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Tips to Ensure the Prevention of Spoofing, Phishing, and Spam in Google Workspace by@arathi
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Tips to Ensure the Prevention of Spoofing, Phishing, and Spam in Google Workspace

by atozcybersecuritySeptember 7th, 2021
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Spoofing, Phishing, and Spamming are common threats an individual or an entire organization is likely to encounter. Phishing is a criminal activity where a scammer tries to get access to someone's personal information by pretending to be a legitimate business. Email marketing has become one of the most potent forms of internet marketing, used to send out hundreds or even thousands of emails to thousands of recipients in an attempt to build a database of potentially interested parties. Email marketing is a huge part of spamming as it will always outnumber genuine emails, which makes it easier to identify and deal with spam messages.

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With increasing dependency on the web and modernization of the industries moving to the cloud, data security and vulnerability to scams have become a major point of concern. Spoofing, Phishing, and Spamming are common threats an individual or an entire organization is likely to encounter.


Now, what do these terms- Spoofing, Phishing, and Spamming mean?


Spoofing- is a criminal activity where a scammer tries to get access to someone's personal information by pretending to be a legitimate business.


Phishing-Phishing attacks are always ensuring you are who you say you are and that any information you provide is genuine. There have been several recent high-profile cyber breaches involving UK government departments. Information that could uncover sources of classified information has been released online, compromising military and diplomatic networks. This has resulted in the necessity for individuals to train themselves how to spot phishing scams in their own inboxes.


The most common source of phishing attacks are emails sent to employees or customers that seem to come from legitimate sources but are loaded with malicious macros or spyware hiding amongst legitimate documents or other material designed to infiltrate computer systems. Aside from worsening the browsing experience of those who receive them, these tactics also serve as a boon for scammers looking to infiltrate employee or business networks to steal data or infiltrate organizations in hopes of causing financial harm.


Spamming-It is important to understand that there is a difference between spamming and unwanted email. Unwanted email is unwanted because it is bulk and impersonal. Spamming, on the other hand, is personalized and comes from a genuine place. If you want something from someone (an answer to a question, for example), it's important not to fall for the tactics used by spammers. Email marketing has become one of the most potent forms of internet marketing, used to send out hundreds or even thousands of emails to thousands of recipients in an attempt to build a database of potentially interested parties. This forms a huge part of spamming as it will always outnumber genuine emails, which makes it much easier to identify and deal with spam messages.


If you send mass emails without looking for feedback or educational purposes, you run a high risk of spammers finding your address and sending you junk mail. Avoid making purchases from sources that offer free shipping or require you to validate your ID before getting your products. Avoid sending out marketing emails unless you have a good relationship with the senders and can trust them to deliver only legally obtained products or services. It's important to realize that today's social networking is a whole-of-communication platform wherein every message or piece of content is equally available to everybody within a given circle. This creates the urgent need to fight spamming and connect people in a more constructive way. Of late, social networking sites have introduced a feature wherein you can report spamming emails or social media posts to the respective service providers.


How Admins can use Google Workspace to prevent these threats

· Sender policy framework is an email authentication technique that publishes authorized mail servers to send emails for your domain. SPF protects your domain from spoofing and helps to ensure that messages are delivered correctly. It has been designed to improve the overall security of e-mail communication by creating a visible reputation system for sending e-mail messages from an organization. Consequently, SPF also helps avoid spamming. Mail servers verify the origin of emails using the Domain Name System (DNS) records. An SPF record is included in each email message, indicating which mail servers issued the email.


If a domain is registered with multiple mail service providers, then each provider will forward mail to the corresponding mail server. However, since these providers may not keep a consistent record of who owns what domain, SPF falls short of protecting against spoofing and human error. Sender Policy Framework is an email authentication technique that publishes authorized mail servers to send emails for your domain. SPF protects your domain from spoofing and helps to ensure that messages are delivered correctly. SPF prevents spoofing using Gmail accounts by default; however, you can change this behavior and return mail to the sender by including an SPF record in your domain's MX records or adding Spam Warning in your email Header (as well as any other Within Network record).


· DomainKey Identified Mail (DKIM) is a protocol that improves email delivery security. It can be used for several purposes, but most importantly it improves message authentication. By ensuring that messages are signed by the actual domain owner, it enables the originator to be verified and protected when sending emails from an address that might not be authorized. The problem with relying solely on email providers to implement domain key-based e-mail protection is that they often implement it in a way that makes it difficult for spammers to hide their identities.


This is why you have to find ways to ensure that your DKIM signed emails aren't automatically deleted by your recipient's mail client or server. You can prevent spammers from sending you spam emails by following best practices for email filtering. By implementing a spam filter, you can also quickly identify when a message is from a known source. Spam filters use DomainKeys Infrastructure (DKI), a public key infrastructure for email domains. When you communicate with an email server using HTTPS, both sides of the communication have a private, randomly generated key a DomainKeys Header. This is used to encrypt the data flow between your computer and the email server. It prevents spoofing of your identity across different servers.


· Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance or DMARC record is a standardized email authentication method used by organization admins to prevent hackers and other scammers from spoofing their domain. It also helps the admins to request reports that get messages from the company or domain from email servers.


Any changes to your domain will result in the email service using DMARC to send an alert to your at least local domain administrators, including the senior management if there are changes made on the upper-level domain DNS is used to resolve the domain name into an IP address. Without this step, a fake site could still be displayed in your browser because the browser would interpret the domain name as referring to a real server instead of the intended one. Domain-based

Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance or DMARC record is a standardized email authentication method used by organization admins to prevent hackers and other scammers from spoofing their domain.


It also helps the admins to request reports that get messages from the company or domain from email servers and It also helps the admins to request reports that get messages from the company or domain from email servers. To help them recognize malicious activity and potential authentication problems for messages sent from their domain, these reports have details.


The 3 major security measures of DKIM, DMARC, and SPF that Google recommends to ensure the prevention of spoofing, phishing, and spam in Google Workspace boosts an organization’s dependency and helps them explore a secure email solution like Google Workspace.