There was hardly a time in history when a fraud didn’t exist; just remember the old story about one of the most successful fraud attempts, “the story about the Trojan horse.” As long as there was something to gain, there were people willing to do whatever it takes and exploit whoever it takes to get it. As the world was developing, the gains were getting higher and higher. The fraudsters also weren’t standing still; they were busy updating their malicious methods to keep up with developments. The internet and digital transformation of various businesses have allowed them to access completely new areas where they can exploit their victims, and fraudsters have gladly accepted the opportunity.
Online fraud has become so widespread that nobody is safe anymore, whether individual, business, or government. As long as they can make a profit, fraudsters do not care who you are. Luckily, they are not the only ones developing new methods. There are new cyber solutions constantly evolving to keep up with the fraudsters, and it is time for entrepreneurs to stop waiting for something to happen and start actively protecting their businesses. Browser fingerprinting is one of those solutions, and that data collected by browser fingerprinting tools allows you to stop fraud before it can cause any damage to your business.
What is Browser fingerprinting?
Browser fingerprinting is a valuable cybersecurity tool that collects data from a user’s browser and uses it to create a unique fingerprint for identifying that user. Gathering all this additional information about your users helps you get to know them better, recognize the patterns in your network and make informed decisions about your business. Wondering how it can create a unique fingerprint for a user just by using a browser? It would help if you stopped thinking about a browser as a set unit and instead considered it as a collection of data to understand how browser fingerprinting works.
Your browser holds information of hundreds of different elements like the operating system and type of device the customer uses to access your network, browser version and extensions used, language and time settings, even sensors such as accelerator, proximity, gyroscope, and much more. Browser fingerprinting collects all this information and combines it into the user’s unique browser fingerprint.
Some users can have similar browser fingerprints; even the tiniest differences in the variables make each of them unique. Think about it like the differences between two cars. They might be the same brand, type, and even from the same year, but there will still be some differences like their color or even the color of the seats, bumper stickers, or their mileage. It is the same principle for browsers; there will always be some differences.
How can browser fingerprinting help you fight against online fraud?
Customers are an essential part of any business, as without them, there would be no business. Knowing as much as you can about them can help you identify their intent and recognize who is a fraudster and who is a legitimate customer. During the last years, it has been used for marketing as it allows companies to know their customer and use that knowledge to optimize targeting campaigns. Big eCommerce companies like Amazon, Zalando or similar, use it not only for targeting marketing but also to give you suggestions on your next purchase. While useful in marketing, it is indispensable in cybersecurity.
The main benefit of browser fingerprinting in cybersecurity is that it allows you to recognize any discrepancies that might show up in the fingerprint and investigate the issue. This effectively prevents account takeover fraud as it is easier to spot suspicious logins if you know what to expect. For example, receiving a login from a different IP address will raise a red flag which gives you an opportunity to implement additional verification methods to confirm if it is a legitimate user login in from a new device or a fraudster trying to take over an account. You can even use it to identify the connections between different users that might indicate someone is conducting a multi-accounting attack attempting to exploit your network.
Browser fingerprinting tools give a unique opportunity to businesses to identify suspicious activity and prevent it before it can cause damage to the company and its users.