Managing Email Threats Using Email Authentication Protocols

Reports show that 45.1% of all emails were spam in May 2021. Emails are weak links of an organization, opening a path for malicious actors to unleash their cyberattacks. Here are the measures one can take to handle email threats.

  • End-to-end encryption is one way of ensuring no third-party entity accesses your email contents.
  • Educating employees to identify spurious email communications like BEC scams can save business organizations from cyberattacks.
  • Installing anti-malware solutions and regularly updating them can prevent malware from infiltrating the network systems
  • Restricting administrator privileges can help reduce privilege escalation attacks and discourage third-party interference.
  • Robust password maintenance is another deterrent to email threats.
  • Using high-level email authentication standards can secure emails from the source and prevent phishing or spoofing attacks. The email authentication protocols include the following (More details are covered in the upcoming chapters).
  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): SPF specifies servers and domains authorized to send emails on your domain’s behalf.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): DKIM adds a digital signature to each of your outgoing messages to help the recipient verify that the message originated from the right source.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): DMARC is a free and open technical specification that authenticates emails by aligning SPF and DKIM mechanisms. It tells receiving servers how to deal with messages that do not pass SPF or DKIM.

With more people using emails for correspondence, malicious actors have greater scope to launch cyber-attacks through email. Hence, organizations need to be aware of the latest mitigation tools like email authentication protocols. Investing in such solutions and regularly updating them can deter most email threats an organization may otherwise face.