‘No DMARC record found’ is an error that indicates your domain has no DMARC record on DNS. This means either there is no DMARC record created for your domain, or it isn’t published properly on the DNS. You may come across the following prompts, which are variations of the same ‘no DMARC record found’ error-
- No DMARC record
- DMARC record is missing
- No DMARC found
- Domain missing DMARC record
- DMARC record not found
- No DMARC record published
- DMARC policy not enabled
- Unable to find DMARC record
This blog guides why this error comes and how you can troubleshoot it without affecting your domain’s deliverability and email security, which gives cybercriminals the opportunity to send phishing messages in the name of reputed organizations.
Why Should You Care to Fix the ‘No DMARC Record Found’ Error?
The absence of an email authentication protocol like DMARC gives hackers the opportunity to impersonate your brand and send fraudulent emails to your employees and customers, which can cause data breaches and monetary losses.
Due to the absence of retroactive integration of secure protocols in SMTP to counter fake “From” addresses, a malicious actor has the ability to manipulate email headers, allowing them to send deceptive emails on behalf of your domain. This not only poses a significant security risk to your organization but also has the potential to inflict severe damage on your brand’s reputation.
Let’s understand this through a real-life example. In June 2021, 2,096 protected health information and 816 personal identifiable records were exposed when 5 employees in Sacramento County revealed their login credentials by falling victim to phishing emails.
Now, had there been a valid DMARC DNS record in place, the internal email sent from the unauthorized email address from Sacramento County’s domain wouldn’t have passed the security and authentication checks. Depending upon the policy set, the email would have either got rejected or landed in the spam folder.
Image sourced from helpnetsecurity.com
The Right Way to Resolve the ‘No DMARC Record Found’ Issue
Depending on your expectations of implementing DMARC, there are 2 possible cases–
Case 1: You are only aiming to get rid of the error message and don’t care about the real value of email authentication protocols
In this case, simply adding a DMARC TXT record to your DNS would fix the error. However, your record will be set only for monitoring purposes, and the recipients will continue to receive spam emails coming from your domain right in their inboxes.
Case 2: Get the Best Protection From Email Spoofing and Phishing
To achieve the highest protection, you need to implement the strictest DMARC policy, that is, p=reject. Now, you can’t apply it immediately due to the instances of false positives that could reject the entry of legitimate messages as well. To attain the highest level of email security through DMARC, start applying the policies to only a specific percentage of messages sent from your domain. Then, gradually increase the percentage.
3 Steps to Troubleshoot the ‘No DMARC Record Found’ Error?
The most common reason why this error prompts in the first place is the absence of a DMARC record. Let’s see how you can get that done!
Create and Publish an SPF Record
To create and publish a valid SPF record for your domain, access your DNS settings through your domain registrar and spot your domain name. Use an online tool or manually generate a TXT record with a specific format, like “v=spf1 include:_spf.example.com ~all,” where “_spf.example.com” represents your authorized mail server’s list.
Update the record to your DNS settings, set a TTL (Time to Live) value, and save the changes. Then, regularly monitor it using an online SPF lookup tool that highlights existing errors. Ensure all the sending sources are added, including those of third-party senders allowed to send emails on behalf of your company.
Create and Publish a DKIM Record
This step is also straightforward but requires your attention. Start by generating a DKIM key pair using an online tool or through an email service provider. Once generated, go to your domain’s DNS settings via your domain registrar or DNS hosting provider, locate your domain, and develop a DKIM TXT record in the DNS. Its usual format is “selector._domainkey.example.com.”
Add the public key to the DKIM record, set a TTL value, and save the changes. Just as an SPF record, a DKIM record should also be regularly run through a DKIM record lookup tool to ensure there are no syntactical and configurational errors.
Create and Publish a DMARC Record
Post creating and publishing SPF and DKIM records, use an online tool to produce a DMARC record by setting up an appropriate policy. It’s suggested you set your record to the ‘none’ policy for the first few weeks. While it won’t provide any protection from phishing messages, it will help you monitor your domain’s email-related activities.
Gradually transit from none to quarantine to reject as you gain confidence.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) prevents impersonation attacks attempted to manipulate email recipients into sharing sensitive information, transferring money, or downloading malicious reports and links. The ‘no DMARC record found’ error message comes in the absence of a DMARC record or when it isn’t properly updated on your domain’s DNS.
There are several online DMARC lookup tools that highlight issues associated with configuration and message authentication.
Once you have created a DMARC record using an online DMARC record generator, you must use rua and ruf tags to start receiving aggregate and forensic DMARC reports that give you insight into your email activities. A DMARC forensic report is sent when a malicious message is detected, allowing you to take timely action towards the problem.
DMARC Report offers to help domain owners monitor these reports by converting them into an easy-to-understand format. Visit us today to protect your domains from spoofing attacks and enhance email deliverability.