Are SPF and DKIM Enough to Protect Your Email Domain Server?

Protect Your Email Domain Server

Emails are the first medium of choice for hackers when they want to target your company or personal finances. If you are operating a business of any size, you are a target for all kinds of email-based online threats. Even a single malicious email can compromise your company for the foreseeable future and so, knowing how to best protect your email should be a top priority for your company. Here are some things you should know about your online email security:

5 Crucial Factors that Affect Your Email Security

  1. SPF and DKIM are not enough

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are email authentication protocols that offer a varying degree of security to online businesses. While they both use the email sender from the header field to authenticate emails, they use it separately which weakens the overall authentication process. 

Only when you look into how these processes align do you gain a sense of real email domain server protection. This is the primary purpose of the DMARC protocol. It brings SPF and DKIM together to make them both more robust. 

The key idea here is to consolidate SPF and DKIM into one single process while also leaving their individual processes still functioning. This means SPF will have its header checked and also get its DNS lookup. At the same time, DKIM will have its header check and also its private domain key checked. This ensures the greatest degree of overlap and thus, the highest degree of anti-spoofing protection.

This combination of both protocols is important for companies but so is the alignment of the two. If you do not use DMARC’s policies and protocol-modification options correctly, they can cause an incorrect overlap and fail to check outgoing emails from your servers. 

  1. Your email domain demands reputation management

When you do not have a strong DMARC record, your domain reputation remains unsecured and is subject to decrease. This is because unknown actors might be using your email domain without your knowledge. They might be targeting other email accounts and servers with phishing emails through your domain. This has a negative impact on your email domain and as a result, your authentic emails may not be getting through well-protected email servers.

This is a major problem if you are working on marketing campaigns with emails at their center. The email domain reputation will lead to automatic spam filters disregarding your DNS records entirely. Even if your email got into a recipient’s inbox, it would be marked suspicious, greatly reducing its chances of getting a positive response. 

It goes without saying that your email marketing executive would love to get a higher email domain reputation through stricter email domain control. By doing so, you can reduce your negative reputation on the internet. Over time, this will also increase your reputation as you keep sending verified emails.

If you have a domain safeguard that prevents your email from spoofing tactics, you will have a far better time with your email marketing campaigns. So, getting a server-level protocol that gives you anti-spoofing coverage and also enhances email traffic data uptake serves all your needs. This is where the DMARC authentication protocol comes into the picture. 

  1. DMARC is your first line of defensive

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance is a very important email authentication protocol introduced in 2012. The protocol was specifically designed to bring together both SPF and DKIM protocols to tie them together under one functional process. This is why all major cybersecurity companies as well as tech firms in the world recommend implementing DMARC on email servers. 

DMARC is not just for combining SPF and DKIM though. It is also used for several other processes such as monitoring email traffic activity and according to emailing privileges. This enables companies to create a safer outgoing email environment which then helps them develop better business relations.

The emailing process improves through the implementation of the policy structure which includes three tiers – none, quarantine, and reject. Seasoned DMARC experts can bring the policies from ‘none’ to ‘reject’ in minimal time. 

Usually, it takes about 4 to 6 months to do this but it is well worth the effort. DMARC policies are meant to help IT admins understand where your email traffic is coming from and how much of it is legit. Once they have done that, they can block off all unauthorized sources and route all email traffic from IP addresses you own or otherwise authorize.   

  1. It offers many other benefits too

DMARC has additional benefits to offer aside from the email authentication process. Its primary objective is to keep unauthorized domain use away and prevent DNS-based spoofing. This prevents many major threats like business email compromise (BEC) and vendor email compromise (VEC) and can help cover both brand impersonation as well as consumer phishing.

At a much deeper level, DMARC also offers tier-based email-sending privileges. Your IT admin can completely cut off access to specified email inboxes. The sheer number of email security options is much wider than you might think. But all of this depends on how you align your SPF and DKIM protocols. This enables your business to create both market-specific and company-centric email authentication criteria.

Does Your Email Domain Server Need DMARC Protection?

DMARC is a critical safety function your domain server might already have installed on it. However, you may not be using it in the best way if you are not keeping proper DMARC records. Also, you must establish the policy structure to best reflect your email domain access privilege. Otherwise, your domains and IP addresses can be spoofed and this means you and your clients are at risk. 

Avoid getting phished by getting EmailAuth, a total DMARC implementation, and management tool. This app helps your company easily manage DMARC’s most powerful policies, implement modifications easily and gain total coverage on your company’s email activity. Get intuitive interface design, easy SaaS-based subscription, and even Managed Services or MSP that help you get the most from your server’s DMARC protocol. 

If you want anti-spoofing protection on your domain server, EmailAuth is perfect for you. Contact us now!

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