Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- by Brittany Day
Malicious email is multiplying exponentially due to the COVID-19 crisis - and cyber criminals show no signs of slowing down. In April of 2020, Guardian Digital has identified more phishing emails than in any month prior since the company’s inception in 1999. This alarming trend is consistent with a recent report published by Google, which indicates that from April 9-16, 2020, the tech giant saw 18 million COVID-related phishing and malware attacks daily.
In this new digital environment where attacks are on the rise, it is more important than ever that organizations protect remote workers from email spoofing and phishing scams.
Safeguard Your Inbox from Sender Fraud with DMARC Enforcement: What You Need to Know
DMARC enforcement is critical in preventing the serious consequences of identity deception, adding an identity check to all inbound email messages. This sender authentication protocol is designed to give email security providers and email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from email spoofing and sender fraud - mitigating the risk of phishing attacks, business email compromise (BEC) and other dangerous email scams. Once a DMARC Domain Name System (DNS) entry is created, a receiving email server can authenticate incoming email based on the instructions specified by the domain owner within the DNS entry. If the email passes the authentication, it is deemed legitimate and will be delivered. If the email fails the authentication, it is flagged as fraudulent and is either quarantined or rejected.
When it comes to fortifying your email with DMARC enforcement, there are some important points to consider. Be aware that not all email security providers implement this powerful sender authentication protocol to its fullest. Moreover, defense-in-depth is essential to any effective security strategy, and DMARC is far more effective when it serves as a component of a multi-layered email security approach. Guardian Digital security researchers have identified a list of high-priority, frequently spoofed domains that Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is validating with DMARC enforcement to protect all clients from spoofing, phishing and malware exploits. These domains include:
- @who.org (World Health Organization)
- @cdc.gov (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- @hhs.gov (Department of Health and Human Services)
- @irs.gov (Internal Revenue Service)
- @treasury.gov (US Dept. of the Treasury)
Using DMARC, we’re able to definitively tell whether it was actually the WHO or the CDC who sent a specific email to one of our clients. With this information, we can then reject mail attempting to spoof these domains and only allow legitimate email to get through to our clients' inboxes. By implementing DMARC authentication for our clients, others on the Internet can check their DMARC signature to ensure that emails they receive from our clients are properly signed, preventing our clients’ domains from being spoofed. Here is how to use the “dig” command to display the DMARC record for a domain using guardiandigital.com as an example:
# dig +short txt _dmarc.guardiandigital.com
The heightened email threat environment brought about by COVID-19 reinforces the importance of sender authentication through DMARC enforcement, implemented as part of a comprehensive, multi-layered cloud email security solution. Guardian Digital CEO Dave Wreski warns, “Just as you prioritize frequent hand washing, wearing a mask in public and keeping a six-foot distance from others, it is crucial that businesses and users prioritize digital security in this dangerous, uncertain time. Now is definitely not the time to overlook the importance of effective email security.”
We have assembled a list of tips and best practices for staying safe online while working remotely during COVID-19 that we recommend you share with your friends and co-workers.
- Thinking Strategically about Email Security in 2021 and Beyond
- There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- Behind the Shield: EnGarde Cloud Email Security Explained
- Open Source: A Powerful, Yet Underutilized Weapon against Phishing & Zero-Day Attacks
- Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- Buyer's Guide to Office 365 & Workspace Email Security
- EnGarde Cloud Email Security: The Logical Solution to Cyber Risk in Office 365
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Top Email Security Risks in 2021 - How To Set Your Business Up for Safety & Success
- Ransomware By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- SMB Ransomware Warnings & How To Prevent an Attack
- Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs
- Top Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online in a Work-from-Home World
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: A Passionate Engineer Brings the Power of Open Source to Business Email Security
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- The Modern Email Threat Landscape: Where Traditional Defenses Fall Short
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How to maintain security when employees work remotely: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright - Beware of These Sneaky Seasonal Phishing Scams
- Migrating Business Email: The Hidden Complexities You Need To Know
- How Do SPF, DMARC & DKIM Secure Email Against Sender Fraud?
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Complete Guide on Email Security & Threats Faced by Organizations
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Are Zero-Day Attacks & How Can I Prevent Them?
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail