Account Takeover Protection

In today’s digital landscape and expanded attack surface, account takeovers have become an increasingly prevalent threat. Cybercriminals are constantly developing sophisticated techniques to gain unauthorized access to user accounts, often resulting in severe consequences for individuals and organizations. Account takeover protection is crucial to minimize the damage.

Account Takeover Protection: The Basics

Here are some practical steps for prevention of, detection of, and response to an account takeover:

1. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): By enforcing MFA, you add an extra layer of security to your accounts. This requires users to provide additional authentication factors during logins, such as a one-time password or biometric verification, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

2. Monitor user behavior and access patterns: Account takeover protection requires establishing a baseline of normal user behavior and continuously monitor for anomalies. Unusual login locations, IP addresses, or a sudden increase in failed login attempts could indicate a potential account takeover. Utilize user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) tools to help identify suspicious activities and prevent compromised accounts.

3. Enable account activity notifications: Set up real-time alerts for critical actions, such as password changes, email address modifications, or failed login attempts. This allows you to respond promptly if any suspicious activity occurs. Promptly notifying the affected victim can also help prevent further unauthorized access.

4. Conduct regular security awareness training: Education is an important component of account takeover protection. Training your users about the importance of strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and the risks associated with sharing login credentials. With proper training, your users can become the first line of defense against account takeovers by recognizing and reporting suspicious activities.

5. Use robust password policies: Implement strong password requirements, such as minimum character length, the use of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Encourage users to regularly update their passwords and avoid reusing them across multiple accounts.

6. Implement anomaly detection systems: Systems that detect events indicative of an impending Deploy advanced anomaly detection systems that can analyze user behavior and identify patterns indicative of an account takeover. These systems can help identify suspicious activities, such as unusual login times or multiple failed login attempts, and trigger alerts for further investigation. They can also initiate automatic defenses, such as blocking account access.

7. Regularly review and update online access controls: Conduct regular audits of user access privileges and ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information. Remove or update access for inactive or former employees promptly to prevent potential misuse of their accounts. An important part of account takeover protection is elimination of opportunities. 

8. Have an incident response plan in place: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of an account takeover. This plan should include clear communication channels, roles and responsibilities of team members, and procedures for containing and mitigating the impact of the incident.

9. Utilize threat intelligence: Stay up to date with the latest threat intelligence information to identify emerging attack techniques and vulnerabilities. This information can help you enhance your account takeover protection protocols to proactively defend your accounts and respond effectively to potential account takeovers.

10. Regularly assess and update security measures: Continuously evaluate and update your security measures to ensure they align with the evolving threat landscape. Regularly test your systems for vulnerabilities, patch any identified weaknesses promptly, and stay informed about emerging security technologies and best practices.

Implementing these account takeover protection strategies can significantly reduce the risk of account takeovers and protect your organization’s sensitive information. By taking a proactive approach to security, you can stay one step ahead of attackers and safeguard your accounts from unauthorized access.


Remember, security is a continuous process, and it requires ongoing efforts to stay protected. Regularly educate and train your users, enforce strong password policies, deploy advanced anomaly detection systems, review and update access controls, have an incident response plan in place, utilize threat intelligence, and regularly assess and update your security measures.

By following these best practices, you can strengthen your organization’s security posture and minimize the potential impact of account takeovers. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start implementing these strategies today to protect your accounts and data from unauthorized access.

Bolster is an integral part of your account takeover protection plan. Contact us for a demo.