DMARC Quarantine vs. Reject: Which Should You Use to Protect Business Email from Sender Fraud?

In this day and age of increased cyber danger, how can you ensure the validity of the emails you receive in order to prevent giving vital information or installing ransomware?

Without the necessary policies and technologies in place, even the most educated and savvy users might fall for fraud, putting their organization’s important assets and reputation in danger.

The DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) anti-phishing and anti-spoofing protocol can help to reduce this ambiguity and danger. However, in order to be effective, Dmarc Record Generator must be properly and securely implemented as part of a proactive, multi-layered email security strategy to protect the inbox from fraudulent emails, which frequently result in data theft, extensive downtime, fraudulent wire transfers, and severe, long-term reputational harm.

This post will look at whether you should use DMARC Quarantine or DMARC Reject, as well as how to set up and utilize DMARC to guard against sender fraud and spoofing attacks.

Email Spoofing  

Email spoofing is a technique commonly employed in phishing attacks and other email scams in which a hostile actor sends an email with a forged “From” address. In a spoofing attack, the sender forges an email header such that the client software shows the forged sender address, which most users accept at face value.

Cybercriminals are often able to trick users into sharing sensitive information by posing as someone the recipient knows and trusts, as recipients are more likely to click on a malicious URL, disclose credentials, install malware, or wire corporate funds when an email appears to be from a friend or a colleague. Having a multi-layered approach in place, including the usage of DMARC email authentication helps you ward off phishing attempts on your email domain.

DMARC and Its Usage

DMARC is an email authentication protocol or standard set in place to help systems or devices interact better. It is used to validate the validity of email exchanges by confirming sender identity and preserving domain reputation. The protocol effectively adds an “identification check” to all inbound communications.

DMARC allows a sender to indicate that their messages are protected by SPF (an open standard that specifies a method for preventing sender address forgery) and/or DKIM (a TXT record published in an organization’s DNS that provides a method for validating a domain name identity associated with a message through cryptographic authentication).

An email that passes both SPF and DKIM authentications shows that the message is originating from a legitimate server and that the header information has not been altered to falsely align the email. An email that passes at least one of the two authentication processes demonstrates that the sender controls the DNS space of the “Friendly-From”, the name and address that indicate how the sender wishes to be known, and is thus who they claim to be.

However, just because you’ve installed DMARC doesn’t imply your email is immune to phishing, spoofing, and other malicious attacks that target your organization on a regular basis. Implementing a stronger policy than ‘p=none’ can provide an extra degree of security. Each of the DMARC Quarantine (p=quarantine) and DMARC Reject (p=reject) policies provide a different level of protection, and each has advantages and disadvantages that should be evaluated.

Employing ‘p=reject’

Setting a ‘p=reject’ DMARC policy is an even more stringent defense against sender forging attacks than a ‘p=quarantine’ policy, guaranteeing that all fraudulent mail is never sent to the recipient. With a DMARC Reject policy in place, non-compliant emails are entirely rejected and never reach the intended recipient. Users cannot be duped into clicking on a dangerous URL in a phishing email and giving away sensitive credentials, or installing ransomware through a malicious attachment.

The one disadvantage of establishing a DMARC Reject policy is that genuine emails that fail authentication and are rejected will go unnoticed by the recipient.

Employing ‘p=quarantine’

Implementing a DMARC Quarantine policy notifies participating receivers that you recommend they treat emails that fail the DMARC authenticity check with extreme care. Messages that fail the DMARC authentication will still be allowed by the receiver if a ‘p=quarantine’ policy is in place.

The receiver is responsible for choosing how the quarantine policy should be implemented. Non-compliant communications are often routed to the recipient’s quarantine mailbox or spam folder, where they may decide whether to transfer the emails to the inbox or reject them.

DMARC Quarantine may be a fantastic testing policy since it helps firms to gradually and gently migrate towards utilizing a stronger DMARC policy, allowing them to ensure that the appropriate emails are passing and the wrong ones are failing. However, installing a DMARC Quarantine policy should not be taken lightly, since recipients may come to connect your domain with junk emails if valid emails are detained or designated as spam, ultimately hurting your reputation.

Getting DMARC Right in Lieu of Email Authentication

DMARC is a powerful email authentication method that is most effective in protecting against spoofing and sender fraud when implemented as part of a proactive, multi-layered email security solution managed by a provider who understands these threats and how this protocol can best be incorporated as part of a defense-in-depth approach to preventing email fraud and securing sensitive information.

Setting up DMARC is a difficult task that, if done poorly, has the ability to jeopardize your company’s success. Collaboration with an email security company that takes on this task may be extremely helpful in terms of saving time, improving security, and avoiding costly errors.

If you decide to deploy DMARC on your own, the policy you pick should be based on a thorough assessment of your organization’s security concerns and commercial objectives. To offer total safety for the receivers of your emails, we normally suggest setting a ‘p=reject’ policy at EmailAuth. However, keep in mind that ‘p=quarantine’ and ‘p=reject’ provide substantially more protection than ‘p=none’.

EmailAuth is a complete, fully-managed email security solution that eliminates the difficulty and danger associated with adopting DMARC to help protect company Email Security Solutions. EmailAuth fully implements DMARC to efficiently and simply protect your users, critical company assets, and hard-earned reputation against phishing, ransomware, and other dangerous attacks that typically involve spoofing and sender fraud.