Email security standards such as SPF [1], DKIM [1], and DMARC are facing challenges in combating the increasing sophistication of malicious email attacks. This article explores the vulnerabilities of these standards and the need for a layered approach to email security.


Email security standards like SPF [1], DKIM [1], and DMARC have proven effective in making it harder for attackers. However, they are not foolproof against the evolving tactics of malicious email attacks. Deceptive links [1] [2], which account for over a third of all detected threats [2], allow attackers to bypass authentication checks and gain access to organizations [1]. Moreover, attackers are becoming more adept at creating messages that appear legitimate, often impersonating well-known brands such as Microsoft [2], Google [2], and Apple [2]. Compromised emails from vendors and large organizations pose a significant threat [2], as they don’t require malicious attachments or deceptive links [2]. Despite the adoption of these security standards by major email service providers, attackers continue to find ways to circumvent them.


To effectively protect against fraudsters and cyberattackers [1], a layered approach to email security is necessary [1]. While email security standards provide a foundation, they must be complemented with additional measures to mitigate the risks posed by deceptive links and impersonation attacks. Organizations should invest in advanced threat detection systems and employee training to enhance their defenses. Additionally, continuous monitoring and updating of security protocols are crucial to stay ahead of evolving threats. By adopting a comprehensive and proactive approach, businesses can better safeguard their email communications and mitigate the impact of attacks.