What is Dynamic SPF Flattening, and how does it function?

dynamic spf flattening

Email authentication plays a vital role in combating phishing, spoofing, and other email-based threats. SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) are widely adopted email authentication protocols. 

However, the emergence of complex email delivery systems and other third-party services has introduced challenges in managing SPF records. Dynamic SPF Flattening offers a solution by simplifying and optimizing SPF records.

In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of Dynamic SPF Flattening. Explore its functionality, and understand its connection to DMARC, DKIM, and SPF.

Understanding DMARC, SPF, and DKIM

DMARC: DMARC enables domain owners to define policies for handling emails that fail authentication checks. It provides reporting mechanisms for monitoring email authentication activity.

SPF: SPF records are published in the DNS and are checked by receiving mail servers to verify the authenticity of incoming emails.

DKIM: DomainKeys Identified Mail is an email authentication method that uses cryptographic signatures to verify the integrity of email messages. DKIM adds a digital signature to outgoing emails. This allows receiving mail servers to verify that the message has not been tampered with during transit.

The Challenge of Complex Email Delivery Systems

In modern email delivery systems, organizations often utilize third-party services, such as email marketing platforms or customer support ticketing systems. In order to send emails on their behalf. These services typically operate using their own infrastructure and IP addresses, which can complicate SPF record management.

The challenge arises because SPF records have a limitation known as the “10-DNS-Lookup” limit. Each additional includes a mechanism or redirect in an SPF record that incurs a DNS lookup. Therefore, exceeding the limit can lead to SPF failures and delivery issues.

In complex email delivery setups, where multiple third-party services are involved, managing SPF records becomes increasingly complex and error-prone.

Introducing Dynamic SPF Flattening

Dynamic SPF Flattening is designed to simplify and optimize SPF records in complex email delivery systems. It addresses the challenge of the “10-DNS-Lookup” limit by dynamically flattening SPF records into a single, consolidated record.

With Dynamic SPF Flattening, organizations are likely to create a centralized SPF record that includes all the necessary IP addresses and third-party services. Instead of relying on multiple mechanisms or redirects, which trigger additional DNS lookups, Dynamic SPF Flattening condenses the record into a single include mechanism.

This technique leverages a specialized service or software that dynamically resolves and expands the SPF records of third-party services. This happens during the email delivery process. The Dynamic SPF Flattening service instantly retrieves updated IP addresses from third-party services to dynamically construct an optimized SPF record upon email sending. This consolidated record is then used for SPF authentication by receiving mail servers.

Summing Up!

Dynamic SPF Flattening and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) are two important components in the realm of email authentication and security. While Dynamic SPF Flattening addresses the challenges of managing complex SPF records, DMARC provides a framework for policy enforcement and reporting.

The connection between Dynamic SPF Flattening and DMARC lies in their mutual objective of enhancing email authentication and security. Dynamic SPF Flattening simplifies SPF records and ensures alignment with established GoDMARC policies for organizations. We make sure to secure your emails by passing authentication checks, Reducing the likelihood of spoofing, phishing, and other email-based attacks.

Check out the DMARC pricing page to know more!


Q1. What is Dynamic SPF Flattening?

Dynamic SPF Flattening is a technique that simplifies complex SPF records by consolidating them into a single, optimized record.

Q2. How does Dynamic SPF Flattening function?

Dynamic SPF Flattening dynamically resolves and expands SPF records of third-party services during email delivery, creating a consolidated SPF record that includes all necessary IP addresses and services, improving deliverability.

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