According to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, account takeover fraud in 2016 reached $2.3 billion worldwide. They reported this to be up 61% from 2015.
Cybercriminals may be winning the war on cybercrime. As much as organizations and institutions try to create high walls, hackers continue to find vulnerabilities in their systems. Account takeover is a plague that will continue to infect many more individuals and cooperates altogether.
There are many types of account takeovers and these fraudulent activities can occur in many ways. Let’s take a look at what account takeover is and its risks.
What is account takeover?
There are two things involved and that people get often confuse; a breach and the actual account takeover.
A breach: the breach is when someone gets access to the company information. The information exists in some form of a dark web and hackers can use that information to take over the company account.
An account takeover: the account takeover happens when a person uses the stolen information to take control of another person’s online accounts. A hacker could, for example, get into the account of a company and perform transactions as it is the company doing it. This can lead to possible monetary and/or credit theft.
The criminal gets the login information to the account, i.e., name and password. It is impossible to say who accesses the information at a given time.
Companies should learn more about account takeover and staying protected. It is only through such knowledge that they can devise security strategies.
● Risks of account takeover for a company
All sorts of fraudulent activities will take place using the company’s name. Bad actors will roam freely in the restricted environment of the institution.
Think of it as a break-in to a vast warehouse. Say there are essential items in the warehouse used to run all the activities of the company. Only specific people usually have access to such areas. But while you are in the space, someone else comes in like a ghost without your knowledge. They can carry out any transaction they want and however they want.
This is called account takeover. It can be as bad as changing the shipping address, creating a new password and logging the company out. From here, the criminal can carry out fraudulent purchases and many other harmful activities as he was the company.
If there is sensitive information on the account, bad fraudsters can sell for a higher price in the dark web or use it to blackmail the company.
This can be costly to the company. For example, E-commerce companies and financial institutions will be forced to refund legitimate clients. Even after that, the reputation of the company will be ruined.
Account takeover can take days, weeks or even months before the company can realize something amiss.
● But you can stop an account takeover
There are several ways to avoid account takeover. One of them is hiring a company like SpyCloud. SpyCloud helps businesses of all sizes prevent data breaches and account takeover attacks by alerting when employee or company assets have been compromised. If you want to know more about how they do it, please visit SpyCloud’s website.
If you have any comment about the breach and/or the actual account takeover, please feel share it.