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How to automate: Automatically check domain mx records for max reputation in 10 steps

Hugo David

Today in How to Automate, we will learn how to check domain MX records automatically.

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, ensuring a company’s domain’s security and reputation is paramount.

One critical aspect of domain management is the monitoring and analysis of domain mail exchange (MX) records, which facilitate the routing of emails between servers. A solid MX record reputation is essential for maintaining seamless email communications and safeguarding against potential cyberattacks.

To stay ahead in this game, businesses must employ an efficient and robust automation platform to continuously analyze and monitor their domain MX records.

Companies can effectively streamline this process by integrating powerful tools like MxToolboxAbuseIPDB, and ipinfo and gain valuable insights into their domain’s health.

This article will delve into the significance of automating domain MX records analysis and discuss how implementing such a workflow can significantly bolster a company’s overall domain reputation management strategy. To do so, we will orchestrate 4 tools:

Mxtoolbox 1
MxToolbox
Abuse IPDB
AbuseIPDB
ipinfo
Ipinfo
slack integration mindflow
Slack

Check domain mx records – Why and How?

Manually performing domain analysis, particularly for MX records, can be a repetitive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive task for IT teams who already have numerous responsibilities. To address this issue and enable a more efficient approach, creating and implementing an automated process for analyzing MX records is crucial.

The primary goal of automating the process to check domain MX records is to allow IT personnel to focus on higher-priority tasks while the automated system continuously monitors, analyzes, and reports on the health of the domain’s MX records. By incorporating a well-designed and reliable automation platform, businesses can save time, effort, and resources, increase accuracy, and minimize the risk of human error.

The following Flow is designed to automate domain analysis system, specifically for MX records, to deliver comprehensive reports directly to the IT team via their preferred internal communication channels or ticketing software. These reports will provide valuable insights into the domain’s health and flag potential issues, allowing the team to proactively address any concerns and prevent negative impacts on the company’s email communications and domain reputation, such as IP rotation, de-listing requests, or any other action needed.

In addition to these benefits, automating the domain analysis process for MX records offers several other advantages:

  1. Scalability: As a company expands and manages multiple domains or subdomains, manually checking all MX records becomes increasingly challenging. An automated system can easily scale to accommodate the growing needs of the business, ensuring consistent and accurate analysis across all domains.
  2. Real-time monitoring: The automated process can be designed to provide real-time updates on the status of MX records, alerting the IT team to any anomalies or potential threats as they emerge. This enables faster response times and more effective mitigation strategies.
  3. Historical data analysis: An automated system can store historical data on the domain’s MX records, allowing the IT team to identify patterns, trends, and potential areas of concern. This information can be instrumental in making informed decisions and planning for the future.
  4. Integration with other security tools: By incorporating an automation platform that works seamlessly with other security tools, businesses can create a comprehensive and holistic approach to domain reputation management. This integration enables a more in-depth analysis of potential threats and enhances the company’s overall security posture.

Here is a sneak peek at the final Flow before we get our hands on it.

check domain mx records - main

Steps to automatically check domain MX records

Once you have created the Flow, the first thing is to set the trigger. To do so, select the calendar at the top left of the page. Under “Schedule the playbook to run,” select “At regular intervals.” Then, select “Weekly.” Finally, fine-tune the scheduler by choosing the days, hours, and minutes. In our example, the Flow will be triggered every Monday and Thursday at 9:05 a.m.

check domain mx records schedule set up

Now on to the actual Flow designing process.

  1. First, You will set an empty variable called “message” that will be written further down below in the Flow.
  2. Query MxToolbox API and the Lookup API call. We know we will query an MX record report to MxToolbox. So, in Query Parameters, under the “Command” parameter, type “mx,” and in “argument,” type the domain you want to launch analysis on.
  3. Right after this step, create a For-each loop. Go into the For-each settings and, under the “Source” field, type “/” and get the MxToolbox step execution. Introspect the API call answer and select the table “Information” for the For-each loop to iterate on.
check domain mx records for each set up
  1. Inside this For-each, create an AbuseIPDB API call by querying /check. Under IP address, type “/” and select For each inside the Iterations section. Select Iteration data and finally pick the field “IP address.” In the second input field, “Max age in days,” type the number of days you want to perform the analysis up to 90 days.
check domain mx records - abuseIPDB
  1. After this step, create an IPinfo API call /getInformationByIp. To configure this step, invoke the “IP address” field under the field Ip from the For each iteration data.
  2. Considering the format of the AbuseIPDB call answer, we need to perform a data transform on a particular field, “lastReportedAt.” When there is no report on the days you performed the analysis, the field will return an empty value. To format this, create a condition named “Do we have a last report?” leading to two “Transform data.” In the “Yes” branch, invoke a Compare function. Fetch the field “lastReportedAt” inside the AbuseIPDB step, and inspect the “data” table to select the targeted field.
  3. Once done, apply a JSON path function. In the “Query” field, c/c “$.lastReportedAt,” then in “Result delimiter,” type “\n.” This will inspect the invoked data and return only the “null” expression. Back to the Compare tab, select “Is not equal to” in the drop-down, then type “null.” Do the same process in the “No” branch but select “Is equal to.” Your condition is set.
  4. Following this condition, go into the Transform data in the Yes branch. Then, you will create and name your variable “message,” call the first variable “message” created at the beginning of this Flow. Then, populate this variable with the following information and invoke the different sets of data needed right next to them:
check domain mx records output prep
  1. Do the same for the other branch but withdraw “Last reported at.” The For-each loop is complete.
  2. At the exit, create a Slack /chat.postMessage API call. Paste your Slack channel ID in the “Channel” field. In the “Text” field, type a sentence to introduce your report and then call the variable “message” that will come out of the For-each loop pre-formated.

Your Flow is complete. Now, every Monday and Thursday, at 9:05 a.m., your team will receive fresh reports that check domain MX records and report all associated IP addresses and their reputation.

Conclusions on automated check domain mx records Flow

When designing this Flow, you can modify it to enable multiple check domain MX records to monitor the domains under your supervision. To do so, create a For-each loop comprising the MxToolbox step and the first For-each loop. In this new For-each loop’s “Source” field, type the selected domains you want the check domain mx records analysis to be performed.

Then, in the MxToolbox “argument” field, you will invoke the For-each iteration data. Thus, your first For-each loop will iterate on every domain typed and the second For-each loop will analyze IP associated with every domain. You will have to choose how you want to display the results. In one big message or separated into different messages. For this, either leave the Slack step outside the For-each loops to have as many messages as domains analyzed or put the Slack step outside the two For-each loop and format it accordingly.

Having such a Flow running at regular intervals, without the need to trigger it every time, thus ensuring teams to save time every week. They will receive their report on Slack or any other communication medium (emailTeamsJiraOpsgenie, or the like) and see the reputation of every IP associated with the domain.