DMARC : Need of enforcement in financial institutes

Is this piece of Email legitimate or just a really good fake mail trying to deceive you?

E-mails perpetuate a lot of attacks and are involved in more than 90% of malware and spoofing attacks. When there was no DMARC, organizations found it really tough to figure out if the mail is legit or not and they would leave it to the end users to figure out if the mail is legitimate.

That is why email senders have to navigate through a very complicated anti- spam filter pathway to reach their email safely to the destination.

With the evolution of DMARC, individuals and organizations find it easy to filter out legitimate or fake emails.

What is DMARC?

Domain based Message Authentication Reporting Conformance, is a technology that makes it easy to identify the legitimacy of an Email. DMARC is built on two underlying technologies namely SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). DMARC provides a pathway to what you need to do with the spoofed Email and also feedback to the sender.

 SPF works on your DNS servers and restricts who can send emails from your domain. Domain spoofing is one of the major issues that are hard to find and SPF can prevent domain spoofing. It enables your mail server to determine if the message came from the domain that it uses.

DKIM ensures that the content of your emails remains trusted and hasn’t been tampered with or compromised. . It is a way to add a tamper-proof seal to your E-mail that you’re vouching for the authenticity of the E-mail. It was initially proposed in 2007 and has been updated several times.

DKIM has three major elements: a policy framework as its name implies, an authentication method and specialized headers in the actual email itself that convey this information.

The Trio, we need today. DMARC, DKIM, SPF

DMARC is published in the DNS by the domain owner, alongside SPF and DKIM. It’s a simple one-line record. It is complementary to each other technology. Each solves a somewhat different piece of the email puzzle to forestall phishing and spam. This is accomplished via a combination of standard authentication and encryption tools, such as public and private key signing, and adding special DNS records to authenticate email coming from your domains.

How it works

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Implementing SPF is a no-brainer but you unquestionably need to be careful, because you’re telling users to reject anything that comes from any other mail servers that are not listed in the authorized list, make sure your authorized list is complete, to avoid any legitimate mail getting obstructed.

If both SPF and DKIM tests are being passed your DMARC alignment is final and implemented. Reporting is an important part of DMARC as it sends reports to those who have been targeting you that will help you to find the targeting party.

DMARC reports also help you find if any of your legitimate E-mails are getting blocked accidentally, if yes you can simply update your SPF list, then you can upgrade your policy to “Quarantine” or “Reject”

Need of DMARC in financial setting

Many financial companies don’t see the value in protecting their domains, and this gives attackers free rein to a vast amount of domains, which they use as the channel for sending legitimate looking messages to deceive an individual from the public or within your organization. But, you need to understand its importance especially in financial institutes.

The perk of employing DMARC is that you’ll be able to control how many of your emails are considered legitimate and finally get to your recipients’ main inboxes or if someone’s trying to impersonate you and send emails on your behalf.

Adding to that, It will also protect the company’s reputation. Suppose someone is pretending to be you and trying to trick people into giving them money or some personal info, it reflects badly on your company. DMARC helps to avoid that.

Many firms are trying to implement DMARC policy and leading the way but still only a third of them are adopting the DMARC protocols. To contact us, drop us a mail at [email protected]

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