Most Common Mistakes to Avoid While Deploying DMARC

Deploying DMARC

An essential thing to consider while deploying DMARC is to avoid making mistakes that can render the DMARC implementation useless. Errors in DMARC can lead to problems with email delivery and ultimately cause your messages to be blocked by email providers. There could be many mistakes, from misconfiguring the DMARC policy to ignoring subdomain settings or the absence of email forwarding to negligence in monitoring the DMARC implementation.

Most Common DMARC Mistakes

Below are a few errors that commonly occur to people when deploying DMARC and information on how to avoid them.

Not Aligning SPF and DKIM Policies

A common mistake with organizations when deploying DMARC is failing to align their SPF and DKIM policies. It can result in false positives and wasted time and effort investigating legitimate emails flagged as suspicious. Review your SPF and DKIM policies and ensure they are correctly aligned to avoid this mistake.

Not Setting a DMARC Policy

Another common mistake when deploying DMARC is not setting a DMARC policy. It can have several negative consequences, like your organization’s email messages not getting appropriately authenticated. They may get marked as spam or even rejected by some email providers.

You will not be able to take advantage of DMARC’s reporting features that can give you valuable insights into your email deliverability. In addition, your organization’s email reputation may suffer, as DMARC can help protect customers against phishing and other email-based attacks. Therefore, if you’re planning on deploying DMARC, be sure to set a policy.

Forgetting to Set Up SPF and DKIM for Subdomains

Forgetting to set up SPF and DKIM for subdomains is yet another DMARC mistake. While it’s essential to configure SPF and DKIM for your primary domain properly, it’s just as crucial for any subdomains you may have.

Not doing so could result in your emails being flagged as spam or bounced back entirely. To avoid this mistake, be sure to take the time to properly configure SPF and DKIM for all your domains and subdomains.

Not Configuring the DMARC Policy Correctly

Many organizations make the common mistake of not setting the DMARC policy correctly even when they have a DMARC policy set up. The policy defines how email messages that fail DMARC authentication should be handled.

There are three possible values for the DMARC policy:

  • Reject: Email messages that fail the DMARC authentication will get rejected.
  • Quarantine: The failed email messages will go to the receiving mail server’s quarantine folder.
  • None: Email messages that fail DMARC authentication will be allowed into the recipient’s inbox.

One should carefully consider which DMARC policy is right for them.

Overly Aggressive or Restrictive Policies

When deploying DMARC, it is essential to avoid making your policy too restrictive or aggressive. If the policy is too restrictive, you may miss out on legitimate emails that you would otherwise be able to receive. For instance, setting the ‘reject‘ policy in the initial setup itself will get a few genuine emails also rejected if they fail authentication for some wrong reason.

A better way is setting up a ‘quarantine‘ policy so that you can check if any genuine emails get rejected by mistake and then do the necessary modifications. You can change the setting to ‘ reject’ when you are sure no important emails get quarantined.

Not Monitoring Your DMARC Implementation

When deploying DMARC, it is essential to avoid making the mistake of not monitoring your implementation. The error can lead to several problems, including not properly assessing the effectiveness of your DMARC implementation or troubleshooting issues that may arise. To properly evaluate the effectiveness of your DMARC implementation, you need to be able to track and analyze data related to your email traffic.

Final Words

Overall, DMARC is a great tool to help protect your email domain from spoofing and phishing attacks. However, it is vital to deploy it correctly to avoid any problems. There are many common mistakes that organizations make when deploying DMARC.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can increase the chances of DMARC protecting your email domain and avoiding any potential email-related issues in the future. Also, to ensure correct DMARC deployment, it is vital to test your policies before implementing them. Thus you can ensure that you get the maximum protection using DMARC and are not accidentally blocking any legitimate emails.

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