What are you searching for?


CIAM: How to Manage Credential Stuffing Attacks

December 21, 2020
3 min


The growing use of e-commerce in recent months, following lockdowns and closures of non-essential businesses, has led to a considerable increase in attacks, and in particular credential stuffing attacks.

This practice - based on the widespread re-use of credentials stolen from several different accounts - allows hackers to access users' banking data or other sensitive information, empty their virtual wallets, and even change the delivery address. A recent example of this is the theft of hundreds of thousands of Spotify User IDs, including more than 40,000 French user accounts. Damage to brand image, drop in sales, criminal sanctions or loss of trust... the consequences of such attacks are often disastrous for brands. To protect themselves against them and because the biggest watchwords of Internet consumption are security (94%), but also ease of use (93%) and respect for personal data (85%), it is essential for e-retailers to have a suitable solution, combining data security and customer experience.

Credential Stuffing: A booming practice

With the lockdowns imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic, the buying habits and behaviors of European consumers have greatly changed. The massive turn to e-commerce, and the numerous account creations, led to a revival of credential stuffing attacks in all sectors. Using this technique, hackers buy or obtain lists of stolen IDs on the darknet, then apply them to other accounts, hoping to unlock as many of them as possible. The proliferation of these lists, combined with advances in "Credential Stuffing" tools that use bots to bypass traditional connection protection, have made them an increasingly important vector of attack.
The French are, in general, rather cautious about the security of their personal data and require a secure environment to share their information. However, when it comes to the management of their passwords, there is a lot of carelessness. A Google study showed that 2 out of 3 individuals use the same password for multiple accounts. And more than 50% of users admitted to having a favorite password for the majority of their accounts. A breeding ground for hackers! No matter how strong a password is, if it is used on different accounts, credential stuffing will get the better of it.

Identity management, an adapted response to "Credential Stuffing"?

Credential Stuffing that uses some of the most sophisticated bots and standard security controls are no longer sufficient today... Nearly 80% of companies acknowledge that they have difficulty detecting, preventing or correcting this type of attack, which costs an average of more than 6 million dollars per year per company . Online retailers are therefore obliged to implement solutions to reassure consumers, while guaranteeing them a reliable and secure experience. Some Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) solutions have developed a concrete approach. In increasingly complex environments, the management of access rights and customer identities enables better control and protection of user data.

The best way to deal with an attack is to detect it and then block it, but it is also imperative to fix any damage. CIAM provides an innovative response by enabling retailers to centralize, on a single platform and in complete security, all the tools needed to collect, manage and analyze customer profiles. This technology makes it possible to strengthen security with several modern authentication methods such as Single Sign-On (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA) or biometric authentication, but it also offers a wide range of data security features, such as protection against brute force attacks, intrusion tests, data encryption, high-performance password hashing algorithms, etc.

CIAM not only detects and stops attacks, but goes one step further. Even when an attack is blocked, it is often too late to prevent data theft. Rigorous authentication and successive access controls can limit damage and data leakage, even when a hacker manages to penetrate the network. In addition, CIAM can immediately and automatically ask users to reset their passwords and can inventory the data that has been stolen.

In a changing world, where the arenas of attack are multiplying, cybersecurity has no choice but to evolve. Customer identity and access management is a strategic element in the protection of e-commerce sites. It adapts to the evolution of threats and enables malicious activity to be detected, access to be blocked and additional checks to be triggered.

Want to learn more about ReachFive?

Whatever you need - business cases, best practices, product presentation... our team of experts is happy to help you.