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Email remains a primary means of communication, making it a significant target for cybercriminals. In January, Google established new rules that will require a sender to meet DMARC requirements in order for emails to be received by Gmail and Google Workspace users. The practical result of this change is you must implement these important security features. But there are other reasons why you might want to consider tightening your email configuration.

There are three tangentially related security enhancements a company can configure to secure their email: SPF, DMARC, and DKIM. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is a crucial security protocol designed to protect email domains from being used in phishing and email spoofing attacks. The implementation of DMARC enhances the email authentication mechanisms SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). While SPF verifies that emails are sent from authorized IP addresses and DKIM ensures the integrity of the message, DMARC adds an additional layer by instructing email servers on how to handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks. This article provides you all you need know about SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

Recently, a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory was issued which outlined security concerns impacting those that have either have no DMARC record or implemented the DMARC configuration of p=none. It is notable that CISA previously recommended a minimum policy of p=none. To address the newly discovered threat, the alert urges companies and organizations to set their DMARC policy to one of two configurations, “v=DMARC1; p=quarantine;” or “v=DMARC1; p=reject;” which will cause receiving email servers to essentially flag the spoofed emails as spam.

Adopting DMARC fosters trust among recipients. As phishing and spoofing attacks often leverage familiar brands to deceive users, having a DMARC policy in place reassures recipients that the emails they receive are authentic. This trust is particularly important for businesses that rely on email for marketing, customer service, and communication. By securing their email channels with DMARC, organizations not only protect their own data and reputation but also contribute to a safer online ecosystem. In conclusion, the implementation of DMARC is a vital step for any organization seeking to safeguard its email communications and maintain the trust of its stakeholders.

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