It takes years to build trusted relationships with your customers — but as all-too-familiar headlines and recounted tales of woe from IT departments tell us, cybercriminals can abuse that trust to trick your customers, employees, and partners into opening their malicious emails in a matter of minutes.
DMARC, or Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, is an essential email authentication protocol that enables administrators to prevent hackers from hijacking your domains for email spoofing, executive impersonation, and spear phishing attempts. But email is complicated and getting email authentication correct is critical, so that only the spoofed emails are blocked. By implementing DMARC, companies gain unprecedented visibility into legitimate and fraudulent mail sent using their domain names.
The magic of DMARC is the ability to understand all the different mail streams being sent claiming to be from you—third parties, business units, and also by threat actors. The overall impact to companies that have adopted DMARC is preservation of brand equity, elimination of customer support costs related to email fraud, and renewed trust and engagement in a company’s email channel. These are just a few reasons of many why a solution that can ensure DMARC policies are deployed and are effectively being monitored is a necessity for any business that uses email as a communication tool to acquire or retain customers — which is basically ALL of them!
How to Know if a DMARC Report Analyzer Is Apropos
If you or your organization have ever been a target of phishing or business email compromise scams then you know how essential it is to be conducting continuous monitoring of inbound and outbound email, but you also know how time-consuming that can be and how many myriad resources it can drain. If you don’t, then you are either incredibly lucky to have been immune so far, or more likely, you may be one of 66% of the nation’s most prominent companies that remains at risk of impersonation in phishing attacks. The risk is not worth the gamble, as IC3’s recent “Internet Crime Report” corroborated this past March when it reported that over $44 million in losses in 2021 were a direct result of successful phishing campaigns and advanced email scams.
But are you overwhelmed by how to delve into the world DMARC on your own? Not surprising because the acronyms related to DMARC alone can be mind-boggling — from BIMI to DKIM to SPF, you may feel like you need a degree in Linguistics to figure it all out or try to go it alone by curating a solution or taking it on yourself. . .Also, the initial challenges can feel like they outweigh the benefits when you attempt to navigate the DMARC journey solo. The learning curve of DMARC is steep for many reasons, such as:
- Pouring over the aggregate data from DMARC reporting can be daunting to say the least, since it comes in the form of individual XML files that specify domain names, IP addresses, and authentication details. Making sense of the email ecosystem and understanding which subsequent actions to take to improve the authentication status of domains is difficult and error-prone, requiring a deep understanding of email flows.
- Understanding all third-party senders and ensuring that they are conforming to published DMARC policy is a huge undertaking because, on average, customers have 64% of legitimate emails sent through third-party vendors they’ve contracted or outsourced to, such as Salesforce, Marketo, or MailChimp. And, what about new third-party senders brought into your email environment through new products and acquisitions?
- Unfortunately, setting it up “wrong” is very common and configuring authentication incorrectly leads to the likelihood that false positives and deliverability issues will occur. And taking the final step to a p=reject policy can be a paralyzing prospect if the residual impact of undeliverable email is unknown or can’t be predicted.
What to Look for When Analyzing the Right DMARC Analyzer
Well, the good news is none of this is inevitable if you contract the right partner with the right solution that automatically does the deploying and monitoring FOR you. And who better to trust than Agari, one of the co- founders of the DMARC email authentication standard when it was introduced in 2012. Along with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, PayPal, Facebook and more, Agari was a member of the original group of companies and email providers with a shared mission of developing Internet standards that would reduce the threat of email phishing and improve coordination between email providers and mail sender domain owners.
Considering that most large organizations have hundreds of domains or more, wouldn’t it be nice to have a solution that accepts reports from DMARC reporters across the globe and automates the processing of these for all of your domains? Because once you’ve published your DMARC policies by setting up the actions the receiving servers should take when they come across unauthenticated emails (i.e. p=none, p=quarantine, or p=reject), you must constantly review the authentication data, especially the failures. Think about how daunting and time-consuming it would be for your overworked and frazzled SOC team to process hundreds to thousands of individual DMARC files every day! You need a DMARC processor that can undertake this Herculean effort and parse out the myriad details and distill the volumes of data into useful and actionable intelligence FOR you.
Considering DMARC is a journey where one step leads to the next automatically, the journey never really ends because it must remain operational and robust — like your house, which every so often needs upgrades or maintenance so it continues to protect you and your family. Similarly, the inherent steps in implementing DMARC are truly cyclical so even if the majority of your messages pass DMARC, you must continue to modify your DMARC policy to impose more stringent enforcement in order to continue to prevent email spoofing or minimize further attempts. This is because bad actors have gotten more and more dedicated and savvy by evolving their tactics to continue to outsmart unsuspecting recipients.
And what about threat mitigation and remediation? Beyond monitoring and receiving Failure Sample data in forensic reports, what about mining the data in order to take down phishing sites? Without an integrated threat feed, how do you attempt this? Even if you have a SOAR or SIEM platform, such as Splunk, Palo Alto Networks or Azure Sentinel, if there is no correlation set up to integrate or automate them, how does your SOC team get full inbound visibility? The truth is you can’t!
Which Tool is the Total DMARC Report Analyzer Package?
What is the key to accomplishing all these lofty tasks while improving languishing DMARC enforcement? Agari Brand Protection can do all of this and more. And now packaged with PhishLabs’ Digital Risk Protection, it provides the ultimate customer phishing protection through infrastructure threat mitigation, rapid remediation, and one of the quickest phishing site takedown rates. This, along with an easy-to-view Executive Dashboard that ensures compliance for all of your customers’ and partners’ confidential data, provides you with a bird’s eye view and a bevy of metrics for conformance and reporting.