How HUMAN Advertising Intelligence Solutions Help Protect Against Ad Fraud in the Ad Tech Industry
By Frank Walsh, Field CTO – HUMAN
By John Waters, Product Marketing Director, Media – HUMAN
By Amanda Walker, Global Director, Strategic Alliances – HUMAN
By Sarah Zuhusky, Hari Radhakrishnan, and Sujatha Kuppuraju – AWS
The digital marketplace has grown substantially since the beginning of the pandemic, with many customers increasingly opting to make their purchases via ecommerce.
However, this growth has also driven malicious activity associated with advertising fraud. From fake traffic and engagement to abusers attempting to leverage advertising as a means to deliver malicious advertising (malvertising) and phishing, this type of fraud affects all parties involved.
Overall, digital advertising growth increased by 15.6% in 2022 to $602 billion from the $521 billion spent in 2021, and this growth is expected to continue through 2023 and beyond, underscoring the need for a strong and reliable ad fraud solution.
Demand-side platforms (DSPs) need to deliver impressions and bids that are free from fraud to their advertisers so they can gain more impressions from real humans. Supply-side platforms (SSPs) need to ensure the impressions they deliver to DSPs do not contain fraud so they can increase their fill rate with legitimate ads. If DSPs or SSPs do not succeed in their respective goals, their reputation will be compromised, decreasing demand for their services.
At the same time, businesses need to be able to trust the data their ads generate so they can use their advertising budget effectively. Businesses rely on this data, and if it’s compromised it can cause data contamination, distorting site analytics and affecting marketing campaigns.
For example, bots performing click-fraud can create fake impressions and site engagements. This can affect the integrity of measurement and attribution processes, which evaluate the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and determine which marketing actions are contributing to conversions.
HUMAN’s Three Pillars of Fraud Protection
HUMAN is an AWS Partner that understands these challenges well and helps publishers preserve digital experiences that are free from fraud and abuse and assists ad tech companies in verifying their programmatic advertising efforts are free from fraud.
HUMAN specializes in modern defense against sophisticated bot attacks and fraud by disrupting the economics of cybercrime by increasing the cost to cybercriminals while simultaneously reducing the cost of collective protection.
Its approach is based on three pillars:
- Global visibility. This is achieved through assessing 20 trillion digital interactions per week for more than 1,200 global customers. The scale at which HUMAN verifies information provides it with an extensive view of the internet and devices connected to it.
This far-reaching perspective provides the teams at HUMAN with rare insight into the current state of the digital landscape. As operating systems, web browsers, devices, and advertising technologies evolve, those teams develop visibility into how the internet is evolving, enabling them to stay ahead of the continuously changing fraud landscape. This way, HUMAN teams can understand the current methods of abuse and from where they originate and protect against them.
- Network effect. As an ad request enters the programmatic bidding process, HUMAN verifies the humanity of the devices initiating the request. Using 2,500 different technical indicators, the company’s Human Defense Platform performs assessments without gathering any personally identifying information (PII) to protect against potential fraudulent interactions.
Through dynamic network, device, and behavioral signals, HUMAN collects technical evidence from three billion unique devices per month—more than half of all devices on the internet—to ensure each device is legitimate and there is a human at the other end. A detection event for one becomes protection for all clients.
- Disrupting fraud schemes. Behind the Human Defense Platform, teams of humans assess the data gathered and proactively participate with customers by helping them understand who is behind the ad fraud, how it’s being carried out, and how to disrupt it.
HUMAN’s Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team collaborates with some of the largest internet platforms, and even law enforcement, helping to disrupt large-scale abusers. Examples include: Methbot, PARETO, and 3ve. The teams at HUMAN bring a deep understanding of data analysis, techniques used in ad fraud, evolution of the internet, and emerging technologies.
Fraud Protection on AWS from Start to Finish
HUMAN’s offerings provide protection from ad fraud to all stakeholders in the digital advertising ecosystem. The scalability, availability, and efficiency of Amazon Web Services (AWS) enable HUMAN’s technology to stop ad fraud, no matter where it originates—within 12 milliseconds or less as the page loads.
With Keep it Human, HUMAN’s fraud-protection solution on AWS, HUMAN makes it easy for DSPs, SSPs, and businesses to protect their digital investments. By deploying HUMAN’s solution, AWS customers can realize significant benefits:
- Platform verification: HUMAN’s solution helps DSPs and SSPs improve inventory quality by using genuine ad servers and ensuring ad fraud is not part of their advertising ecosystem. DSPs and SSPs have the means to provide their customers with proof their platforms are trustworthy and free from abuse.
- Trustworthy data: When fraudulent activity is eliminated, businesses can rely on their data when making business decisions. With accurate insight into an advertising campaign’s performance, businesses don’t need to waste advertising budget on fraudulent impressions.
- Maintain reputation: By eliminating fraud before it enters their platform, HUMAN helps publishers provide a trustworthy experience for visitors to their site and advertisers, helping support their brand integrity.
- Optimize return: By delivering only verified human impressions, DSPs and SSPs can deliver greater value for their customers through better-performing inventory, ensuring their resources, time, technology, and budget are used effectively.
- Increase trust in the digital marketplace: By protecting against phishing, malvertising, and other ad fraud, HUMAN provides DSPs, SSPs, publishers, and advertisers with a way to ensure the experience is consistent with expectation, helping restore trust and transparency to digital advertising in every industry.
- Take advantage of the latest technology: With HUMAN’s visibility into the internet and through its network effect, customers know they are receiving the latest abuse protection techniques for their technology ecosystems—one that keeps pace with the speed of innovation.
Figure 1 – The HUMAN side of the API call.
Customers Gain Enhanced Fraud Protection with MediaGuard
MediaGuard is among HUMAN’s offerings on AWS Marketplace, and it helps ad tech platforms and media owners increase the trust in their platform by protecting against disruptive ad fraud.
This is delivered via the Human Defense Platform—built with a combination of technology, machine learning, and threat intelligence research capabilities—that ensure ad inventory is only reaching real humans across all media channels. The result is inventory free from fraud that is more valuable and with deeper trust by the ecosystem.
MediaGuard provides pre-bid prediction of invalid traffic at the request level for desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and connected television (CTV) environments. These predictions allow customers to prevent fraudulent requests in real time before an impression is ever served, reducing exposure to invalid traffic (IVT) and protecting revenue.
MediaGuard is implemented via a real-time server-to-server API. Each time a customer calls the MediaGuard API, the HUMAN system provides a bot-or-not prediction in 12ms or less roundtrip. The Human Defense Platform houses the bot markers created from the thousands of signals collected by the sensor tags. These bot markers have been developed for over a decade and are constantly updated to accurately identify when a bot is present.
After the prediction is provided, the MediaGuard validation loop ensures accuracy of that prediction. A sample of served impressions helps to 1) validate if the prediction was accurate, and 2) gather additional information at the time of impression to strengthen the Human Defense Platform. This validation loop ensures the platform is always working with the latest information to keep up with sophisticated fraudsters.
Customer Success Story: Yieldmo
Yieldmo, an ad tech platform that delivers innovative ad formats and insightful data, needed to ensure a fraud-free marketplace for its advertisers and publishers would continue even as its available supply of ad opportunities rapidly grew.
Combining internal protocols with MediaGuard proactively insulated Yieldmo from fraudulent activity on its platform despite its rapid growth. Laying the foundation of protection, actively monitoring all sources and adjusting as required, Yieldmo and HUMAN delivered trust in the marketplace for all partners.
“Fighting fraud requires more than simple measurement. HUMAN’s focused and unique approach and MediaGuard’s reporting of IVT is a major reason we originally started our partnership,” said Shawn Yang, Managing Director at Yieldmo.
Yieldmo’s IVT rate, already among the industry’s lowest at just 1%, declined 90% to just to 0.1% after implementing MediaGuard. Read the full case study >
HUMAN is a cybersecurity company that safeguards 1,200+ brands from incidents including bots, fraud, and account abuse. The company uses modern defense techniques to disrupt the economics of cybercrime by increasing the cost to cybercriminals while simultaneously reducing the cost of collective defense.
HUMAN verifies the humanity of more than 20 trillion digital interactions per week across advertising, marketing, ecommerce, government, education, and enterprise security.
Visit the HUMAN listing on AWS Marketplace to get started with HUMAN on AWS. With just a few clicks, you can quickly deploy and start using HUMAN’s solution on their system. You can also check out the AWS industry page for ready-to-deploy advertising and marketing solutions.
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