Over the past few decades, fraud has increased dramatically with the use and advance of technology. Hackers fraudulently access confidential data, steal the information and sell it online. Hackers can also sometimes utilize that information to gain access to other information sources to cause even more damage. In some cases, thieves fraudulently identify themselves as the hacked users and use their billing information to order products or services online. Whichever way the data is used, this type of fraud can be prevented by utilizing an out-of-band authentication method.
Fraud spawns from malware which are malicious programs hidden on a victim’s computer siphoning pieces of confidential data. Once an attacker has their trojan, virus, key logger or one of many malicious applications they can start to gain pieces of information that could potentially be used for a data breach. By gaining information such as usernames, passwords and sometimes an OTP, a hacker can fraudulently identify themselves as an authentic user and steal information from private networks.
In some cases a fraud victim’s information can be stolen through a phishing site which looks identical to the website that the user is trying to access online. This phished information could then be used to access sensitive data online and it can also be used to access other websites where the logins may be the same. Out of band authentication methods protect against unauthorized access of personal information by using a dynamic one time password which can safely be received through a separate channel than the primary one.
Online banking attacks can be prevented utilizing out of band authentication methods. An attacker may try to make an online purchase, transfer money or withdrawal funds by fraudulently accessing a user’s account. Out of band authentication can prevent unauthorized transactions by sending a one-time password to the user’s mobile phone or any other device which can utilize a separate network of communication than the access point to confirm transactions. If the user receives a one-time password when they did not initiate a transaction, they can decline it and can report it to their financial institution for further investigation.
Out-of-band authentication provides an added layer of protection while accessing information or making transactions. By utilizing the separate network of communication, a one-time password is kept hidden from attackers as well as verifying the user through ownership of a token generating device. If an attacker were to compromise login credentials or install malware on a computer used for authentication, they still would not be able to gain access to the one-time password which is sent either to the mobile device or something else the authorized user has that can receive and communicate some form of out of band authentication. Out of band authentication can be used to secure and prevent some of the most commonly known and most sensitive data breaches.
Data breaches are covered by the media these days often, but it is for good reasons. With information gained from a data breaches like the RSA data breach, an attacker can fraudulently access accounts to obtain more information for more serious attacks. This is why prevention of fraud should start at the access level. Once access is granted and compromised, vital information can be used and attackers can access the victim’s sensitive data.