Account Takeover (ATO) has become so familiar. Account credentials get exposed because of third-party breaches. These are used by criminals to initiate frauds and to steal intellectual property and profit by selling it in underground markets. 

Account Takeover is quick, scales rapidly, and causes collateral damage that can last long. In prevention lies the solution. The account takeover prevention solution ensures prevention and instills organizations’ confidence that their online applications are protected against automated account fraud and account takeover. 

Real power lies in taking preventive steps. Security professionals sometimes believe that password managers and MFA are protecting the company, but the truth is it is not enough.

Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report has stated that using stolen credentials is the number one, way that criminals gain access to sensitive information. 

Password Managers, behavior-based technology, multi-factor authentication, password rotation, and scanner solution are not efficient when used alone. These are not able to prevent an account takeover. Account takeover requires more protection.

The account takeover prevention solution helps prevent account takeover, alerts security or IT expert of an attempted ATO, and provides means to find the company’s exposed credentials underground. 

Steps To Prevent Account Takeover:

Real power is preventive steps to avoid the disaster and collateral damage due to ATO. The Key is to stop ATO. A proactive strategy will be more effective than constantly playing defense. 

Fortify Passwords:

Fortification of passwords is most important to prevent ATO even before it happens. The company must ensure employees don’t choose simple passwords or any previously compromised passwords. 

The company must educate its employees on the importance of choosing strong passwords that are unique and difficult to guess. 

Guidelines suggest 16 random characters. Password Standards guideline passwords make it difficult for criminals to guess, but at the same time, employees can’t remember!

A compromise is to follow Standard Passwords and have an automated password check that regularly checks into the user registration process. It is the preventive solution of cross-checking each attempted password creation against previously exposed passwords. The user is asked to change and prevent registering the account with a simple password or exposed password until the non-compromised password is chosen.

This database must be updated and must do real-time matches. Timeliness of the database is vital. 

Early Interventions:

Early interventions are to stop stolen credentials from being sold to criminals in the underground market. 

Criminals can discover compromised passwords and steal credentials through bots such as scrapers, scanners, and crawlers.

Strong and not compromised passwords prevent ATO from password use unlikely. But proactive protection of accounts that must be exposed to ATO requires sophisticated technology that can access the data like criminals. 

Companies that rely on web crawlers or forum scrappers will find the expose late in the ATO lifecycle. By then, stolen credentials will have been sold to underground criminal communities. Then controlling damage is what you can attempt to do. will have sold the expose late in the ATO lifecycle and by then stolen credit

Stop damage:

If credentials have been exposed, an effective security solution must be able to automatically and instantly force a password reset. Users get locked out of all accounts until they change a unique, strong, unexposed password. 

IT security and administrators must be alert and monitor accounts for suspicious activities for the long haul.

Users with stolen credentials should check all their accounts, work-related and personal, to ensure passwords and other details are not being used anywhere else. Changing all instances of compromised passwords is critical. Else users might become the victim of credential stuffing, where criminals match compromised passwords in other applications. 

Select Accurate Account Takeover Prevention Solution:

Stopping ATO requires investing and integrating an accurate account takeover prevention solution that identifies compromised passwords early and enables quick and automated remediation. 

Protect your accounts from ATO with a solution that flags users when there is exposure from third-party breaches before bots find them stolen and sold underground. 

The account takeover prevention solution identifies internal machines infected by viruses or malware. It should monitor suspicious activities and thwart any attempts to recover stolen data. 

Prevention of ATO needs constant monitoring of all employees and consumer accounts and continual cross-checking against a robust database of current breach data. The account takeover prevention solution must integrate easily with the existing system and conduct automated remediation. 

The account takeover prevention solution is essential as it ensures compliance, improves reputation and data security, and keeps the company safe from collateral damages. 

By Manali

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