Protect your inbox with these 3 clever tips to avoid email spoofing attacks
90% of cyberattacks encountered by organizations start from malicious email. Unfortunately, loopholes in email security leave your network open to cyber criminals that exploit human nature and vulnerabilities in the organization. One such form example is email spoofing. Continue reading to learn about email spoofing and tips to avoid it.
What Is Email Spoofing?
- Email spoofing is a cyberattack in which hackers send emails with a forged sender address. Spoofed emails spread spam, phishing scams, malware, and personal information.
Therefore, it is essential to be cautious when receiving emails from unknown or suspicious sources and to be wary of clicking on links or downloading attachments from such emails. This is because email spoofing aims to trick recipients into opening a malicious link or attachment.
Tips To Avoid Email Spoofing Attacks
- Email spoofing attacks can be avoided with the help of email authentication. Email authentication helps identify and address spoofed emails.
Here are the top 3 ways to avoid email spoofing:
SPF Email Validation System
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email validation system designed to prevent email spam by detecting email spoofing. SPF allows the recipient to check whether the email was sent by a domain authorized to send an email on behalf of that domain. This is done by publishing a list of authorized sending IP addresses or subnets in the DNS records for a domain.
The receiving mail server can then check if the IP address of the incoming message matches one of the IP addresses authorized to send mail for that domain. SPF helps recognize the difference between legitimate and forged emails.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
- DKIM is an email authentication method that allows the receiver to confirm if the email was sent by the domain from which it claims to be sent and hasn’t been modified during transit.
It accomplishes this by adding a digital signature linked to a domain name to the email message’s headers. Then, the receiving mail server verifies the signature using the public key published in the domain’s DNS records.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is an email authentication protocol designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use, such as email spoofing. DMARC allows a domain owner to publish a policy in their DNS records that specifies which mechanisms are used to authenticate email messages sent from their domain and what actions should be taken if neither mechanism passes.
In addition, a DMARC policy allows the domain owner to monitor their domain for unauthorized use and determine the effectiveness of their SPF and DKIM deployment. However, preventing spoofing or phishing attacks can be difficult, and many senders become aware of them after the attacks. To combat this, it is essential to take a multi-step approach.
- The first step is to implement SPF and DKIM, which help to ensure that email messages come from authorized sources.
- The second step is to implement DMARC, which allows you to specify which mechanisms should be used to authenticate messages sent from your domain and what actions should be taken if those mechanisms fail.
- The final step is to monitor and interpret the reports provided by DMARC. These reports give valuable information about the results of email authentication from the domain, help identify any potential spoofing, and keep track of authorized third parties sending emails on your behalf.
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