SPF Record Check To Reinforce SPF Records And Prevent Domain Impersonation For Spam Emails and Phishing
SPF record check can play a significant role in thwarting malicious attempts to impersonate.
With many of the emails sent globally marked as ‘spam,’ protection from email spoofing and spam is no longer an addition to security practices but a necessity. SPF or Sender Policy Framework is a security measure that enables domains to authorize a selected list of servers to send emails on their behalf, thereby reducing the number of spam emails being sent under their domain name. And an SPF record check can ensure the record’s accuracy, thus making it foolproof.
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What Is SPF Record Check?
SPF is a security provision where an SPF record containing a list of all authorized email servers authorized to send emails on an entity’s behalf (that is, using their domain name) is published in the Domain Name Service (DNS). The policy is set in the form of an SPF record that follows a specific format. An accuracy check known as SPF record check is necessary to ensure that the SPF record syntax is intact, free from errors and discrepancies, and has not missed listing any of the authorized servers. It thus makes the entire SPF policy perfect and more efficient. It effectively prevents anyone from sending spoof emails for spamming and phishing using the domain of an organization.
Why Have An SPF Record Check?
A lower SPF grade indicates an organization’s vulnerability to malicious actors using their domain name for spoofing attacks. It comes with its share of defamation and financial loss for the organization. In 2016, 54.8% of organizations in the U.S had an SPF grade of C or lower. It indicates a large quantity of spoofing emails that organizations are likely to receive because of the Sender Policy Framework’s poor execution by domains.
Functions Of SPF Checkers
SPF check operates as a diagnostic tool that validates the Sender Policy Framework. In simple terms, the SPF checker locates the SPF record for the required domain name and displays it (provided the domain has published its SPF Record). A series of diagnostic tests are then run for the record, reflecting the result and highlighting any errors that may be found. It will help to make the SPF record error-free and more efficient. All such actions of SPF checkers are performed to accomplish its two broad functions described below
The adversaries know precisely how to enhance the credibility of their fake emails. They do it by impersonating renowned and established organizations. Although a highly overused trick, such phishing scams have proven to be significant time and again. Spoofing is when the adversaries replicate a domain and send out emails to people in its name, usually for phishing and spamming. The SPF checker assists the email receiver’s server to identify whether the received email is actually from the organization’s domain it claims. By verifying the authenticity of the mail server, the SPF record check promotes spoofing prevention.
Keep Emails From Being Marked As Spam
This function of SPF is a corollary to the one listed above. In preventing fake emails from being marked as legitimate, the SPF record check also ensures that the emails sent from a domain (the real and genuine ones) do not get marked as ‘Spam’ by the recipient’s server. Here becomes evident the importance of using SPF for an organization! In case an organization or domain doesn’t use SPF, then the chances that their emails will go into the spam folder of the targeted recipients become manifold!
How To Create SPF Records?
An SPF record is essential to protect an organization, its business, and its customers from malicious interventions. The processes involved in creating an SPF record are listed here.
- Enlist IP Addresses used to send emails.
- Identify the sending domains.
- Create the SPF Record
- Publish the SPF Record on DNS
What Else Works With SPF?
Though SPF is powerful, it realizes its full potential when it operates in unison with two other email authentication techniques – DKIM and DMARC.
DKIM Record Check
DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is used to authenticate an email source with a digital signature. The DKIM record check allows a recipient to check whether an email was sent from the domain owner whose name reflects in the “From” section. Just like an SPF Record Checker, a DKIM Analyzer tool also tests a domain name and tries to locate it in the published DKIM records.
DMARC Record Check
DMARC or ‘Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance’ is the umbrella mechanism forming the basis of authentication checks like SPF and DKIM. As per RFC 7489 published by the IETF RFC Editor, DMARC record check enables an organization to forward domain-level policies and preferences for reporting, message validation, and disposition and permits it to take extreme measures against emails that defy authentication checks like SPF or DKIM.
SPF Record Check Google
Google Workspace or GSuite also provides the facility of keeping spam emails at bay. The SPF record check security feature of Google may be accessed and enabled from its Admin Help Center, where a step-wise guide has been provided for the same.
Spam emails are a hassle to the receivers and a financial drain for the impersonated organization. Since publishing a list of verified IP addresses serves as a security shield for both the organization and its beneficiaries, it is wise to use the SPF protocol with an appropriate SPF record check.
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