We should not DIY DMARC or consider it a do-it-yourself project due to the complexity of the process, the need for technical expertise, and the requirement for ongoing monitoring and adjustments. DIYing DMARC can cause technical, configuration and delivery issues.
As the cybersecurity threat landscape continues to evolve and poses a significant hazard toorganizations, implementing DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) becomes paramount. According to a report published in 2022, three out of four Forbes Global 2000 companies have adopted weak key domain security measures—exposing them to high risk of security threats.
There are two ways to implement this protocol— Hosted or Managed DMARC Implementation and Manual / DIY DMARC Implementation.
Why is DIYing DMARC Risky?
DMARC implementation involves understanding and configuring various technical components such as DNS records, SPF, and DKIM, requiring a deep understanding of email protocols and authentication mechanisms. Without proper knowledge and experience, misconfigurations can occur, potentially resulting in blocked legitimate emails or an ineffective DMARC setup.
Furthermore, DMARC requires continuous monitoring, analysis of reports, and policy fine-tuning to ensure its effectiveness in combating email fraud. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional assistance or utilize dedicated DMARC service providers to ensure a successful and robust implementation.
Here are a few reasons why DIYing DMARC is not worth the hassle:
One of the biggest challenges you might face when DIYing DMARC implementation is navigating the technical complexities involved. Creating a timeline of the steps involved in DMARC implementation and actually setting up these protocols correctly requires knowledge of DNS, email headers, and email infrastructure, which can be challenging for someone without prior experience.
Risk of Missing Out on Legitimate Emails
Another disadvantage of the manual DIY approach is the inability to monitor the delivery of legitimate emails, often resulting in a “p=none” status. This fear of potentially losing important emails discourages many individuals from pursuing DIY projects.
Incompatibility with Cloud-Based Infrastructures
It should be noted that email authentication protocols are not designed for cloud-based infrastructures, and since most services that send emails are hosted in the cloud, this leads to the frequent changing of IP addresses each time an email is sent. Subsequently, tracking the association between an IP address and its corresponding service becomes very difficult.
The Challenge of Handling Email Authentication for Numerous Cloud Services
An organization can have numerous cloud services to send emails, of which only a few are well known. This poses a challenge for DMARC vendors who rely on IP addresses to identify and authenticate these services, resulting in a significant number of emails being at risk of being blocked.
Addressing SPF and DKIM Challenges
While DMARC is indeed the best approach to protect your email from spoofing, attempting to implement it solely through a DIY DMARC enforcement approach often falls short of effectively addressing the complications of SPF limitations and DKIM management. To enhance the efficacy of DMARC implementation and improve your overall email security, it is important to automate the process.
Risks of Blocking Legitimate Email and Delayed DNS Updates
Implementing DMARC enforcement manually carries significant risks, especially when it comes to unintentionally blocking legitimate emails. This is owing to the strict change control processes within organizations that often result in delays of days or weeks for each DNS change. Since this update can take several days to be updated, until then, it makes new services susceptible to being blocked by your own DMARC policy.
Comparison Between Hosted and DIYed DMARC
While both hosted and DIY methods are employed to achieve DMARC enforcement to prevent phishing emails from tampering with the organization’s digital infrastructure, they vary in terms of implementation, reliability, and DNS updates, to name a few. To help you make an informed decision on which approach best suits your business needs, here’s a comparison between the hosted DMARC with PowerDMARC and manual DMARC implementation:
|Ease of Implementation||Quick and effortless implementation with white-glove onboarding support and 24-hour expert assistance||manual configuration and setup takes up a lot of time and effort|
|Reliability and Accuracy||Accurate protocol implementation, with policies that suit your company’s needs||Prone to human errors and inconsistencies|
|Employment of Human Resouces||Seamlessly manage your organization’s email authentication systems on a dedicated DMARC analyzer dashboard with a team of experts in the background for assistance at every step||Requires a team of employees to manage and monitor compliances.|
|Aggregate XML Report Process||Eas-to-read, simplified and parsed DMARC reports||Manual retrieval of XML reports|
|DMARC Policy Changes||Instant changes, without requiring any DNS updates||Manual monitoring and adjustment of policies, requiring DNS changes.|
|Alerts||Custom email configurations to alert you about any changes made in your DNS, or forensic incidents||No alerts. Discrepancies are only discovered when the internal team submits a ticket.|
|PDF reports||Download comprehensive PDF reports to share DMARC data with your internal team members.||Reports need to be manually compiled and presented|
Don’t DYI DMARC – Switch to Automation and AI
While opting for a DIY DMARC approach might seem like a cost-effective and convenient solution at first, it can present several challenges and limitations, including limited visibility into sending services, the potential for human errors, and more. Therefore, to ensure a seamless and successful DMARC journey, we recommend relying on PowerDMARC. With our expertise and automated solutionsyou can confidently protect your emails from spoofing while improving email deliverability.
Stop DIYing DMARC, Contact us today to get the most out of your email authentication solutions!
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