DMARC Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know About Email Authentication Protocols

This book is a valuable resource for beginners to DMARC technology or professionals interested in expanding their knowledge on email security measures.


There has been an increase in the proportion of business email compromise (BEC) and spoofing attacks targeting organizations. And as much as we might try and explore the reasons for the surge in successful cyberattacks, the real problem lies with our perceptions and misconceptions. After all, how can a message coming from an organizational domain address be infected with malware? Taking advantage of this user trust in the reputation of domains, adversaries launch targeted phishing attacks, often causing irreversible losses to organizations.

This eBook has attempted to highlight how such attacks can be stopped. Using DMARC technology within organizational networks ensures greater email deliverability and reduces the risk of cyber fraud. Each chapter of the book aims to provide concise answers to the Whys and Hows that usually crowd the minds of professionals trying to learn more about DMARC, SPF, and DKIM.

This book can become a valuable resource for beginners to DMARC technology or professionals interested in expanding their knowledge on email security measures. However, the simple, precise, and to-the-point address of DMARC and related concepts in the book DMARC Fundamentals makes it suitable for all cybersecurity enthusiasts.


Emails are a primary mode of communication in all professional or academic settings. Therefore, protecting our email systems from unauthorized access is of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of our organizations, employees, associates, clients, or customers. Effective email protection strategies and technologies are the need of the hour, and three frameworks widely adopted in this process include SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

This book discusses the fundamentals of Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) and leads users through its functions, advantages, disadvantages, and creation. Similarly, the chapters dedicated to SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Policy look at the functioning and mechanism of these email security solutions. The eBook doesn’t merely inform why these technologies are recommended but also renders insights on whether these technologies would be suitable to meet the growing cybersecurity demands of your organization.

Since these email protections are often perceived as part of one umbrella term, the book helps distinguish between DMARC, SPF, and DKIM by discussing their origin, specifications, and differentiated features. Understanding the advantages of one over the other or together helps readers make informed decisions on their email security choices. By the end of the book, readers shall find themselves in a better position through the process of DMARC, SPF, or DKIM record creation for their respective organizations.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 πŸ”— Understanding Phishing And Other Email Borne Cyber Threats

  • What is BEC (Business Email Compromise)?
  • What is Spoofing?
  • Malware, Ransomware, And Trojan
  • Email Bombing
  • Managing Email Threats Using Email Authentication Protocols

Chapter 2 πŸ”— What is DMARC?

  • Introduction to DMARC
  • How DMARC works
  • How DMARC Acts as an Email Security Tool
  • Are there any downsides to using DMARC?
  • How to Create a DMARC Record?
  • Adding DMARC Records for Your Domain

Chapter 3 πŸ”— What is SPF?

  • Introduction to SPF
  • SPF DNS Record Syntax Explained
  • What are SPF Tags?
  • Are there any downsides to using SPF?
  • Creating an SPF Record
  • Adding SPF Records for Your Domain

Chapter 4 πŸ”— What is DKIM?

  • Introduction to DKIM
  • What are DKIM Keys?
  • How Does DKIM Work?
  • Adding DKIM to DNS Records
  • Are there any downsides to DKIM?

Chapter 5 πŸ”— Defining a DMARC Policy

  • Understanding the difference between Aggregate and Forensic Reports
  • SPF & DKIM Alignment Defined
  • Reading a DMARC record
  • The 3 DMARC Policies


The growing risk of cyberattacks demands more awareness and employee training programs. The book DMARC Fundamentals can become a rich resource for this need that organizations worldwide feel today. About two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies are estimated not to have a DMARC record on their corporate domain.

DMARC is regarded as the standard email authentication measure. Not incorporating it increases the risks of unauthorized third parties using your organization’s name and goodwill to infect end-user devices and steal their details.

This book aims to spread awareness and urges CISOs, CIOs, and other company leaders to encourage effective DMARC Policy adoption to ensure email authentication by preventing adversaries from meddling with emails in transmission. DMARC, SPF, and DKIM are certainly not 100% effective in evading phishing and other email frauds per se, but these technologies function as an initial authentication measure. Without the initial authentication and verification of domains, preventing email scams is far more complicated.

The book DMARC Fundamentals works in this direction of igniting minds on the significance of creating DMARC records for their organizations to ensure that only verified senders can use their domain name to reach out to customers and end-users.

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DMARC Report is designed for large scale reporting needs, with a combination of domains and message volume.