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The best methods to trace suspicious user activities

Regardless of the size of your business your priority is always keeping your user happy. Not only do happy customers mean returning customers but they are also a great tool in attracting new users. Word of mouth was always the best and cheapest way to get more people familiar with your products or services. Truth is that every business or organization depends on their customers and users. You can have the most amazing product there is, but if you don’t have a customer willing to pay for that product then it doesn’t matter how amazing it is. 

Important way of keeping your users happy needs to be ensuring their online security. No matter in which business you are or how big your company is, your users are leaving their private and confidential information with you and you need to do everything in your power to protect it. Not only that by undergoing a data breach you are risking all your users confidential data, but that will also result in the loss of all the users regardless if they were impacted by data breach or not. If they can’t trust you that you will keep their data safe, how can they keep doing business with you? For example, 83% of US consumers say they will stop spending at a business for several months after a security breach and 21% will never return to that business according to research conducted in 2019. 

This is why online security needs to be your top priority. Luckily there are ways of stopping most of the suspicious user activities in the root. 

Image by methodshop from Pixabay

Image by methodshop from Pixabay

What are the best methods to trace suspicious user activities?

What are exactly suspicious user activities? They are defined as a set of activities taken by users that seem suspicious to your existing security controls or even  geared toward circumventing them. The best way of tracing suspicious user activities is by detecting anomalies and tracking certain key areas. If the anomaly happens in any of these areas, high chances are that it is connected with a cyber security issue. 

1. Devices and usage

Device fingerprinting is an important tool in fraud prevention if not the most important one. Similar to us and our own fingerprint, our devices also have a unique fingerprint that is created by collecting different variables unique to our device like IP address, language and location settings, operating system and much more. This means that it is easy to notice when a user is logging in from an unknown device, or if some of the variables have changed making the device fingerprint different and prevent the cyber attack before it even happens. In the worst case scenario this could be a cyber attacker using compromised credentials to access the network, and in the best case it could be a legitimate user using a different device. By using additional user verification methods you can confirm if it is a legitimate user, and if not, you have managed to stop a cyber-attack before it caused any damage. This is the easiest tool to implement as most people are glued to their devices and they use it in most of the aspects of their life. Why not then use those devices to protect them?

2. Network activity 

By tracking your network activity and noticing anomalies like receiving traffic at unusual volumes or using different patterns,you can react at the same moment anomalies are happening.

3. Ports and applications

By tracking this aspect you can take necessary actions if a server is connecting to a port or system (internal or external) that it doesn’t connect to in normal system operation, or if a user is signing in to applications they’ve never used before. You can also notice unauthorized port access which can be a sign of a malware attack.

4. User access 

In most cases any strange change in the user access is a sign that somebody other than that user is trying to gain access to your network using a legitimate user’s credentials. Some of the indications that show the user access has been corrupted can be the users accessing accounts at odd hours or trying to get an access to your network remotely, having multiple failed attempts to log in, and of course discrepancies between a user and a particular device which we already mention with the device fingerprinting. 

Tracing the suspicious behavior of your users is the first step in keeping your legitimate users safe. But that is not enough to ensure their security or the security of your business. Before doing anything, you need to educate everyone in your company about the threats they might face and how to protect themselves and the company, but you also need to educate your users on the same topics. By everyone being informed about the threats they are facing and being prepared to deal with those threats, you will already be one step ahead of your competitors when it comes to cyber security.

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