Credential stuffing 101: Best prevention steps at a glance!

Regardless of other factors, no business is entirely immune to cyberattacks. Recent cyberattacks and security breaches involve some of the biggest brands and companies in the world. This is a clear indicator that we aren’t doing enough to ensure cybersecurity. For any business, it is important to identify threats and take necessary action in time, so that a hack or breach can be prevented. In this post, we are discussing one more cybersecurity concern called credential stuffing.

What exactly is credential stuffing?

In simple words, credential stuffing is automated use of login credentials that are available to hackers because of previous data breaches. For instance, if someone’s username and password was stolen but they never changed it, the same details can be used by hackers to gain access to an account or resource. In many ways, this is a subset of brute-force attacks, but in this case, hackers don’t try to guess passwords. Instead, they use the credentials available to them. 

Is it possible to prevent credential stuffing?

Previous data breaches are a reality, and while a company or end users cannot do much about stolen data, but other steps may help, such as – 

  1. Changing passwords frequently. Instead of using the same username and password for years, businesses can request customers and users to change their passwords frequently, at least once in a year.
  2. Creating strong passwords. In fact, the standard norm right now is to use passphrases that have at least 16 characters. Ensuring that passwords do not contain easy-to-guess information is as important. 
  3. Using MFA. Multifactor authentication is absolutely important and necessary. This refers to having additional means of authentication, instead of relying just on passwords. For instance, a user can be prompted to use an OTP sent to their phone. 
  4. Lockout feature. A lot of brute-force attacks happen because hackers are constantly trying to hack into an account. The lockout feature basically locks an account if two or more wrong passwords or credentials are used. 
  5. Using bot management service. For the unversed, bot management service is about keeping a check on credential-stuffing bots. A good example of this would be Cloudflare. 

Hackers, unfortunately, have been successful with credential stuffing time and again, and it often happens because businesses do not give attention to data security. If you want to eventually prevent credential stuffing, you have to consider enhancing security. Preventing security breaches is as important as keeping a tab on credential stuffing.