DNS (Domain Name System) is a system that translates text-based domain names into IP addresses. Many may know that properly configured DNS records (hosted by companies such as GoDaddy) are crucial for businesses websites, which make simple URLs, such as www.yourbusinessexample.com easier for consumers and businesses to locate via a web browser; not many would argue with the fact that www.facebook.com is much easier for a user/consumer to recall and type into Google Chrome, than 126.96.36.199. What many novices and even skilled web and IT admins fail to realize is that proper DNS record configuration plays a vital role in securing business email, reducing email based fraud, phishing, and domain spoofing. No matter if your businesses email is hosted by Office 365, Google, Intermedia, Rackspace or still delivered by your own private business email server – your email security journey should always begin with properly configured DNS records.
In the context of business email, DNS plays a key role in ensuring that emails are delivered to the correct servers. When an email is sent, the sender’s mail server looks up the MX (Mail Exchange) records for the recipient’s domain to determine the servers that are responsible for handling email for that domain. The sender’s mail server then sends the email to one of these servers, which is responsible for delivering the email to the recipient’s mailbox.
What many don’t realize is that properly configuring DNS records can not only help businesses ensure emails are delivered to the correct servers and prevent email from being delivered to the wrong servers but are also especially important for preventing spam and phishing attacks, as well as ensuring that legitimate emails are delivered to the intended recipients.
Overall, DNS is an essential component of business email and essential to preventing email born attacks.
There are several components of DNS that can be configured to improve email security:
MX records: MX (Mail Exchange) records specify the servers that are responsible for handling email for a domain. Configuring these records correctly can help to ensure that email is delivered to the correct servers and prevent email from being delivered to the wrong servers.
SPF records: SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records specify the servers that are authorized to send email on behalf of a domain. By configuring SPF records, you can help to prevent unauthorized servers from sending email that appears to be from your domain.
DKIM records: DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records allow you to use a digital signature to authenticate email messages. By configuring DKIM records, you can help to prevent unauthorized parties from modifying or forging emails that appear to be from your domain.
DMARC records: DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) records allow you to specify how email servers should handle email that fails SPF or DKIM checks. By configuring DMARC records, you can help to prevent phishing attacks and other types of email-based threats.
Overall, configuring these components of DNS can help to improve email security by ensuring that email is delivered to the correct servers, preventing unauthorized servers from sending email on behalf of your domain, and helping to protect against phishing attacks and other email-based threats.