How to Protect Against Spoofing in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace

Introduction

Email spoofing is a form of cyber attack where the attacker sends emails that appear to originate from a trusted source. This technique is often used in phishing attacks to deceive recipients into providing sensitive information or performing malicious actions. Protecting against spoofing is critical for organizations using cloud-based email services like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. This article outlines strategies and best practices to safeguard your organization from spoofing attacks.

 

 

Protecting Against Spoofing in Microsoft 365

1. Enable SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) are three protocols that work together to prevent email spoofing.

  • SPF: Ensures that emails are sent from authorized mail servers. Configure SPF by adding a TXT record to your domain’s DNS settings specifying which mail servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • DKIM: Adds a digital signature to emails, allowing the receiving server to verify that the email was indeed sent by your domain and has not been altered. Configure DKIM in the Microsoft 365 Exchange admin center.
  • DMARC: Builds on SPF and DKIM by providing instructions to receiving servers on how to handle emails that fail authentication checks. It also provides reporting capabilities. Create a DMARC record in your DNS settings and set it to monitor (p=none), quarantine (p=quarantine), or reject (p=reject) suspicious emails.

2. Use Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Microsoft 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) offers sophisticated tools to detect and prevent spoofing and phishing attacks. Key features include:

  • Safe Attachments: Protects against unknown malware and viruses.
  • Safe Links: Protects users from malicious URLs in real-time.
  • Anti-phishing Policies: Configure anti-phishing policies to identify and block spoofed emails.

3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Require users to use multi-factor authentication to make it harder for attackers to gain access to accounts, even if they manage to obtain a user’s password through phishing.

4. Train and Educate Users

Regularly train employees to recognize phishing and spoofing attempts. Use simulated phishing attacks to test their awareness and reinforce best practices.

Test if you are exposed to spoofing:
Use our free tool to test if you are exposed to Spoofing attacks: https://www.migdalcomputing.com/free-email-spoofing-tool/

 

Protecting Against Spoofing in Google Workspace

1. Enable SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

Similar to Microsoft 365, enabling SPF, DKIM, and DMARC is crucial for preventing email spoofing in Google Workspace.

  • SPF: Add a TXT record to your domain’s DNS settings specifying the mail servers allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • DKIM: Use Google Workspace to generate a DKIM key and add the generated TXT record to your DNS settings.
  • DMARC: Create a DMARC record in your DNS settings to specify how to handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks.

2. Use Google Workspace Security Tools

Google Workspace provides several tools and settings to enhance email security:

  • Gmail’s Advanced Phishing and Malware Protection: Enable settings that provide additional protections against suspicious emails.
  • Security Sandbox: Helps detect malicious attachments by opening them in a virtual environment.
  • Anti-spoofing Measures: Google Workspace automatically applies anti-spoofing measures, but administrators can also configure additional settings to enhance security.

3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Enable MFA for all users to add an extra layer of security, reducing the risk of unauthorized access even if credentials are compromised.

4. Conduct Regular Security Training

Educate users about the dangers of email spoofing and phishing. Regular training sessions and simulated phishing exercises can significantly reduce the risk of successful attacks.

Test if you are exposed to spoofing:

Use our free tool to test if you are exposed to Spoofing attacks: https://www.migdalcomputing.com/free-email-spoofing-tool/

 

Conclusion

Protecting against email spoofing requires a combination of technical measures and user education. By enabling SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, using advanced security tools, implementing MFA, and conducting regular training, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to spoofing attacks in both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Adopting these best practices helps ensure a secure email environment, safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining trust in communications.