Account takeover fraud (ATO) is when criminals obtain users’ login information and credentials to commit various types of fraud. They can steal money, credit card accounts, frequent flyer miles, and government benefits such as Medicare.
ATO attacks are expensive for businesses and damaging to their brand. Using a risk-based authentication system can help stop ATO before it happens.
Using account takeover software to protect customer accounts prevents cybercriminals from using stolen login credentials and other personal information. It helps businesses uphold consumer trust and loyalty, maintain data security, and protect business operations.
In addition to preventing account takeover attacks, account takeover protection can detect other suspicious behaviors, such as malware infiltration and unusual configurations. These anomalies help businesses identify potential threats and quickly respond to them.
For example, suppose a user’s account is compromised. In that case, they may suddenly engage in activities that are out of the ordinary, such as changing banking information on file or requesting new cards. Similarly, changes to an account’s saved shipping or billing address could indicate that fraudsters target the customer. A sudden drop in reward points or loyalty points might also indicate tampering.
Another standard method of account takeover is by guessing a username or password. When leaked password hashes are included in a data breach, it’s easy for hackers to test guesses. And, if passwords are reused, it’s just a matter of time before the hacker’s attempt is successful.
Many account takeover solutions utilize custom enforcement challenges that thwart automated bots and human cybercriminals. These contextual, adaptive visual challenges make it more difficult for criminals to exploit vulnerabilities and spoof detection systems. In addition, increasingly complex challenges wear down cybercriminals and sap their resources, causing them to abandon attacks.
Reduced Risk of Fraud
Account takeover fraud occurs when a criminal steals a user’s identity or credentials to gain access to their online accounts. It can include bank accounts, credit cards, social media accounts, or other online services. Fraudsters often use stolen account information for transactions and other fraudulent activities under the victim’s name.
Preventing account takeover fraud is possible by implementing specific measures in businesses. For example, by using a fraud detection system that monitors every step of the customer journey and isolates behavior patterns, companies can detect suspicious activity and take action before a cybercriminal successfully takes over a user’s account.
In addition, by implementing a solid authentication process that requires two-factor authentication or facial recognition, businesses can ensure that only the legitimate user is accessing an account. It will also help reduce chargebacks, which can considerably burden e-commerce merchants and negatively impact brand loyalty and recurring revenue.
While anyone and any account can be the target of an account takeover attack, certain types of accounts are more attractive to attackers. For instance, rewards card accounts are popular with hackers because they tend to have fewer protections than other financial accounts. Additionally, hacker-purchased stolen credentials can be found on darknet markets, eliminating the need for attackers to hack directly into a targeted account.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Account takeover attacks can damage businesses, leading to a drop in customer trust and loyalty. They can also cost businesses a lot of money in resolving transaction disputes and payment processing fees. However, implementing account takeover prevention software can help prevent these attacks.
Account takeover software uses multiple layers of verification to protect accounts against unauthorized access. It includes verification using security questions, password management systems, and biometric identifiers like fingerprint or voice recognition. In addition, it monitors unusual activity, such as login attempts from different devices and locations, which could be a sign that an account has been compromised.
Cybercriminals exploit compromised user accounts to commit various crimes, including making unauthorized purchases, redirecting shipments, laundering money, stealing reward points, reselling subscription information, etc. They can also use these accounts to target employees and executives for phishing attacks and other types of business fraud.
Whether targeting business customers or individuals, bad actors can take advantage of user accounts by turning off security controls, altering account settings, and changing email addresses. Account takeover protection software helps to prevent these activities by analyzing the attacker’s behavior and detecting malicious activity. It can also alert users in real-time if there is suspicious account activity. The software can be updated regularly to ensure the latest technology and security protocols are used to protect against new threats.
Account takeover fraud is a growing threat to businesses that collect customer data. Not only does it cost the victim business financial loss, but it also causes a loss of brand trust and may result in regulatory fines.
To combat this growing issue, many companies deploy account takeover prevention tools. These typically include policies that limit login attempts, use device tracking, and impose identity challenges. While these measures are effective, cybercriminals have learned to use automated systems to defeat them. These automated systems are called bots and have a higher success rate than human attackers.
Attackers obtain login credentials through phishing attacks, malware infections, third-party data breaches, and social engineering. These credentials are used in credential stuffing to access accounts and steal information. Once an attacker gains control of an account, they can make unauthorized purchases or transfer funds to their bank account. In addition, they can use the account to send phishing emails, spam messages, and other malicious content.
Stopping account takeover attacks is challenging and requires a lot of resources. Manual reviews are one option, but these require resources that would be better spent delivering a great user experience. Furthermore, the risk of human bias can result in the incorrect treatment of users. The right solution is a platform that provides automated monitoring and mitigation. Depending on detected anomalies, the system imposes identity challenges or shuts down the account.