In this age of digital convenience, where our lives are intertwined with smartphones and online platforms, a shadowy menace looms just beneath the surface: the rising threat of Account Takeover, or ATO, fraud. Imagine for a moment that your bank accounts, social media profiles and confidential personal information are all safely locked behind a digital fortress. Now, picture an army of cybercriminals relentlessly plotting to breach those walls, gain unauthorized access and hijack your identity. This is not the plot of a science fiction thriller; it is the stark reality of the digital age we live in.
Account Takeover fraud is no longer a rare occurrence. It is an insidious identity verification epidemic that is growing in scale and sophistication with each passing day. Your user accounts, the keys to your digital kingdom, have become prime targets for hackers seeking financial gain and personal data. The consequences of an ATO attack can be financially crippling, emotionally distressing and reputationally damaging. In this hyperconnected world, safeguarding our user accounts and personal information has never been more crucial.
To better understand the world of ATO fraud, we first need to explore what it encompasses, how it evolves, the profound impact it can have on individuals and organizations, and most importantly, the proactive steps you can take today to fortify your defenses. We’ll also shine a spotlight on digital identity verification solutions that can make the gargantuan task of combating ATO fraud much more manageable.
What is ATO?
Account Takeover is a digital attack by cybercriminals who have taken possession of your online accounts using stolen credentials to commit fraud. Cybercriminals can obtain your passwords, usernames, and other identifying personal information by purchasing a list of stolen credentials via social engineering, data breaches, malware, phishing, and man-in-the-middle attacks. ATO is currently the most prevalent and costly online attack method facing online businesses.
ATO can spread dangerously fast across multiple accounts. Cybercriminals might only need to attack and access your bank account to also steal your email account, social media accounts, mobile wallets, credit cards, healthcare portals, utility accounts, entertainment accounts, or even government and retirement benefits.
How does ATO lead to financial loss?
We all celebrate the innovation of new digital services and platforms that can make our lives simpler, our communication faster and our interactions more seamless, but cybercriminals are also evolving their tactics at an alarming rate. In attempts to organize and execute large-scale attacks on multiple consumer accounts, these attackers are developing automated methods of targeting unsuspecting consumers. From complex scripts to bots, cybercriminals are creating more highly developed ways automatically access travel, finance, retail, and social media sites to test username and password combinations until finding one that grants them access to your information. These scripts and bots can even be used to target employee user credentials and gain access to classified business data.
By using automation to illegally access and drain funds from countless consumer and business accounts, criminals can commit ATO fraud at a much faster rate than any manual fraud prevention system can manage. This can quickly lead to financial devastation for customers and businesses. As ecommerce continues to expand across global markets in coming years, ATO will also continue to grow and evolve. Generalized ATO attacks will become more targeted, and financial losses will intensify.
This approach replaces mass credential stuffing with more targeted exploitation that could yield higher returns for the fraudster and drive increased fraud losses for FIs. This is a critical future area for FIs, as customers experiencing ATO will experience a loss of trust in their provider, regardless of fault, and the organizational cost of remedying an ATO attack is significant.
Are there solutions to protect my company from ATO?
Implementing a robust safeguard against Account Takeover fraud is critical to the health of any business. Customers who become victims of fraud will begin to lose trust, and brands will experience the loss of their reputation and their ROI (Return on Investment). Thankfully, digital solutions exist that can mitigate your risk of ATO, protect your brand, and reassure your customers. EVS has developed a suite of comprehensive fraud prevention solutions that can keep your brand safe without sacrificing convenience or compliance.
Now more than ever, businesses need to invest in robust identity verification measures to prevent and protect ATO. Regardless of your industry, fraud prevention is a real and highly critical component to maintaining a successful business. At EVS, we provide solutions that deliver a seamless user experience while also enabling you to adjust your risk tolerance as needed in varying situations. Our products use a combination of Dynamic Knowledge-Based Authentication, biometrics, Multi-Factor Authentication and One-Time Passwords to help ensure your brand’s and your customers’ digital safety.
Dynamic Knowledge-Based Authentication
Dynamic Knowledge-Based Authentication, or KBA, is a method of identity verification that collects data from multiple sources and generates real-time security questions before granting a user access to an account.
Biometrics are identity verification factors that cannot be stolen, replicated or misplaced. From facial recognition and liveness detection to voice recognition and fingerprints, biometrics are now common in everyday life. For example, we use facial recognition to unlock smartphones or provide quicker security clearance at airports, and some automobiles use biometric technology to replace keys with keyless entry devices.
Biometrics play a key role in fraud prevention. These unique identifying factors can ensure fast, reliable protected access to accounts and data, and make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to illegally access user accounts. Behavioral biometrics can also be leveraged to detect anomalies in user behavior and identify fraudsters. By analyzing user behavior patterns like typing speed or mouse movements, criminals can be caught and stopped before ever causing damage.
Multi-Factor Authentication and One-Time Passwords
Another important factor in ATO fraud prevention is the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and one-time passwords (OTP). These two forms of identity verification add critical layers of security to user accounts.
Because fraudsters are adapting to changing technology, they are also employing bots to automate the theft of OTPs (One Time Password), customers and businesses alike should see the necessity of requiring multi-factor authentication. MFA is critical to minimizing risk and outsmarting cybercriminals who will only continue to innovate new methods of accessing accounts. Although MFA can sometimes be a source of friction in the onboarding process, the increased security it brings supersede the small annoyance it creates. Using OTPs in identity verification adds a needed layer of security to protect all account holders.
EVS Products for ATO Prevention
We know how cybercriminals operate, and we know how to protect you and your customers from account takeovers. EVS offers comprehensive identity verification solutions to combat ATO fraud. AssureKBA, our dynamic knowledge-based authentication product, lets you quickly and accurately validate customers through a series of generated questions. AssureKBA is one of the most reliable DKBA (Dynamic Knowledge Based Authentication) products on the market and can be applied across multiple industries.
EVS also offers AssureCard, an identity verification and facial recognition system, that validates driver’s license and passport information. AssureCard can be layered with our other products like AssureID, our most comprehensive identity and age verification solution that cross-references multiple data sources to confirm user identities and prevent cybercrime. The EVS lineup of identity verification solutions also integrate with mobile devices so that MTA and OTP features can be leveraged.
With advanced BlueAssure technology, EVS sets the standard for ATO prevention and is the preferred choice for businesses across the country. You can build a bespoke identity verification and compliance system with our products so that each component is tailored specifically to your brand’s needs. Don’t let your brand go unprotected any longer—reach out to the EVS team today to start preventing ATO fraud with EVS solutions.