Account takeover attacks are terrifyingly common. Around 33.8 percent of logins each month are malicious attempts originating from bad bots attempting an account takeover.
These malicious attacks target individuals and organizations, with disastrous effects for both. The bad news? Account takeover fraud isn’t going anywhere, and will continue to rise as more of our lives and businesses go online.
So, what exactly is an account takeover? And more importantly, how can you prevent it? Keep reading for everything you need to know!
Account Takeover Attack Defined
First things first, what is account takeover fraud? Account takeover (ATO) is a type of identity theft that involves a third party with nefarious intentions taking over an online account.
Account takeover has risen in prevalence and is one of the main cybersecurity threats of today. When an attacker steals an online identity they can gain access to sensitive information such as social security numbers and banking details.
These attacks are used for scams, to damage reputation or to sell stolen information. They are increasingly common because of how easy it is to take over an online account.
Effects of Account Takeover Fraud
The effects of an account takeover attack can be disastrous for organizations, consumers, and individuals.
The most common effect is payment fraud when fraudsters make unauthorized payments from accounts that they’ve taken over. It’s also common for fraudsters to sell stolen data and accounts.
These effects are damaging for organizations especially. At an executive level, ATO can seriously damage a company’s reputation when cyber criminals scam other organizations using the taken-over account.
Overall, this can cause a huge financial loss, increased chargebacks, loss of customers, reputation damage, and transaction disputes.
Account Takeover Protection and Prevention
So, how can you prevent account takeover attacks to protect your information and your organization? You need to make it as difficult as possible for fraudsters to access your account.
There are a few key steps you can take to decrease the risk of ATO. These include:
- Don’t use the same, simple password for every account
- Keep your browser updated
- Install anti-malware software
- Verify numbers and credentials
- Check for compromised credentials
- Set rate limits on login attempts
- Send users notifications on account changes
- Implement multi-factor authentication
By taking these steps you can mitigate against account takeover fraud. You need to ensure that you add as many obstacles and layers of verification to log into your online accounts. This will create the necessary barriers to protect your accounts against cyber criminals.
Protect Your Organization and Consumers
As more of our lives and businesses go online, it’s more important than ever to mitigate the risk of an account takeover and other cyber attacks. Keep on top of your cybersecurity management by implementing safety tactics and anti-malware software.
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