Account takeover prevention

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Implementing a strong account takeover prevention strategy can reduce risk and further secure online accounts.

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What is an account takeover attack?

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The goal of an account takeover (ATO) attack is to obtain control of a legitimate user's online account in order to complete fraudulent transactions, steal personally identifiable information (PII), or carry out additional attacks. Account takeover attacks can use a variety of methods, from credential stuffing to phishing and more, in order to steal access to online accounts.

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How to prevent account takeover

Rate limiting

Account takeover attacks may use brute force in order to gain access to user accounts. Limiting the amount of login attempts can stop such attacks before they succeed.

Bot management

Credential stuffing bot attacks use previously stolen credentials in an attempt to gain access to accounts. Stopping malicious bot activity can help prevent account takeover.

WAF rules

ATO attacks often originate from known bad IP addresses. They may also use SQL injection attacks and other layer 7 attacks to gain access. WAF rules can block such requests.

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Zero Trust security

The use of a Zero Trust framework, which includes enforcing the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and verifying all requests no matter their origin, can help prevent account takeover attacks.

Related account takeover case studies

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Cloudflare helped LendingTree save over $250,000 in just 5 months and reduced Bot attacks by over 70%

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Modern HR platform Namely protects clients and optimizes email security resources with Cloudflare

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Cloudflare protects our growing hybrid workforce with our own Security Services Edge (SSE) / Zero Trust platform

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Account takeover prevention FAQs