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With the onset of the digital revolution and most of the inhabitants of this planet going digital, the rise in cybercrime, like any other, also gains momentum. Cybercriminals use various methods to hack a victim’s account and extract its confidential information, putting a major strain on their data security. One of the ways a cybercriminal gains unauthorized access to a victim’s sensitive information is through an account takeover attack.

An account takeover attack is a cybercrime in which a criminal gains illegal and unauthorized access to an organization’s website or account. The information extracted will be quite valuable to the hacker, which it can use to make a profit through performing various actions, such as making purchases, sending messages, or accessing sensitive information. This can damage the financial and reputational standing of its victim. There are several ways that an account takeover attack can take place.



How an Account Takeover Attack Happens

There are several ways for this attack to occur:

1.     Phishing

This is a type of attack in which the attacker sends a fake email or text message to the victim, claiming to be from a legitimate company or service. The message typically contains a link that, when clicked, takes the victim to a fake login page that is designed to look like the real login page for the company or service. When the victim enters their login credentials on this page, the attacker captures them and can use them to take over the victim's account.


2.     Brute Force Attacks

In this type of attack, the attacker uses a computer program to guess the victim's login credentials by trying every possible combination of characters. This can be done quickly, and if the victim's password is weak, it may be possible for the attacker to guess it successfully.


3.     Stolen Login Credentials

If the attacker has obtained a list of login credentials that were previously stolen in a data breach, they can use these credentials to try to take over accounts on different websites and services. This can be done by simply trying the stolen login credentials on various sites until they find one where they work.


4.     Man In the Middle Attack

Internet traffic goes through various server routes before reaching a website. If, during that process, a cybercriminal were to intercept the traffic while en route, and if it isn’t encrypted, they can view and track all the movement on the internet, including the victim’s username and password.


How to Prevent an Account Takeover Attack

An organization can protect itself from an account takeover attack in several ways.

1.     Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) enhances data security by using an extra layer of protection to accounts by requiring an organization to provide additional information on top of the password when logging in. This extra step helps to prevent account takeover attacks because it makes it much more difficult for a cyberattacked to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.


2.     Virtual Private Network

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a cybersecurity tool that helps secure a company's internet connection by encrypting the data they send and receive over the internet. This can help to protect their online activity from being monitored or intercepted by others, such as when an employee of the company is connected to a public Wi-Fi network due to a hybrid-work model.


3.     Account Tracking System

An account tracking system is a tool used in cybersecurity to monitor and track the activity on user accounts. This can include login activity, changes to account settings, and other actions users take on their accounts. The purpose of an account tracking system is to help identify and prevent unauthorized access or activity on user accounts. An account tracking system can alert security administrators to suspicious activity or potential account takeover attempts by monitoring activity on accounts. This allows them to take timely action to prevent or mitigate the threat.


4.     Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) is a security software designed to protect web applications from attacks. It does this by inspecting incoming traffic to a web application and blocking requests that are deemed to be malicious or that do not meet the security policies of the application. A WAF operates at the OSI model's application layer, which is responsible for communication between software programs. This means that a WAF can inspect the content of incoming web traffic and apply security rules to it rather than just looking at the source and destination of the traffic like a traditional firewall does.

Cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated with each passing day. This can cause a looming threat for organizations as their data security, financial standing, and reputation are on the line. To protect themselves from unauthorized access and an account takeover, they need to deploy optimum cybersecurity solutions.

GajShield provides its clients with well-rounded cybersecurity solutions to safeguard their data from all cyber-attacks. It offers solutions such as data leak prevention, email security, firewall, VPN, and many more, protecting the users' sensitive information. Contact us to learn more about our robust cybersecurity services.




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