What Is DMARC for Email and Why You Should Care?

It’s thought that, by 2028, cybercrime will reach an estimated $13.82 trillion worldwide (based on U.S. dollars). One type of cybercrime is phishing. This nefarious attempt at illegally obtaining information puts every industry — and individual — in danger.

During phishing attacks, users receive misleading emails, text messages, and links to websites, in an attempt to steal sensitive, confident information. These deceptive emails lure individuals into a false sense of security in an attempt to gain personal information.

This might include their phone number, credit card information, company information, personal bank information, mailing addresses, and more.

Fortunately, you can prevent these phishing attacks thanks to DMARC for email. But what is a DMARC policy and, more importantly, how can it protect you and your business?

What Is a DMARC Policy?

DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. This method of email authentication is structured to protect your company’s email domain from various scams, including phishing and spoofing.

So what is DMARC for email security, and how can it help?

Spoofing, like phishing, lulls users into a false relationship, thinking the email sender is someone they know and trust. As with phishing, the user is more likely to divulge confidential information such as bank account information — and more. This puts the company and the individual at risk, depending on the information provided.

As long as DMARC is set up for email, any security tools and servers can perform DMARC checks. These checks look for — and work to prevent — phishing attacks and spoofing. By eliminating these emails, there’s a reduced risk that a company will fall prey to harmful attacks by ransomware or other phishing emails. In short, DMARC is essential if you’re looking to protect your company against fraudulent emails, acting as a cyber security guard.

When you implement an established DMARC policy, you’re telling receiving email servers how to validate their domain’s messages. A DMARC policy also tells them what to do with any unauthenticated emails.

Are There Drawbacks to DMARC?

The only drawback to DMARC is that it can be complex to manage and analyze. This is why you need a professional marketing agency. You’ll be kept apprised of critical information, such as the benefits of a DMARC policy and all the ways it’s safeguarding your information.

When working with a professional marketing agency, you’ll also benefit from an organization dedicated to managing your DMARC protocol, analyzing all data, and working tirelessly to ensure your company — and its information — is protected.

Consider the following: an estimated 64% of companies are thought to have experienced some type of website cyberattack, it’s more important than ever to utilize DMARC. Businesses spend countless resources on insurance, legal contracts, and so forth, but DMARC is equally important, and a professional marketing agency can help you achieve this imperative layer of protection from cybercrime.

And seeing as 4 billion email users access their accounts daily, DMARC is more important than ever.

Is DMARC Required?

More specifically, does Gmail require DMARC? What about Yahoo? Any companies sending to Yahoo or Gmail are required to have some type of DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) or Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication method. This means that a DMARC policy is required.

So is a DMARC policy required for email? If you’re looking to reduce the incidence of cyberattacks and send to Gmail or Yahoo, then yes. This crucial part of your email security system allows you to monitor any emails sent from your domain, working to ensure they’re authenticated using a DKIM and/or SPF.

A DKIM lets your IP know you’re the original sender of your email. It’s the reassurance that your email wasn’t intercepted fraudulently and without your knowledge.

SPF, on the other hand, is a list of all the people who are authorized to send messages to you. When you implement a DMARC policy, your brand’s identity is protected, as it works to prevent customers from receiving fraudulent emails from your email domain.

How Is DMARC Utilized?

To work, DMARC has to verify email senders. It does so by building on the DNS (Domain Name System) and SPF protocols. Since DMARC protocols work to prevent spoofing and phishing, they protect you and your employees from false impersonation attacks.

Messages must comply with DMARC policies. This means they have to be authenticated first, either through DKIM or SPF. To use DMARC, you’ll need to publish a DMARC record with a DNS provider.

But what is the use of a DMARC record and how do you create one?

Creating a DMARC record contains several moving parts, which is why businesses rely on companies that provide a full range of web services. For starters, the first step in DMARC is creating a DMARC record in DNS. From there, you can monitor your domain.

You’ll need reports, analyzing web traffic on your domain. This means you’ll need to pay careful attention to partners or vendors accessing your domain without your permission, or sending emails. You’ll also need to pay special attention to any fraudulent emails coming to or from your domain.

While running a business, analyzing DMARC reports is one more thing added to your plate. This is why you need a full-service creative marketing agency to implement and analyze your DMARC policy.

DMARC and Lead Generation

Now that you know more about the question, “What is DMARC policy required for email?” it’s important to understand how it applies to lead generation.

DMARC allows you to proactively protect your account from phishing and spoofing, rather than retroactively taking steps to mitigate damage. This is especially true for any trusted brands with a loyal customer base.

Additionally, your senders and recipients will both benefit from protection against fraudulent attacks. If your primary mode of customer communication is through email, it only takes one phishing attack to send users running for the “unsubscribe” button.” Unfortunately, this may happen before your email marketing campaign even begins.

Additionally, some users might be hesitant to even hit the “unsubscribe” button, flagging your email as spam instead. Moving forward, your messages will go to the spam folder, hindering your lead generation.

When you rely on a DMARC policy, you’re working to reduce spam. This, in turn, means more legitimate emails. You’ll also provide senders with feedback, helping them to identify the entities sending fraudulent emails.

DMARC and Web Hosting

When you have a DMARC policy in place, you’re telling receiving email servers that they can reject inauthentic emails with confidence. They’ll also have the option to quarantine said emails from your sending domain. Even better, this won’t impact your email program negatively.

But what is a DMRC in DNS, exactly? These aforementioned DMARC records are in your DNS records, which means you can easily merge said records into your email authentication system.

DMARC and Securing Domains

Your domain is safe when a DMARC policy is in place. It protects your domain from nefarious senders and works to verify each incoming email and its authenticity. This all happens before any emails reach your inbox, preventing phishing and spoofing.

Any mail administrators will have a competitive advantage against attackers who seek to gain valuable, confidential information about your company and its domain. Additionally, a DMARC policy lets you request reports from other email servers.

These servers receive messages from your domain or organization. Contained in these reports is crucial information about your domain and suspicious messages sent from it, identifying potential authentication issues.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Marketing Agency

Now that you understand the importance — and requirements — of a DMARC policy in email, it’s time to ensure your business is protected. You’ll benefit from spoofing and phishing protection while protecting your company’s most sensitive data.

Since implementing and analyzing a DMARC policy can be time-consuming, it’s a worthwhile investment to work with a trusted, full-service marketing agency.

Let’s B Media can help.

We offer one-stop-shop solutions for all your web-based needs and an integrated branding strategy for use across multiple marketing platforms. Contact us today to learn more about the best ways to launch — and protect — your brand.

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