DMARC visibility arms you with all the information needed to manage domain reputation and helps differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate services. You can automate the discovery process of third-party cloud services and your domain to observe nefarious activities attempted using your business name.
DMARC visibility can be gained through, DMARC aggregate and DMARC forensic reports, and hosted DMARC services.
Proper DMARC visibility can help you stay abreast of phishing and impersonation attacks that can tarnish your brand image and leave the victims vulnerable to financial losses and privacy invasions. In fact, as per the FBI’s IC3 report 2022, it filed 300,497 phishing scheme complaints with a loss of $83,883,493 and $75,614,466 to BEC attacks and investment frauds, respectively.
DMARC visibility helps you combat phishing attacks and spamming attempted using your business name and monitor the authentication status for emails sent on your company’s behalf using the official email-sending domain. The sending sources include employees, third-party SaaS providers, board members, etc. DMARC visibility gives assurance that all legitimate emails are delivered as intended.
How to Gain DMARC Visibility?
To attain DMARC visibility and enjoy peace of mind, you need to ensure the following-
1. Email Header Analysis
Email header analysis can provide valuable insights and visibility into the DMARC implementation and effectiveness of your email domain. By examining the email headers, you can gather information about the authentication mechanisms used, message routing, and potential issues that may affect DMARC alignment.
Here are a few ways email header analysis can help you gain DMARC visibility:
- Authentication Results: Email headers contain authentication results, such as SPF and DKIM signatures. By analyzing these headers, you can determine if the email passed or failed authentication checks. DMARC relies on SPF and DKIM alignment to verify the authenticity of the sender, and email header analysis can reveal any issues with these authentication mechanisms.
- DMARC Alignment: DMARC requires both SPF and DKIM to pass and align with the “From” domain. Email header analysis can help you determine if the email passed these alignment checks. If the headers show that SPF or DKIM failed or didn’t align properly, it indicates potential issues with your email configuration or potential spoofing attempts.
- Forwarding and Routing Information: Email headers include information about the servers and systems that handled the email’s delivery. By analyzing these headers, you can identify any forwarding or relaying services that might modify the email, potentially impacting DMARC alignment. This visibility can help you understand how your emails traverse different systems and identify potential misconfigurations or sources of alignment failure.
DMARC Aggregate Report Views
An extensive aggregate reporting mechanism provides real-time DMARC visibility into email setup. DMARC RUA aggregate reports give details about sending sources, sending domains, sender’s IP addresses, the volume of emails exchanged, percentage of emails compliant with DMARC and DKIM and SPF verification results.
For the best DMARC visibility, these reports are generated once a day, every day in XML format. Since the XML file format is tricky to be understood by non-technical people, we at PowerDMARC convert them into easy to comprehend tabular format.
A raw DMARC aggregate report includes:
- Details about the reporting organization which include the Report ID number, the reporting organizational name, sending address, alternative contact details, and the beginning and ending of date range.
- Information about the published DMARC DNS record that includes the sending domain, SPF and DKIM alignment settings, the domain and subdomain policy mode, and the number of emails failed the verification checks.
- DKIM and SPF verification check summary.
Setup to Receive DMARC Aggregate Reports for DMARC Visibility
Start by generating a DMARC record to allow DMARC to send reports to the sender to verify successful authentication checks. Your DMARC record includes the RUA tag like this:
rua = mailto:[email protected]
The receiving mailbox’s ISP delivers report at the email ID entered in the RUA or aggregate reporting tag. These are then delivered once a day, daily. You need to set a ‘ri’ tag that represents the reporting interval so that reports are delivered after predefined and fixed intervals. It’s set to 24 hours by default; you can modify it as required.
2. DMARC Forensic Reports
Another way to gain DMARC visibility is through DMARC forensic reports that are produced when outgoing emails sent from your domain fail to align with SPF and DKIM authentication protocols. This eventually results in failed DMARC authentication checks. Thus, these reports help evaluate and spot domain spoofing and brand impersonation attempts made by cyber actors.
The primary purpose of DMARC forensic reports is to flag forensic activities like unauthorized IPs making a spoofing attempt on your domain. A forensic report is different from an aggregate report as it’s more extensive and is sent right when any email fails authentication checks.
Setup to Receive DMARC Forensic Reports for DMARC Visibility
To start receiving DMARC forensic reports, you need to first comply with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. This has to be followed by including RUF and fo tags in the following manner:
fo=0 produces a DMARC failure report when SPF and DKIM verification checks fails for an email.
fo=1 produces a DMARC failure report when SPF or DKIM generates something different from the aligned ‘pass’ result.
fo=d produces a DKIM failure report due to misalignment between the DKIM signature and mail from domains.
fo=s produces an SPF failure report when an email fails the SPF verification checks.
3. Hosted DMARC Services
Improve email deliverability and gain DMARC visibility with hosted DMARC services that configure and monitor your DMARC solution on a cloud platform with no hassle. This sets you in the position to be in full control of your DMARC compliances without the obligation of knowing the ins and outs of technical details.
4. Hosted DMARC Setup with PowerDMARC
- Create an account on PowerDMARC and sign in.
- Register the domains you want to deploy DMARC for.
- Click on “Hosted DMARC” under “Hosted Services”.
- On the hosted DMARC page, select the domain name from the drop-down list.
- You will see an active status that will confirm that your hosted DMARC services are enabled. You will also find your hosted DMARC record value for the same.
- Now, you will be redirected to the hosted DMARC page where you can change the DMARC policy modes and make updates to your record settings without accessing your DNS.
- Lastly, click on the ‘save record’ button.
To Sum It Up
DMARC visibility is crucial for several reasons. It enables domain owners to monitor the authentication status of emails sent on behalf of their domain, preventing email spoofing and phishing attacks.
By analyzing DMARC reports and email headers, you can ensure that legitimate emails pass authentication checks while unauthorized ones are rejected or flagged. This visibility is essential for protecting your brand reputation, customers, and partners from email fraud. It allows you to detect and address unauthorized use of your domain, identify spoofed emails, and take necessary actions to mitigate risks.
Additionally, DMARC visibility helps you monitor email deliverability, ensuring that your legitimate emails reach recipients’ inboxes effectively. By leveraging DMARC visibility, you can enhance email security, maintain trust, and safeguard against cyber threats.