Tip Tuesday: How to ease your MX record woes

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Nov 21, 2017 8:20:00 AM

shutterstock_525062410.jpgEmail is arguably one of the most important forms of business communication today, and on average 269 billion emails are sent per day. We know that as an MSP you probably have a lot of hands-on experience migrating users to new servers, but what is a good rule of thumb for MX records when you’re switching the DNS?

Kevin Davy, one of the systems engineers at Barracuda MSP, had this advice to share:

“After switching MX records [mail exchanger records], especially with Barracuda Essentials for Email Security, you should always leave your old MX records in your domain’s DNS manager for at LEAST 48 hours to ensure senders’ DNS updated the changes. People sending emails to your domain might have DNS providers that propagate changes slower than yours, and their emails would be bounced back to the sender if they can’t find the old MX records they are targeting on your DNS.”

No matter which industries you’re protecting, keeping the MX records in place for a few days enables important emails to still reach the recipients inbox. For example, if you were moving to a different town, or a different street, it takes a few days for the postal service to reroute your mail to the new address. It’s the same concept, except digitally. Taking this precaution can help keep you in the good graces of your SMB clients.

An interesting approach to email security

In relation to Kevin’s tip, we thought it would be helpful to explain how Barracuda Essentials for Email Security and your DNS work hand-in-hand. Instead of email communicating straight from one DNS to the next, the email is intercepted before it arrives in the user’s inbox. This sends the message to the Barracuda Cloud where it is then detonated in a sandbox environment to detect any malicious links, codes, or files and prevent them from being sent to the end-user. If the message is deemed safe, it is then sent to the user.

3 Email security best practices

While email security services are an important part of keeping your SMB customers safe, email best practices should be put into place as well. Here are three email best practices that you should teach your SMB customers.

  1. Always call the sender and verify sensitive or confidential email requests. It might take an extra minute, but it can save your customers from wiring money to a fraudulent account, sharing confidential employee records, or compromising sensitive data. Instead of sending information over immediately, verify that, for instance, the CFO really is looking for W-2s—before you send.
  2. Hoover over a link to check the URL instead of blindly clicking. Watch out for any  hyperlinks that go to an unexpected destination, and pay attention to where the forward slash is in the link. If it’s not right after the .com, the link might be sending you to a different location. 
  3. Don’t open attachments from users you don’t know! If you don’t know the sender or you think an email seems suspicious, don’t open its attachment. It could contain malicious code or take you to a malicious site—or worse there could be a zero-day attack waiting to strike.

Email security paired with teaching email best practices can help you protect your SMB customers from falling victim to the next attack. To learn more about what security options are available through Barracuda MSP, please check out our webinar: Strategies for Stopping Email-Borne Threats.

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Topics: Tip Tuesday

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