Defend Against Account Takeover

Defend Against Account Takeover

Defend Against Account Takeover (ATO) is a type of identity-based attack that enables fraudsters to steal credentials and use them to impersonate customers or employees. These stolen credentials can be used to commit fraud by stealing money, merchandise, or loyalty points; to manipulate financial services or to gain access to confidential corporate information and data. ATO attacks can have a more serious impact on business than breaches of consumer or personal accounts.

ATO perpetrators acquire credentials through hacking, data breaches, phishing, and spear phishing. Once the credentials are acquired, cybercriminals use automated bots to systematically try out username and password combinations on popular travel, retail, banking, social media, and e-commerce sites. This allows them to identify valid credentials and then scale up efforts to retry those credentials across multiple sites, boosting the profitability of each validated credential.

Defend Against Account Takeover: Strategies for Digital Protection

Once criminals have control of a user’s account, they can use it to buy goods and services, redeem loyalty points or gift cards, and even transfer funds between accounts. Additionally, they can access the victim’s credit card or bank accounts to withdraw funds or purchase items through fraudulent purchases.

ATOs can have a profound impact on digital businesses, often resulting in chargebacks, lost revenue, and customer attrition. It can also lead to brand damage, fines, and legal repercussions. To help mitigate these risks, businesses should ensure they have a comprehensive security solution that includes a combination of proactive and reactive detection methods. Some of these include encrypting user data both in transit and at rest, providing password security policies, and utilizing machine learning models to detect anomalous patterns that can indicate an ATO.