SPF or Sender Policy Framework is a protocol used to detect and then block the spammers from sending malicious emails from the organization’s domain. In layman’s terms, cybercriminals cannot misuse a company’s domain for their vested interest.
HOW DOES SPF RESTRICT SPOOFING?
SPF, an email authentication protocol gives the company authority to decide who can send emails using the domain on the company’s behalf. For an SPF to work, the company has to add an SPF record to the DNS servers that allow the recipient’s email servers to recognize whether the communication is from a reliable source or a phishing campaign.
It is impossible for any IT team to sit back and monitor every email. Even if they do so, it is not possible for any human to track and stop a phishing attack. Having an SPF record is a wise way to deal with cyber threats that attack your domain or target other victims through your domain.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SPF?
One of the most important benefits of SPF is that it helps stop phishing attacks that can easily be carried out on an organization’s name. If any such attack is planned and executed under a company’s name, it will never be trusted by its customers again. So, the very first advantage of investing in an SPF tool is:
- DOMAIN REPUTATION IS PROTECTED
- As no malicious attacks can be carried out on your organization’s name, its reputation will be protected and at many times, boosted.
- PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS
- From an organization’s domain, most of the time, their customers and partners are at high risk of being attacked. By protecting your domain and not letting a miscreant send out an email from your domain, you will not just protect your reputation but also safeguard the customers and partners from cyber-attacks and fraud.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF SPF?
Following are some of the cons that you should take note of:
- SPF does not guide about the next steps in case the email fails SPF
- No reporting functionality is provided to the receiver to send the sender the results of email authentication
- Email authentication can fail for forwarded emails as the third person’s IP address is not listed on the record
- Constantly update your SPF records to allow any reliable third party to send an email from your domain.
One of the worrisome downsides to SPF is that only 10 DNS lookups are allowed. But this is where SPF Flattening helps. More on this in the next blog. Keep watching this space.
To make sure that your domain only enables sources that you have actually approved, use our SPF tool. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance with SPF problems like the “Too many DNS lookups” problem.
As we speak about the disadvantages of SPF, one thing to note here is that keeping all of these disadvantages in mind, DMARC was introduced.
HOW DOES DMARC HELP WHEN SPF FAILS?
DMARC does not rely only on SPF to pass the email. Along with SPF, it also works with another authentication test called DKIM. So, as and when the SPF fails, it checks your DKIM and based on that, instead of simply failing the delivery of email, DMARC passes it. In case, both SPF and DKIM fail, DMARC tells the server what to do with the message:
- NONE – Send the email to the recipient
- QUARANTINE – Send the email to the recipient but deliver it to the junk box
- REJECT – Do not send to the recipient
To avoid failures or mishappenings of any sort and protect your domain against cyber-attacks, invest in DMARC.
Although technical knowledge is necessary for DMARC deployment, ProDMARC is made to make your DMARC journey simple. DMARC setup is now simpler than ever with our hosted solution. Trust us only after you use it.