EmailDirect: The Joy of Authentication

Richard Ryan King:
Part 1: What is email authentication and how does it help me? February 14, 2009
I was asked by some of my less technical co-workers to write something up on email authentication that wasn’t technically intimidating. So I sat down and laughed for a while thinking their off their rocker because there is no way I can write anything that doesn’t reference an RFC of some type. Then I remembered the first thing that intimidated me while living on my own that wasn’t my roommate “Bucket”; cooking. Thirty-five dollars later I bought the famous book “Joy of Cooking” which simplifies all my favorite dishes in an easy to understand way, hence the title of this 3 part blog “The Joy of Authentication”…read on

Part 2: SPF and SenderID, what the heck are they? February 18 2009
Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends had a “secret” club that even the CIA didn’t know about, most importantly your mother didn’t know about? And in order to gain access to your top-secret base you had a secret knock and passphrase so that sloppy kid with the constant running nose down the street couldn’t raid on your cool parade. Well that’s basically how e-mail authentication works. It provides the recipient with knowledge that the sender is the actual sender. Well, in Part 2, I will discuss exactly what Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and SenderID are, and how they relate to authentication so even that sloppy kid with the constant running nose down the street named “Bucket” will understand…read on

Part 3: DomainKey and DKIM, what the heck are they? February 27, 2009
In Part 2 of this 3 part series I talked about Sender-ID and SPF and compared it to the secret club you had with your friends. To gain access you had to know the secret password to keep “Bucket” out (the sloppy kid down the street) which is kind of how email authentication works. Well with DomainKey’s and DKIM you no longer have that simple authentication approach. Instead of passwords you now have biometric iris scans…read on