As an internet service provider, you likely have problems with your inbox filling up all day long. It seems as though there is a never-ending list of blacklistings and therefore you have to begin thinking about some long-term strategies that will prevent them from taking place in the future. There are a few strategies you can begin implementing right now that will help.
Blacklistings don’t show up out of nowhere.
A blacklisting, in almost all cases, based on evidence, shows the listed IP addresses or domains that are doing something wrong. Whether this wrongdoing is based on a compromised system, stolen user credentials, or just a customer sending his newsletter to a bought prospect list––they are all important. If the blacklisting isn’t taken seriously, it can get worse over time. Some blacklistings just block complete net ranges based on the amount of single IP addresses being blacklisted within this net range. Another nightmare is being blacklisted with your outbound mail platform, which is used by all your customers. One customer’s wrongdoing can impact all of your customers.
1. Use an Outbound Mail Filter
A strong outbound mail filter will be able to block a significant amount of spam in the first place. This means you will have fewer people sending out spam and harming your network. It will also begin to minimize the number of blacklistings. In this process, you can start to collect valuable information about who was trying to send spam through your outbound spam filters.
2. Collect Information to Clean your Network
Information about the various issues needs to be collected. If the abuse team is working on putting out the fires on a daily basis but is never collecting information to solve the problem at its root, then your abuse team is going to constantly deal with the same problems. This is an ineffective use of time and therefore you have to start collecting information so that you can address the problems once and for all. It will allow you to clean out your hosted network and prevent so many blacklistings from appearing.
3. Stay on Top of the Game
Attacks are constantly changing and therefore you need to stay one step ahead of it all. This may require doing research regularly to ensure you are doing all that you can to keep your customers and your network safe. This will allow you to stay on top of everything and minimize or eliminate blacklistings.
4. Vet New Customers
Make sure new customers are really new customers. Criminals often use wrong names, addresses, and stolen credit cards to subscribe to services. This gives them instant access to abusable infrastructure until your billing provider will inform you about a chargeback. This only creates costs and headaches. Having a few small mechanisms in place to avoid “unreal” customers subscribing will lead to a cleaner network and therefore fewer blacklistings.
Make sure your customers are aware that you will take action to make sure your network is not abused and are doing your due diligence to avoid blacklistings. This could be done with a Zero Tolerance Policy or simply having clear communication. You can also help your customers find the right information in your support pages and FAQs about Double Opt-in Subscription when sending emails.
In case you couldn’t avoid a blacklisting make sure you communicate with the blacklist provider. Let them know that you are on it and you are making sure that the problem is going to be fixed as soon as possible. Some blacklist providers will also be helpful in providing additional information about the case if necessary. Please understand that most of these blacklists are volunteer-driven and they are simply trying to protect people from malicious traffic by spending their free time working on these projects.
6. Use a Platform that Streamlines the Information
If you don’t have some kind of platform in place that is going to organize the information, your abuse team is going to be working double time or be overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to process. Make sure the amount of information is not the issue. Automatically parsing all this data, aggregating it into cases, and preparing them for your abuse team to easily process should be your first step. This will give you an incredible advantage and helps to speed up the whole process.
Speeding up the mitigation and remediation process gives your abuse team the chance to work through more in less time, which will make a big difference in blacklistings as well.
There is a lot you can do to eliminate blacklistings, but it requires a long-term approach including fast and reliable mitigation and remediation so that you aren’t constantly working on the same issues over and over again.
Contact us to find out more on how to prevent blacklistings.