Prevent Account Takeover (ATO) While Embracing Innovation and Keeping Customer Trust

Member News
Feb 03, 2023

By Josh Goldfarb, F5

For many businesses, more and more of their transactions are moving online to digital channels.  Customer behavior necessitates that businesses make this move quickly and adeptly, though, not surprisingly, the competition is also making this move.  Thus, in order to adapt to rapidly evolving customer demands, businesses must embrace innovation. 

Given this, it makes sense to pose the question: Does embracing innovation introduce the risk of potential fraud loss and/or compromising customer loyalty?  In most cases, the answer is yes, it does.  But that does not mean we should not embrace innovation.  It merely means that we also need to embrace innovation when it comes to protecting our digital channels from security and fraud threats.  In other words, embracing innovation can introduce risk into our environment, but it can also help us reduce risk. 

How so?  There are likely many different wants, though here are four innovative steps businesses can take to help them mitigate risk within their digital channels: 

1.) Converge security and fraud teams:  Shattering organizational silos not only creates comradery between security and fraud teams, but it also helps reduce risk.  A unified view of security and fraud provides better visibility across a wider slice of the business, as well as reducing barriers to security and fraud teams working collaboratively.  This facilitates better monitoring and detection, more complete investigations, and more efficient response.  It also allows for better and more accurate metrics when looking to understand loss from security and fraud incidents, overall risk to the enterprise, and the value that the security and fraud teams are providing.

2.) Eliminate malicious automated traffic:  Unwanted, automated traffic (malicious bot traffic) can have a number of negative consequences for businesses.  These can include inventory manipulation, fraud losses, data theft, reputation damage, performance degradation, increased infrastructure costs, investigation costs when attacks occur, and additional customer support costs.  This traffic never contributes to top line revenue, but it can seriously affect the bottom line by causing increased costs.  Given this, it is in the best interest of the business to identify and eliminate this automated traffic.  Given this, it is in the best interest of the business to identify and eliminate this automated traffic.

3.) Look for intent: When looking at manual fraud (e.g., Account Takeover) in digital channels, what separates legitimate customers from fraudsters is their intent.  Now, of course, it is not trivial to reliably understand the intent of the end-user behind the keyboard.  That requires a detailed understanding of end-user behavior in the session, device intelligence, and an astute eye towards environment and network inconsistencies.  This requires a concerted, forward-leaning effort that goes beyond the traditional fraud capabilities of many businesses.  Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile investment that can reliably reduce risk without negatively impacting the customer experience.

4.) Reduce friction without increasing fraud:  When businesses have implemented the above suggestions, they will find themselves with an improved security and fraud workflow, far less automated traffic, and a much better handle on what is legitimate traffic versus what is manual fraud.  This opens up an interesting fourth possibility – the ability to reduce friction and improve the customer experience without increasing risk.  If I know what traffic is automated and what traffic is fraudulent, I can also know what traffic is legitimate and desired.  That is the traffic that I want more of, and thus, that is the traffic that I want to provide the least friction around.  Thus, with a bit of innovation, I can improve the user experience for my customers without introducing additional fraud loss into my bottom line.

While the changing marketplace does require businesses to move more of their transactions online, it does not require them to accept any increased risk that this brings.  By leveraging innovation both to remain competitive and to mitigate security and fraud risk, businesses can have the best of both worlds:  Satisfied and loyal customers alongside properly mitigated security and fraud risks in their digital channels. 

To find out how you can prevent Account Takeover (ATO) while embracing innovation and keeping customer trust, watch this on-demand webinar.

Blue-tinted background of a man watching a webinar

Host a Webinar with the MRC

Help the MRC community stay current on relevant fraud, payments, and law enforcement topics.
Submit a Request

Publish Your Document with the MRC

Feature your case studies, surveys, and whitepapers in the MRC Resource Center.
Submit Your Document

Related Resources

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.