How DMARC Combats Shadow IT Security Risks

How DMARC Combats Shadow IT Security Risks

Large organizations have huge IT systems. The massive IT ecosystem means there is an imminent need to regulate and safeguard the brand’s resources such as data and money. However, given the sheer size of companies these days, many departments rely on their own solutions, marking the origin of Shadow IT.

Shadow IT has grown rapidly in the last few years. CEB (Corporate Executive Board) estimated that 40% of all IT spending at a company occurs outside the IT department. The exponential growth is driven by the quality of applications such as file sharing apps, social media, and collaboration tools, and also by lines of business deploying enterprise-class SaaS apps.

Shadow IT has grave security risks and challenges. The cons far outweigh the pros. Fortunately, these security risks that Shadow IT poses can be resolved by the implementation of DMARC.

What exactly is Shadow IT?

Shadow IT is a broad term used to describe a company’s technology, application, device or service being used by the employees without the IT department’s approval and most of the time, even without their knowledge.

Companies have big IT departments to monitor the flow of data and the use of the company’s systems and other resources. However, in recent times, BYOD has blown up. This bring-your-own-device ecosystem has resulted in employees bypassing central security and purchasing their own tech services to get the work done. A leading report has revealed that 35% of employees have gone around their company’s security policy to get their work done.

This uncontrolled and unregulated use of Shadow IT could lead to data leaks, compliance violations, and other cyberattacks that cost millions in losses and data.

Shadow IT risks

The CCA (Cloud Computing Association) has revealed that over 30% of companies run cloud applications that the IT department knows nothing about. These apps are not monitored and successfully bypass all security policies. This makes the company vulnerable to malicious spam, phishing attacks, and spoofing. All of this results in the loss of money, data, customers’ trust, and brand credibility.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) can help solve Shadow IT risks and challenges by authenticating the sending sources even if they circumvent the company’s security policies.

To read more about Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, head over to What is DMARC?

How does DMARC help?

DMARC authenticates outbound emails, rejects illegitimate emails, and strengthens security to fend off phishing attacks. Additionally, DMARC reports let companies know the sending sources of all their emails, allowing the IT department to track the exact sending domain and authenticate all outbound information.

DMARC can be configured to receive regular reports from email servers that receive emails from your domain. It is recommended to regularly monitor these daily DMARC reports that are received. It provides a more comprehensive idea about the messages sent from your domain that pass SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication. If your DMARC reports show that a majority of messages pass DMARC, you may want to update your current DMARC policy to a stricter policy. Stricter enforcement provides better domain security against spoofing, phishing, and other attacks.

DMARC reports provide answers to the following questions:

Which servers regularly send emails to your domain?

What percent of these emails pass DMARC authentication?

Which servers or domains send messages that fail DMARC authentication?

What DMARC actions are being taken by the receiving server against unauthenticated messages from your domain?

In this manner, Shadow IT is regulated and the company need neither worry about the original source of an email nor fret about malicious cyberattackers targeting their domains.