Published: 01/06/2023

Account takeover protection: why you need it

Every website with a login function is open to account takeover attacks. And as data becomes more valuable and attackers create more advanced methods, your website is likely to become more vulnerable to account takeover. In a single year, account takeover attempts increased by 282% — so account takeover protection is only going to get more important for businesses.

So do you need account takeover protection for your website — and how can you get the best possible protection?

What is account takeover protection and why do you need it?

Account takeover protection helps keep user accounts secure, so they can’t be hijacked by criminals who want to steal passwords, data, or payment information.

Stolen credentials and data are valuable. Criminals use techniques like credential stuffing and card cracking to take over and access customer accounts, including bank accounts and corporate social media accounts. They then use this information to steal money and loyalty points from your customers, or sell the information onto others via the dark web.

Account takeover fraud is dangerous for your customers or users — but it can harm your business, too.

What happens if you don’t have account takeover protection?

Allowing your customers’ payment details and identifiable information to be compromised can have a huge impact on your business.

First, the privacy repercussions could be huge. The fines for a GDPR breach are significant, with a maximum penalty of £17.5 million or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is larger. The bigger the breach, the more likely you are to receive a large fine — so account takeover protection is vital from a financial standpoint.

Hackers have also been known to use GDPR legislation to demand a ransom in exchange for returning data from compromised accounts. As our dependence on technology grows, websites become more vulnerable to account takeovers.

But account takeover attacks can also cost you customer trust and loyalty. This can have a hugely damaging effect on your reputation, preventing you from onboarding new customers and recovering your customer relationships.

How to prevent account takeover

Serious security measures are needed to prevent account takeover. Some of these can be put in place by your technology team. Help your customers keep their account details safe by:

  • Prompting users to create and maintain strong passwords. This includes implementing multi-factor authentication, enforcing password complexity rules, and prompting users to change their password frequently.
  • Locking accounts after unsuccessful login attempts. This can reduce the risk of a successful credential stuffing attack, and help you notice when your site is being targeted.
  • Using account takeover protection software. Using a dedicated account takeover protection program gives you a whole additional layer of security against these kinds of attacks, helping you spot and prevent account takeover attempts before they’re successful.

At Netacea, we offer an advanced account takeover protection solution. Our system detects and mitigates credential stuffing, account hijacking, and brute force attacks — all while prioritizing user experience.

Why you should use a trusted provider for account takeover protection

Putting measures in place to ensure your users create strong passwords is key to preventing account takeover protection. However, too many security measures can be irritating for casual customers, causing user experience problems that prevent sales.

Server-side account takeover protection eliminates this problem. Netacea’s unique technology constantly monitors your site for unusual activity, so you can identify and mitigate attacks in seconds.

It’s important to choose an account takeover protection solution you trust. We forge close relationships with our customers so they know they can turn to us in a security emergency.

One long-term Netacea Virtual Waiting Room client noticed a surge in traffic that turned out to be a malicious credential stuffing attack. Within six minutes we had deployed algorithms to block the account takeover attempt.

Find out more about Netacea’s account takeover protection solution

We’re proud of the service we provide our clients, and the confidence it gives their customers.

Following the incident, the client above said, “The Netacea team were incredible throughout the attack, and the days that followed. The speed they implemented and started mitigating was phenomenal, and the information that they were able to provide us during the investigation with our hosting partner was invaluable.”

To find out more about how our account takeover protection service works, book a demo of Netacea Bot Protection for web, app and APIs.

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