Individuals and businesses alike are concerned about email security. As the severity of cyber risks grows, it is critical to have strong preventative measures in place to avoid email fraud, phishing, or other email-based assaults. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is one such measure that helps protect email domains from spoofing and phishing attacks. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to read DMARC summary email reports and why they are essential for email security.
What is DMARC?
Email spoofing or phishing assaults are two of the most popular types of cyber threats, which can result in data breaches, economic difficulties, and reputational harm. Since attackers may simply mimic a valid email domain and deliver fraudulent communications to unwary recipients, email domains are especially susceptible to these sorts of assaults.
DMARC is a standard that seeks to address this problem by allowing email domain owners to post policies that designate which methods are permitted to send emails on their behalf. This allows email recipients to verify whether a message is real or fraudulent by evaluating the transmitting domain’s DMARC policy.
DMARC policies work in conjunction with two other authentication mechanisms, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain-Keys Identified Mail (DKIM). SPF is an email authentication mechanism that verifies the IP address of the email sender and checks whether it is authorized to send email from the domain. DKIM is an email authentication mechanism that uses digital signatures to verify that the message content has not been tampered with in transit.
When DMARC is enabled, email recipients may determine if a message has passed both SPF and DKIM tests, as well as whether it satisfies the transmitting domain’s DMARC policy criteria. If any of these tests fail, the email recipient can opt to reject, quarantine, or flag the message as spam.
In essence, DMARC is a robust protocol that allows email domain owners to post policies that indicate which methods are authorised to send emails on behalf of their domain, which helps to protect email domains against spoofing and phishing attacks. When combined with SPF and DKIM, it creates a strong foundation for email authentication that aids in increasing email security for both people and enterprises.
DMARC Summary Email Reports
DMARC summary email reports provide domain owners with valuable information about the email traffic being sent on behalf of their domain. These reports are sent to the email address specified in the DMARC policy and provide a summary of the email messages that passed or failed DMARC authentication. Reading DMARC summary email reports is essential for domain owners to understand the effectiveness of their DMARC policy and to identify any unauthorized senders using their domain.
Interpreting DMARC Summary Email Reports
DMARC summary email reports contain a wealth of information that can help domain owners identify issues with their email authentication and improve their overall email security. Some of the key metrics that can be found in DMARC summary email reports include:
- Percentage of email messages passing DMARC authentication.
This metric shows the percentage of email messages that passed DMARC authentication. The higher the percentage, the more effective the DMARC policy is at preventing spoofing and phishing attacks.
- Percentage of email messages that failed DMARC authentication.
This metric shows the percentage of email messages that failed DMARC authentication. Domain owners should investigate why these messages failed authentication and take steps to prevent similar messages from being sent in the future.
- Sources of email messages that passed DMARC authentication.
This metric shows the sources of email messages that passed DMARC authentication. Domain owners can use this information to verify that legitimate sources are sending email on their behalf.
- Sources of email messages that failed DMARC authentication.
This metric shows the sources of email messages that failed DMARC authentication. Domain owners should investigate why these sources are sending emails on their behalf and take steps to prevent unauthorized senders from using their domain.
- DMARC policy alignment.
This metric shows whether SPF and DKIM authentication is aligned with the DMARC policy. Domain owners should ensure that their SPF and DKIM policies are properly configured to align with their DMARC policy.
“In God we trust, all others must bring data.”
— W. Edwards Deming
This quote emphasizes the importance of relying on data and evidence rather than assumptions or beliefs. In this context, it’s important to read DMARC summary email reports to gather data and insights on the effectiveness of email authentication measures, rather than assuming that email security measures are working as intended.
Email security is extremely important in today’s digital environment. DMARC is an effective solution for domain owners to use to safeguard their email domains against spoofing and phishing attempts. DMARC summary email reports can assist domain owners discover difficulties with email authentication and give vital insights into the efficacy of a DMARC policy. Domain owners may improve their overall email security and defend themselves from cyberattacks by learning how to interpret DMARC summary email reports.