It should go without saying that the security of your mailing infrastructure is closely tied to your sender reputation and is a building block for establishing long-lasting relationships with your customers.
If you are hacked and spam lands in your subscribers’ inboxes, there are multiple risks, each having a different impact on your email program:
Spam will lead to a drop in subscriber engagement with your legitimate email
Both subscribers and Mailbox Providers (MBP’s) could block your mail
Malicious actors will likely send spam to random email addresses that are not your subscribers, which usually includes a high number of spam traps
If unauthorized content is being sent from your infrastructure and you are hitting spam traps, then you are likely to be listed on publicly available blacklists
The various factors I’ve mentioned above matter because major MBP’s are checking performance and security parameters to make filtering decisions before accepting a connection from your email server.
The time it takes for performance metrics to normalize varies based on the scale of the spam run, but no matter how long it takes, it will have a detrimental effect on email deliverability and ROI.
Based on our experience with Certified Clients, we put together 5 tips on how to secure your mail server. Share this information with your IT department to be better protected from malicious actors:
Mail relay configuration: Avoid being an open relay for spammers by specifying which domains/IP addresses your mail server will relay mail for.
Access Control: To protect your server from unauthorized access, implement authentication and access control. For example, SMTP authentication requires users to supply a username and password to be able to send mail from the server. Make sure access to your servers is on a need-to-have basis and is shared with as few people as possible.
Keeping your mail server secure is not only a prerequisite for a successful email program but also for making the most of the Certification program. The benefits include improved email deliverability at major MBP, bypassing critical MBP filters, unblocked images, and active links. If Compliance team detects spam on your Certified IP address/domain, they suspend your IP address/domain from the Certification Program, and it may take 30 days or more for performance metrics to comply with Certification thresholds.
Want to get more tips and advice on how to secure your email program? Stay tuned for the follow-up blog posts where I will be looking at how to be protected against common cyber attacks that can jeopardize your email program.