7 benefits of deploying DMARC

Did you know that cybercriminals can easily send off emails with your domain?

Once the malicious email (with your domain) lands in your recipient’s inbox, and if they are opened, all sorts of malware may be unleashed on their computer and network. This will cause a lot of problems for them as well as for you.

So what can you do about it?

Enter Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (aka DMARC). DMARC is an email authentication mechanism. It consists of two parts – a verification component and a policy component.

However, DMARC does not work alone. It requires two set of information from the authorised email server – the Sender Policy Framework (aka SPF) and Domain Key Identified Mail (aka DKIM). These three records residing at the Domain Name Server (aka DNS) will help email-receiving servers to determine the authenticity of the mail and how to handle the email thereafter (i.e. allowed the email to pass through, put into a spam or junk folder, or simply rejected it).

The technical implementation of DMARC, SPF and DKIM has several business benefits which brand and business owners should take note of.

#1 Prevents Email Spoofing

It is easy to send off emails with fake domains. This is due to the lack of an authentication mechanism in current mail servers. Cybercriminals are aware of this loophole and are taking advantage of it.

Cyber criminals also knows that a familiar email is more likely to be opened than one from a stranger. Customers and business associates who have come to trust you and your brand are more likely to trust the email and its the content, thinking the email is legitimate.

DMARC, together with SPF and DKIM, blocks out cyber criminals’ email spoofing attempts through a system of verification and authentication. They ensure that only authenticated emails land in the inboxes.

#2 Business Protection

If a fraudulent email is successful in its mission, and causes damage to another organisation, the victim company may seek legal redress from your company for “allowing” the incident to happen. Your company’s progress and productivity may be impacted as you get embroiled in a civil suit. If the matter is picked up by the press and make known. This could put a dent in your business as customers and associates might stay away for fear of being the next victim. Their may be financial and reputation impact, eventually affecting revenue.

#3 Avoiding the Spam/ Junk Folder

Before deploying DMARC for your domain, receiving email servers have no way of authentication your emails. Hence, your emails may find a home in your recipient’s spam or junk folder.

With DMARC deployed, the chances of emails landing in the inbox are higher. This is crucial for transactional or important emails, where you do not wish them landing in a spam/junk folder. This may cause some inconveniences and even confusion for the receiving party, resulting in a poor experience with your brand.

#4 Improved Marketing RoI

If you are running a marketing campaign, you want your emails to reach as many inboxes of your target audience as possible. It doesn’t help your marketing effort with your marketing emails landing in your recipient’s spam box. This severely impacts on your marketing metrics, projecting a lower return on investment (aka RoI).

With DMARC together with email marketing best practices, emails performance can be properly tracked, reflecting the true RoI of your marketing campaigns.

#5 Avoid being Blacklisted

With SPAM laws in place, Internet Service Providers (aka ISPs) and Email Service providers (aka ESPs) are setting up blacklists to list down domains and IP addresses that are misbehaving (i.e. spamming).

Mass mailing also consumes precious bandwidth. This cost ISPs as they have to purchase more bandwidth to accommodate more traffic. On the part of ESPs, they themselves do not wish to be penalized by ISPs and placed on a blacklist. Hence, they have their own blacklist to weed out non-compliant customers.

Once on any blacklist, it may take weeks if not months to be removed from it. Also if you are not diligent enough to quickly remove yourself on a blacklist, you may quickly be listed on other blacklists. This will adversely affect your sender score and domain reputation.

#7 Better Sender Score

In the world of finance, there is a scoring system called the credit score. The purpose of the credit score is to determine the credit worthiness of a borrower.

Similarly, in the world of emails, there is a similar system called the sender score. Through this system, ESPs are able to determine whether your domain has a good or poor email track record. A number between 0 and 100 is assigned to domains. The higher the score a domain has, the better would be the preferential treatment by major mailbox providers. You want to have a sender score of more than 70.

Internet and email service providers rely on various metrics to determine a domain’s reputation – sender score is one of them. It has a high weightage. You do not want your domain to have a poor sender score.

#7 Identify Email Senders

These days many applications are being used across the organisation. You have sales using a CRM, marketing using email marketing systems and various analytics solutions, customer support using ticketing support systems to help customers with their issues etc. For the purpose of better tracking and reporting, some of these applications are able to send off emails through their application.

During a DMARC deployment, before a DMARC policy is enforced, DMARC can surface all IPs that are sending off emails with your domain. From there, you can white list certain IPs and blacklist any unauthorized IPs at work. Without DMARC, you are allowing nefarious elements to continue their malicious work.

From the above, the benefits of deploying a DMARC policy are overwhelming. If you need help with your DMARC deployment, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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