How to Prevent Credential Stuffing Attacks

prevent credential stuffing

Preventing credential stuffing is on the rise, affecting businesses of all sizes and industries. As a result, it’s critical to understand what these cyberattacks are and how they work so you can prevent them.

Unlike brute force attacks, which attempt to guess the login credentials of users, credential stuffing attacks use pre-existing stolen data to log into systems at a massive scale. Criminals have access to huge databases of compromised information such as names, addresses, passwords, security questions and more. This information is then used to bombard systems with login attempts. This can overwhelm IT infrastructures by 180 times the normal amount of traffic.

Many high-profile brands have fallen victim to this type of attack in recent years. Sony’s PlayStation Network suffered a credential stuffing attack in 2011 that affected more than 77 million accounts, while Reddit experienced two attacks in 2019 and Dunkin’ Donuts was hit twice in three months. This attack type can also compromise business accounts, resulting in financial loss, customer satisfaction issues and other consequences.

Defending Against Credential Stuffing Attacks: Strategies for Enhanced Security

The good news is that you can take preventative measures and deploy the right cybersecurity solutions to protect your business from these types of cyberattacks. In addition to user education and enforcing strong password policies, consider implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires additional layers of verification for access. This could include a mobile device, secondary email address, security question answers or even biometric verification.

Another effective measure is to utilize device fingerprinting, which creates a unique “fingerprint” for each session by using information such as language, OS, browser, time zone and more, collected from user devices. This can help detect if an account has been breached and identify illegitimate logins. You can also implement risk-based authentication, which analyzes multiple factors of the login process including a user’s IP reputation, device type and location, data sensitivity and more to determine if the account is at risk.

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