address that does not match the one in your domain’s SPF records–being used to illegitimately email messages on the behalf of your domain, it knows that message has not been sent from the real owner of the domain. Such messages fail SPF authentication and can be flagged as spam or fraudulent.
4. Receive Instant Alerts on Changes in Email Infrastructure
When it comes to email data loss, the only thing worse than not having an alert system is having one that isn’t sensitive enough. As a domain owner, you need to be able to know immediately when changes have been made to your email infrastructure so you can take steps to respond to those changes effectively if they aren’t made by you.
That’s where DMARC comes in. It gives companies a way of monitoring their email infrastructure with a high degree of sensitivity because it checks for signs of abuse and other suspicious activity. If something looks off, it sends an alert straight away so you can act on it right away before anyone else does.
This means that if there is a new rule added or changed, you will receive an alert. This is helpful when it comes to preventing email data loss at scale because it lets you know immediately if there has been a breach in the email system.
5. Determines Who’s Sending Spam
One of the most important parts of DMARC is that it reduces the risk of your email being abused by attackers who want to leverage your company’s domain name for malicious purposes. It does this by adding a record in DNS for each email sent from your domain, which allows you to look at who’s sending Spam and why.
DMARC: Not Enough?
DMARC is not enough to prevent email data loss that can occur due to reasons other than phishing, ransomware or spoofing attacks. This is why you need to include other measures for well-rounded compliance. Listed below are a few:
- Backup & Restore – This is a no-brainer because it’s on every computer user’s list of things they need to do with their computers. All you have to do is backup all your important files on a regular basis so if anything goes wrong then they won’t be lost forever.
- Patch up – It sounds like an obvious thing but not everyone knows how important it is. If there is something wrong with your operating system then patches need to be installed right away so that nothing goes wrong with your email server or any other software-related issues which result in losing all those important files again
- Use two-step verification for all of your accounts
- Keep your password strong and unique
- Use a spam filter that uses machine learning technology
- Use a reputable email service provider with a track record of protecting customer data.
- Make sure that the email service provider’s servers are located in the same country as your company’s servers, so that they can be monitored and regulated by local authorities if necessary.
- Don’t store sensitive information on your personal devices or in the cloud, but rather use dedicated servers for that purpose only.
We’re Here to Help Prevent Email Data Loss with DMARC
Email is a powerful communication tool for businesses—but it can also be leveraged as a destructive weapon if it falls into the wrong hands.
Fortunately, by monitoring your authentication results, you can ensure that emails are never sent or received by unauthorized individuals.
And that’s exactly what our DMARC report analyzer does!
This DMARC analyzer tool plays a pivotal role in email data loss prevention helping you monitor your compliance level through the months, receive email alerts on forensic incidents, encrypt your forensic data to prevent data leakage, and shift to enforced policies for your authentication protocols to stop attacks in real-time.