Encryption is optional in SMTP which implies that emails can be sent in plaintext. Mail Transfer Agent-Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS) is a relatively new standard that enables mail service providers to enforce Transport Layer Security (TLS)  to secure SMTP connections, and to specify whether the sending SMTP servers should refuse to deliver emails to MX hosts that do not support TLS. It has been proven to successfully mitigate TLS downgrade attacks and Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks.

Enabling MTA-STS is simply not enough as you require an effective reporting mechanism to detect failures in establishing an encrypted channel. SMTP TLS Reporting (TLS-RPT) is a standard that enables the reporting of issues in TLS connectivity that is experienced by applications that send emails and detect misconfigurations. It enables the reporting of email delivery issues that take place when an email isn’t encrypted with TLS.

Easy MTA-STS Implementation with PowerMTA-STS

Implementing MTA-STS is an arduous task that involves a lot of complexities during adoption. From generating policy files and records to maintaining the web server and hosting certificates, it is a long drawn process. PowerDMARC has got you covered! Our hosted MTA-STS services provide the following benefits:

  • Publish your DNS CNAME records with just a few clicks
  • We take the responsibility of maintaining the policy web server and hosting the certificates
  • You can make MTA-STS policy changes instantly and with ease, through the PowerDMARC dashboard, without having to manually make changes to the DNS
  • PowerDMARC’s hosted MTA-STS services are RFC compliant and support the latest TLS standards
  • From generating certificates and MTA-STS policy files to policy enforcement, we help you evade the tremendous complexities involved in adopting the protocol

Why Do Emails Require Encryption in Transit?

Since security had to be retrofitted in SMTP to make sure it was backward compatible by adding the STARTTLS command to initiate TLS encryption, in case the client doesn’t support TLS the communication falls back to cleartext. This way emails in transit can fall prey to pervasive monitoring attacks like MITM, wherein cybercriminals can eavesdrop on your messages, and alter and tamper with information by replacing or deleting the encryption command (STARTTLS), making the communication roll back to plaintext.

This is where MTA-STS comes to the rescue, making TLS encryption mandatory in SMTP. This helps in reducing the threats of MITM, DNS Spoofing and Downgrade attacks.

After successfully configuring MTA-STS for your domain, what you need is an efficient reporting mechanism that would help you detect and respond to issues in email delivery due to problems in TLS encryption at a faster pace. PowerTLS-RPT does exactly that for you!

Receive Reports on Email Delivery Issues with PowerTLS-RPT

TLS-RPT is fully integrated into the PowerDMARC security suite so that as soon as you sign up with PowerDMARC and enable SMTP TLS Reporting for your domain, we take the pain of converting the complicated JSON files containing your reports of email delivery issues, into simple, readable documents that you can go through and understand with ease!

On the PowerDMARC platform, TLS-RPT aggregate reports are generated in two formats for ease of use, better insight, and enhanced user-experience:
  • Aggregate Reports Per Result
  • Aggregate Reports Per Sending Source

Moreover, PowerDMARC’s platform automatically detects and subsequently conveys the issues you are facing, so that you can promptly address and resolve them in no time.

Why Do You Need SMTP TLS Reporting?

In case of failures in email delivery due to issues in TLS encryption, with TLS-RPT you will get notified. TLS-RPT provides enhanced visibility on all your email channels so that you gain better insight on all that is going on in your domain, including messages that are failing to be delivered. Furthermore, it provides in-depth diagnostic reports that enable you to identify and get to the root of the email delivery issue and fix it without any delay.

For getting hands-on knowledge on MTA-STS and TLS-RPT implementation and adoption, view our detailed guide today!

Configure DMARC for your domain with PowerDMARC, and deploy email authentication best practices like SPF, DKIM, BIMI, MTA-STS and TLS-RPT, all under one roof. Sign up for a free DMARC Trial today!

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