DKIM and DMARC are two important protocols that help protect email security. DKIM helps authenticate the sender of an email, while DMARC helps to prevent spoofing of domains. These two technologies work together to ensure that your emails reach their intended recipients without being intercepted by spam filters or blocked by anti-spam software. We’ll be covering what these technologies do and why they’re important for marketers in this blog post.

What is DKIM? Why is it Important?

DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail, and it is a security system that allows you to verify the authenticity of email messages. The way DKIM works is by adding a cryptographic signature to an email message at the point where it enters your outgoing mail server. This signature will then allow any recipient’s receiving mail server with access to your public key to authenticate that the message was sent from you.

DKIM will prove these following things:

  • The contents of the email have not been altered.
  • It appears that the email is a copy of one sent by somebody else, as there has been no new “from” domain.
  • The sender of the email is authorized by the owner to send emails from their DKIM domain.

DKIM uses an encryption algorithm that creates a pair of electronic keys—a public key and a private key. Your ESP should create these keys for you, so your risk exposure is minimal because it will be the only company with access to them.

In order to ensure the integrity of email, a sender encrypts their message using one key and posts another public key in DNS records. The recipient decrypts it with its private counterpart which has been securely stored on an individual’s computer or server. If both keys match up then they are confident that no tampering occurred during transmission.

What is DMARC? Why is it Important?

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is a protocol that helps to protect against phishing. DMARC protects email domains from unauthorized use and abuse, ensuring the sender of an email is who they say they are and not someone pretending to be them. It also helps organizations monitor their domains for fraudulent emails. DMARC can be set up in two modes: quarantine or reject. When a message fails DMARC authentication, it will either be sent to the recipient’s spam folder (quarantine) or rejected outright by Gmail (reject).

Businesses are protected by DMARC thanks to the Federal Trade Commission’s study. They found that 10% of businesses in their sample set had strict policies against phishing, which is a fraudulent practice where malicious emails pretend to be someone else and try to steal personal information like credit card numbers or passwords for financial accounts such as PayPal.

DMARC records are an important part of email security. You can choose from 3 policies to tell the recipient server how to handle your mail if it isn’t compliant with DMARC standards. The good news is that not all servers will comply with what you ask for.

  • None: Mail sent from your domain without DMARC validation is not always safe to receive.
  • Quarantine: The recipient server may not always take the mail but should place it somewhere other than the inbox.
  • Reject: Do not accept the message.

Why Do You Need DKIM and DMARC?

Hackers are always looking for new ways to get into the corporate network and in today’s world of a constant influx of emails that can only be seen as spam when you have hundreds coming through your inbox every day. Phishing scams lurk around even after being blocked by some security measure on one’s email account because they will follow up with an alternate way to enter the system such as text messages or impersonating someone else within the company who may already be trusted.

Most enterprises need DKIM and DMARC along with SPF (Sender Policy Framework): They do not overlap in what they offer for protection but are complementary to each other’s features that the average business will require all of them.

Most enterprises need DKIM and DMARC along with SPF. | Photo credit: Pixabay

These Protocols are Highly Important for Email Security

Whether you’re an experienced professional or one who’s new to this field of work, it’s crucial that you understand how each standard works with the others for maximum efficiency.  Admittedly there may seem like too much information at first glance when looking over what they do separately- but implementing them together in order is quite easy and rewarding as we’ll see later on.

Conclusion

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important for your business email security that you use DKIM and DMARC. These technologies will help in preventing spam emails from reaching your customers, as well as prevent spoofing or phishing attempts on your domain name.

What are DKIM and DMARC? Why Are They Important for Email Security?

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