Email authentication addresses a significant flaw in current digital communications: the inability for an email recipient to verify a sender’s identity. This flaw has led to unprecedented levels of phishing attacks, which account for more than 90 percent of corporate cybersecurity breaches.
Email authentication allows email receivers to verify a sender’s identity. It’s based on the application of three globally accepted open Internet standards: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
With email authentication, a company can enable only those senders that it explicitly authorizes, and block everyone else who attempts to send digital communications on its behalf: malicious actors as well as legitimate (but not yet authorized) cloud service providers.
By successfully implementing email authentication, a company can ensure that anyone who receives an email from their domain name can trust that it really comes from that company.
Furthermore, email authentication tells receiving servers what to do with non-authenticating messages: discard them, move them to spam, or deliver them normally.
A 360-Degree View
Email authentication provides complete visibility and control over who sends an email using your domain name. The importance of this has grown dramatically with the rapid increase in cloud service providers, thousands of which send emails on customers’ behalf.
Furthermore, email authentication reports give domain owners valuable data on how many emails were properly authenticated, as well as any email activity from impostors and cloud service providers that may be legitimate but not yet authorized.
Email Authentication Has Wide Support
Virtually every major email service provider has implemented email authentication. That includes 100 percent of major providers such as Gmail, Microsoft, and Yahoo!/AOL/Oath, as well as a large and growing majority of email providers and ISPs across the globe. In all, 76 percent of mailboxes worldwide, or 4.6 billion mailboxes, are protected by email authentication and will enforce domain owners' DMARC policies.
Automating Email Authentication
When implemented properly, email authentication provides global visibility into your email ecosystem. But it requires careful understanding of internet standards, intimate knowledge of how email communications work in the cloud era, constant monitoring of DMARC reports, and frequent updates in response to changes in your array of cloud service providers and the email ecosystem.
Of the companies that attempt to get email authentication to an enforcement policy on their own, 70 percent fail to do so within 9 months. Maintaining enforcement is an ongoing challenge for these companies.
Successfully implementing and maintaining email authentication requires a fully automated approach that eliminates the need for specialized in-house expertise, interpretation of complicated DMARC reports, and frequent manual updates to DNS records.