Phishing is on the rise.
So what has phishing got to do with a brand, you might ask? Well, for starters, the fraudulent email needs to come from somewhere. For phishing to be effective, the more familiar the fraudulent email is, the higher the success rate. Unsuspecting employees, customers, and various stakeholders are more likely to open an email from a legitimate or trusted domain. Cybercriminals are aware of this behavior and would try using your domain to phish people who are likely to open your mail.
If a recipient unsuspectingly opens a fraudulent email from your domain, it could unleash malware. The malware could be a computer virus, ransomware, keystroke logger, etc.
A virus could affect other computers in the network and take control of them. They can then be manipulated to launch an attack on external parties, like a Distributed Denial of Service (aka DDoS) attack. In the case of a ransomware attack, applications may be compromised and even locked. No one, including the administrator, can access the application until a ransom is paid. In the event the malware is a keystroke logger, then whatever password is typed, along with the userid will be relayed back to the cyber criminals.
If any of the above scenarios involve an external party, like a customer, and they discover the email is from your domain, what do you think will happen? Your relationship might be adversely impacted. You definitely would not want to get caught in this scenario. So what can you do?
You can deploy a Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (aka DMARC) policy. A DMARC policy helps email-receiving parties to determine whether any given message is legitimate (i.e. the sender is really who they say they are). DMARC accomplishes this through a verification process by checking whether the sender email server is listed in a Sender Policy Framework (aka SPF) record. SPF does not operate on its own, it requires a Domain Key Identification Mechanism (aka DKIM) record. DKIM encrypts the header information of the email and utilizes a public-key infrastructure (aka PKI) to authenticate the email. These two records, together with the reporting mechanism of DMARC would help a business weed out fraudulent emails being sent with their domain name.
Beyond the technical authentication process briefly outlined above, the implementation of DMARC has a host of other benefits, and we recommend that you check out our blog article on how your business can benefit from it.
Do connect with us if you need some help in deploying DMARC for your brand.