Account Takeover Protection - Use Cases - XTN Cognitive Security


Protect your users’ accounts while maintaining a frictionless journey.

Market Overview

If an organization provides credential-protected accounts to customers or employees, it has the potential to be an Account Takeover victim. This is a broad target for all main types of fraud, and the pandemic has increased the issue. Aite Group research “Key Trends Driving Fraud Transformation in 2021 and Beyond” shows that 64% of financial institutions see higher rates of ATO fraud attacks now than before the pandemic. *Source: Key Trends Driving Fraud Transformation in 2021 and Beyond, Aite Group, December 2020

What is it?

Account Takeover, also known as ATO, is one of the most common threats to industries such as financial services, eCommerce, gaming, retail, entertainment and healthcare, to name but a few. It occurs when a fraudster takes complete control of a victim’s account after stealing their credentials. The techniques to steal user information and impersonate the victim are consolidated and effective. Often the ATOs are the result of Data breaches, Phishing or Overlay Attacks. Targets are valuable accounts such as online banking, payment systems (PayPal), and all services with associated credit cards (for example, Uber). This type of fraud can have devastating, long-term impacts on businesses involving consistent reputational brand damage and money loss. Despite that, many merchants lack security measures.

How does it work?

When a fraudster successfully gains a user’s account credentials, they can access the victim’s account and change account specifications to avoid the legitimate owner becoming aware of malicious activities on their account. Now, the fraud can be committed. The fraudster can make fraudulent orders, use account credits, or sell customer data or even the whole account.

The challenge

Account Takeover is a fast-growing and widespread type of fraud affecting any organization with a customer-facing login. ATOs regularly target financial services, PA, retail, gaming, and reward programs. The danger is real for all business types since it could affect companies of any size, industry, or location. IT, HR, and management are the most frequently attacked departments. It’s challenging to prevent credential extraction in the first place. Users using the same credentials between different services, or an effective phishing campaign, tend to be nearly impossible to stop just by training the end-user. Phone calls made by fraudsters are incredibly realistic, and they often know client details which only the bank should know.

How we can help

As a Fraud Protection solution vendor, XTN Cognitive Security® helps you activate a successful strategy to prevent ATO attacks, creating a safe environment for users without adding unnecessary friction in their user journey. Our multi-award products combine advanced machine learning, behavioral analysis, device fingerprinting, and customizable risk scoring to automatically allow or block logins or require extra verification if needed.

  • User-behavior analysis implemented in our Cognitive Security Platform® lets us detect and block the threat. We identify behavioral anomalies that may indicate access by an attacker;
  • Behavioral Biometrics lets you recognize when attackers try to access the service In the guise of the legitimate user and prevent fraud from being successful;
  • Moving to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is crucial to secure electronic payments. Adopting an SCA solution with Behavioral Biometric features, such as our Smart Authentication (SA®), allows you to effectively combat phishing and similar phenomena leading to an ATO.
Business Risks
Consequences of Account Takeover can impact a digital business by:
  • Credential damage
  • Monetary losses
  • Reputational and brand damage
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Phishing campaigns


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