Account takeover (ATO) fraud is one of the most devastating cyber threats a company can face. Unlike other types of malware, ATO is difficult to detect and often leads to significant damage to the brand and reputation of a business. Fortunately, there are solutions for companies to prevent the onset and escalation of account takeover attacks.
An ATO attack occurs when a fraudulent individual gains access to an online account by means of automated or manual means. The person takes control of the account, changes the account information, and begins making purchases using stolen personal information. This type of cybercrime affects any business that maintains an online account. As a result, companies can expect a number of issues such as customer service disputes and chargebacks.
In order to protect yourself from these types of attacks, you need to ensure that your website is equipped with an effective account takeover prevention solution. These tools monitor user behavior and can prevent abnormal activity before it begins. They analyze hundreds of user data points and can stop the onset of an attack before it becomes damaging.
Some of the most common accounts that are targeted in ATO fraud include social media, e-commerce sites, life insurance, and financial institutions. Usually, the attackers gain access by executing an automated attack. However, there are a number of other ways that they can gain access to a victim’s account. For example, a hacker can obtain a person’s account number through an ATM or card skimming. Another way is through a social engineering attack. During this attack, a fraudulent individual can use a cloned version of the victim’s site to redirect users to a page where a keylogger captures their login details.
Account takeovers are especially problematic if a company has stored credit card information for customers. Once a criminal has gained access to this information, they can buy personal information on the Dark Web. They can also sell access to other accounts through third-party marketplaces. Using this ATO fraud information, they can purchase a legitimate account for sale on an auction site, or sell a stolen account for a profit.
Because ATO fraud involves the theft of a person’s identity, it is important to have multi-factor authentication in place. Additionally, organizations should make sure their customer service agents are aware of these threats. Moreover, they should communicate with their users regularly regarding account changes and be alerted when they occur.
Account takeover fraud is a surprisingly complex threat, as the criminals behind the attack often don’t reveal their identities until they have gained control over the affected account. However, a growing number of stolen credentials are available on the Internet. There are a number of ways that you can identify and mitigate an ATO fraud attack, including implementing multi-factor authentication and using a password manager.
Having a password manager allows you to generate strong passwords without having to remember them. It can also autofill passwords on apps and websites. Similarly, an encrypted communications protocol can help you secure your communications. Lastly, a VPN can provide you with protection when you are connected to a public WiFi network.