Google & Yahoo’s New DMARC Policy And Why Businesses Need Email Authentication


Phishing continues to be the main cause of data breaches and security incidents and there is a major shift in the email landscape happening to help combat phishing scams. Email authentication is becoming a requirement for email service providers. It’s crucial to your online presence and communication to pay attention to this shift.

Google and Yahoo implemented a new Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) policy in February 2024. This policy essentially makes email authentication essential. It’s targeted at businesses sending emails through Gmail and Yahoo Mail. But what is DMARC, and why is it suddenly so important?

 

The Email spoofing problem

Imagine receiving an email seemingly from your bank. It requests urgent action. You click a link, enter your details, and low and behold your information is compromised. The common name for this is email spoofing.

It’s where scammers disguise their email addresses and try to appear as legitimate individuals or organisations. Scammers spoof a business’s email address, then they email customers and vendors pretending to be that business. These deceptive tactics can have devastating consequences on companies. Which include:

  • Financial losses
  • Reputational damage
  • Data breaches
  • Loss of future business

And unfortunately, email spoofing is a growing problem. This makes email authentication a critical defence measure.

 

So, what is Email Authentication?

Email authentication is a way of verifying that your email is legitimate. This includes verifying the server sending the email. It also includes reporting back unauthorised uses of a company domain. Email authentication uses three key protocols, and each of these protocols has a specific job:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Records the IP addresses authorised to send email for a domain.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Allows domain owners to digitally “sign” emails, verifying legitimacy.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): Provides instructions to a receiving email server including, what to do with the results of an SPF and DKIM check. It also alerts domain owners that their domain is being spoofed.

SPF and DKIM are protective steps. DMARC provides information critical to security enforcement. It helps keep scammers from using your domain name in spoofing attempts.

 

Why Google & Yahoo’s New DMARC Policy Matters

Both Google and Yahoo have offered some level of spam filtering but didn’t strictly enforce DMARC policies until the new rule took place. Businesses sending over 5,000 emails daily must have DMARC implemented. Both of these companies also have policies for those sending fewer emails. These relate to SPF and DKIM authentication.

Look for email authentication requirements to continue and pay attention to ensure the smooth delivery of your business email.

 

The Benefits of Implementing DMARC

  • Improves email delivery.
  • Provides valuable insights.
  • Protects your brand reputation.

 

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