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  • Writer's pictureAnup Ghosh

SPF, DMARC: What is It and Why Do We Need It?





When check your domain security, one of the key attributes we look for is your SPF and DMARC records. Having these incomplete or misconfigured can create problems for your domain while providing opportunity for hackers.


First, let's break down SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) in simple terms.


SPF (Sender Policy Framework):

  • What is it? SPF is a method used to prevent email spoofing. Email spoofing is when someone sends emails that appear to be from a legitimate source but are, in fact, forged.

  • How does it work? SPF allows the owner of a domain to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of that domain. This is done through DNS (Domain Name System) records.

  • Why is it important? Proper SPF configuration helps in preventing unauthorized parties from sending emails on behalf of your domain. It adds a layer of authentication and protects your domain's reputation.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance):

  • What is it? DMARC builds on SPF and another technology called DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). It provides a way for email senders to authenticate their emails using SPF and/or DKIM and gives instructions on how to handle emails that fail authentication.

  • How does it work? DMARC allows domain owners to publish policies in their DNS records, specifying how email receivers should handle messages claiming to be from their domain.

  • Why is it important? DMARC helps in preventing email phishing and spoofing attacks by ensuring that emails sent from your domain are legitimate. It also provides reporting mechanisms to give insights into who is sending emails on behalf of your domain.


Why Proper SPF/DMARC Configuration is Crucial for Businesses:

  • Email Deliverability: Proper SPF and DMARC configuration increases the chances of your legitimate emails being delivered to recipients' inboxes. It reduces the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam or phishing attempts. This will impact your outbound marketing and normal business email negatively if not properly configured.

  • Brand Protection: Email spoofing can harm your brand's reputation. Configuring SPF and DMARC helps in maintaining the integrity of your brand by preventing malicious actors from impersonating your domain in emails. Incomplete or improperly set DMARC/SPF may result in your domain getting blacklisted as spammers use your domain for their nefarious purposes.

  • Security: These authentication mechanisms enhance the security of your email communication, protecting both your business and your customers from falling victim to phishing attacks. If your SPF/DMARC records are incorrectly set up or not set up, hackers can send phishing campaigns against your employees that look like they came from legitimate users inside the business.


In summary, SPF and DMARC are essential tools to ensure the authenticity of your emails, protect your brand, protect your employees, and maintain good email deliverability. Proper configuration is crucial to maximize the effectiveness of these measures.


Check your SPF/DMARC domain security settings with ThreatMate today!




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