Email authentication

Essentials of Email Authentication

Email is an important component of any workspace. Communicating with teams and coworkers to accomplish projects, uploading documents, and scheduling meetings are all facilitated through email communication. However, that doesn’t mean that email comes without risk. Everyday thousands of phishing and scam emails are sent out in the hopes that cyber criminals can gain a foothold into an organization. In fact, roughly 91% of data breaches start with a simple phishing email. All it takes is one wrong click to bring down a company. So how does your business protect its employees? Read below to learn more about how email authentication works and the protocols behind it.

Why Use Email Authentication?

As mentioned above email is one of the biggest targets for phishing schemes and scams. Typically, cyber criminals will send an email from what looks like a legitimate address asking the user to either give over private info or click on a shady link. As the internet has evolved so have phishing emails to the point that some are nearly unrecognizable. This is why email authentication is important for stopping emails before they even hit your inbox.

3 Essentials of Email Authentication

SPF –

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework and is an authentication protocol that provides a record of IP addresses that are allowed to send emails out of your domain. SPF limits who can send out an email claiming to be your business. This is crucial as most phishing attacks come from criminals impersonating a legitimate brand or company. Not only does an SPF record discourage criminals from spoofing your domain, but it also provides legitimacy for your emails as well. With a valid SPF record it is must more likely your emails will reach their intended recipient and not end up buried in a spam filter.

DKIM –

DKIM stands for Domainkeys identified mail. DKIM is a protocol that applies a distinct cryptographic signature to prove the authenticity of your email. Whenever you send out an email from your companies’ server it is marked with a DKIM so that the server receiving the email can validate it. If there is a failure to validate the DKIM signature on the receiving side, it most likely means that is a phishing email of some sort. This may stop the email from being sent all together or send it to your spam folder.

DMARC –

DMARC or “Domain-based message authentication is another email authentication protocol that aids in filtering out phishing and scam emails. DMARC essentially tells mailbox providers (MBPs) what it should do once it receives an email it believes to be a scam. Using a policy set in the DMARC DNS record the policy can do one of three things: None, Quarantine, and Reject. None means that the message will be delivered as normal. Quarantine places the email in a spam folder or quarantine folder. Finally, reject simply rejects the email send entirely and bounces it. Additionally, DMARC can offer reporting on where these emails are coming from and how they are using your domain.

Email authentication can make sure that your business is secured against bad actors looking to take your private data. Let CIT examine your security needs and set up email authentication for your business! Contact us today!

CorpInfoTech (Corporate Information Technologies) provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.

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