What is DMARC? – A Detailed Guide
DMARC is an email authentication protocol that allows email domain owners to specify which mechanisms they use to authenticate their email messages and how mail servers receiving messages from their domain should handle authentication failures.
DMARC full form: DMARC stands for “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance”.
DMARC is intended to help combat email fraud and phishing attacks by allowing email recipients to determine whether or not an email message claiming to come from a specific domain is actually from that domain. It functions by allowing domain owners to publish policies that instruct receiving email servers on how to handle messages that fail authentication checks.
What are the Benefits of DMARC?
Here are some of the benefits of implementing DMARC:
- Email Fraud Prevention: You can prevent phishing attacks by using DMARC to identify spoofed emails and prevent them from being delivered to user inboxes.
- Improves Brand Reputation: You can improve your brand reputation by ensuring that only legitimate messages are delivered to recipients’ inboxes.
- Minimizes Spam: You can reduce the amount of spam in your customer’s inboxes by preventing fraudulent messages from reaching them in the first place.
- Provides Visibility: Quickly identify who is sending emails on your behalf without your knowledge using DMARC reports.
- Improves Deliverability: You can improve your email’s deliverability rate by 10% over time by deploying the protocol correctly for your emails.
How does DMARC Work?
What is DMARC’s mode of operation and how does it work? A message is sent from an authorized server to the DMARC-compliant domain’s SPF record and/or DKIM signature, which are stored at the DNS level. If either check passes, the message is delivered; if both fail, the message is rejected and returned as undeliverable (since it didn’t meet SPF or DKIM requirements).
Once you’ve set up DMARC correctly for your domain, you can enable reports about which emails have been authenticated and which haven’t. This helps you identify suspicious messages so you can take action against them quickly—and keep your subscribers safe!
How to set up DMARC?
Setting up DMARC can be a bit technical, but here are the general steps involved:
- Assess your email-sending infrastructure: Before setting up DMARC, you need to have a good understanding of your email-sending infrastructure. This includes identifying all the email servers and third-party services that send emails on your behalf, such as marketing automation platforms, customer service tools, and email delivery services.
- Create a DMARC policy: A DMARC policy tells email receivers how to handle messages that fail DMARC checks. You need to create a DMARC policy for each domain you want to protect. The policy will include the following elements:
- Policy mode: You can choose between two policy modes – “none” and “quarantine” or “reject”. “None” means that the receiver will continue to accept and deliver messages that fail DMARC checks. “Quarantine” or “reject” means that the receiver will send those messages to the spam or junk folder, or even reject them outright.
- Alignment requirements: You can specify the alignment requirements for your domain’s SPF and DKIM records. This means that the domain name in the “From” header of an email must match the domain name in the SPF and/or DKIM record.
- Reporting: You can configure DMARC to send reports to your email address or a third-party service. These reports will provide information on DMARC activity, including the number of emails sent, the number of emails that passed DMARC checks, and the number of emails that failed DMARC
- Publish your DMARC record on your domain’s DNS: You can access your DNS management console to publish your record or take the help of your DNS hosting provider to publish it on your behalf.
What is a DMARC Record?
A DMARC record is a DNS (Domain Name System) record that contains information about the DMARC policy of a domain. It specifies which email authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM) the domain uses to verify incoming emails and what actions to take when an email fails authentication checks, such as quarantining or rejecting the email.n
DMARC records are published in the DNS of the domain and are used by email receivers to determine the authenticity of emails sent from that domain.
What is a DMARC Report?
Email receivers send DMARC aggregate reports to the domain owner’s specified email address on a regular basis, summarising the DMARC evaluation results for all emails received from that domain. These reports give domain owners useful information about their email authentication performance, such as how many emails were authenticated, how many DMARC checks failed, and which email providers are sending the most emails on their behalf.
When an email fails DMARC verification and is quarantined or rejected, email receivers send DMARC forensic reports. These reports provide further information about the email, such as the message header and body, as well as the IP addresses and hostnames of the sending and receiving mail servers. Forensic DMARC reports are useful for troubleshooting DMARC issues and identifying potential sources of email abuse or fraud.
DMARC in Email Security
DMARC and Email Authentication
DMARC is a powerful email authentication protocol that helps protect domains from email fraud and abuse. By using DMARC, domain owners can specify which email authentication protocols (such as SPF and DKIM) to use when authenticating incoming emails and what actions to take when an email fails authentication checks.
DMARC and Domain Spoofing
DMARC is an essential tool in protecting domains from spoofing attacks, which are a type of email-based fraud in which an attacker sends emails that appear to come from a trusted domain. Spoofing attacks can be used for a variety of malicious purposes, such as stealing sensitive information or distributing malware. DMARC helps prevent domain spoofing by authenticating emails sent from your own domain.
DMARC and Phishing Protection
DMARC is a powerful tool in the fight against phishing attacks, which are a type of email-based scam that attempts to trick users into divulging sensitive information or performing malicious actions. By authenticating incoming emails using DMARC policies, domain owners can protect their customers from phishing attempts by ensuring that only legitimate emails are delivered to users’ inboxes.
DMARC and Spam Prevention
DMARC plays a crucial role in preventing spam emails from being delivered to users’ inboxes. By authenticating incoming emails using DMARC policies, domain owners can help email providers distinguish legitimate emails from fraudulent ones, such as phishing or spoofing attempts.
DMARC Resources: What else should you know?
- What is DMARC policy?
- How to read DMARC reports?
- Why is DMARC failing?
- DMARC Requirements
- Is DMARC free?
- What is DMARC compliance?
- What is DMARC enforcement?
- DMARC record generator
- DMARC checker tool
- Top 5 Cybersecurity Managed Services in 2023 - May 29, 2023
- How to Plan a Smooth Transition From DMARC None to DMARC Reject? - May 26, 2023
- How to Check Your Domain’s Health? - May 26, 2023