Maximizing Your DMARC Data: Essential Steps to Take After Collection for Better Email Security

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Collecting your first DMARC data is an important step toward securing your email domain. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is an email authentication protocol that helps organizations protect their email domains from being used for phishing attacks and other malicious activities. 

Effective Utilization of DMARC Data: Key Steps to Take After Collection.

There are a few things you should do after gathering your first set of DMARC data to make sure you are utilising this data effectively.

  • Analyse your DMARC reports: Analysing your reports should be the first step you take after gathering your DMARC data. DMARC reports include useful details on the usage of your email domain, such as the source IP addresses, sending domains, and authentication outcomes. You can identify any possible hazards and take precautions by analysing this information.
  • Validate your SPF and DKIM records: SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain-Keys Identified Mail) are two critical components of DMARC. They help ensure that the email messages sent from your domain are legitimate. After collecting your DMARC data, it’s important to validate your SPF and DKIM records to ensure they are correctly configured.
  • Address any false positive DMARC reports: False positive DMARC reports can occur when legitimate email messages are marked as failures by the receiving mail server. To address false positive DMARC reports, you should identify the source of the failure and make the necessary changes to your SPF or DKIM records to resolve the issue.
  • Implement DMARC policy: Once you have validated your SPF and DKIM records and addressed any false positive DMARC reports, it’s time to implement a DMARC policy. A DMARC policy defines how email messages sent from your domain should be handled by the receiving mail server. The policy should specify the action to be taken (e.g., reject, quarantine, or accept) for messages that fail DMARC authentication.

Example DMARC policy record:

v=DMARC1; p=reject; pct=100; rua=mailto:dmarc_aggregate@example.com; ruf=mailto:dmarc_forensic@example.com;

In this example, the policy record states that all messages that fail DMARC authentication should be rejected (p=reject), and 100% of the messages should be subject to the policy (pct = 100). The DMARC aggregate reports will be sent to dmarc_aggregate@example.com (rua=mailto:dmarc_aggregate@example.com), and the DMARC forensic reports will be sent to dmarc_forensic@example.com (ruf=mailto:dmarc_forensic@example.com).

  • Monitor DMARC implementation: Once you have implemented your DMARC policy, it’s essential to monitor its implementation to ensure it is effective. Regularly checking your DMARC reports will help you spot any problems and take action to fix them.  Additionally, monitoring your DMARC implementation will help you understand the impact of your DMARC policy and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Update your DMARC policy (as needed): DMARC is an evolving standard, and it’s essential to keep your DMARC policy up to date. As the threat landscape changes, you may need to update your DMARC policy to ensure it remains effective. Additionally, as your email infrastructure changes, you may need to update your SPF and DKIM records, which can impact your DMARC policy. 

In a nutshell, collecting your first DMARC data is like unlocking the door to email security. You can protect your email domain from phishing and malicious attacks by going through the procedures to validate SPF and DKIM records, deal with false positives, implement a DMARC policy, monitor implementation, and keep it updated.  And by educating employees and stakeholders, you can reinforce your email security even further. 

The first and most crucial step is DMARC data collection, despite the fact that it comes after. By taking action, you secure your email communications and protect your organization from harm.

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