AWS Startups Blog

Kasada defends companies against online break-ins

Running a digital storefront eliminates many of the costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar retailing: geographical distribution, rents, and ongoing stocking, loss prevention and display requirements. Online customers shop from anywhere, without the hassles of road traffic, parking, and store closing times.  Online businesses build a greater understanding of their customers and stronger relationships, and can tap into exponential growth opportunities.

Doing business online makes it easier for customers, businesses and a new type of thief—one who can bombard a digital storefront with ‘break-in’ attempts via automated scripts and botnets.

These online thieves use malicious automation to brute-force passwords and steal customer personal information; commit credit card fraud and illegal transactions; scrape company IP data; and weigh down servers with fraudulent requests to the point of bringing down online platforms.

“With more and more businesses online, and more and more tools to attack digital storefronts and web apps, why would a criminal perform a physical break-in or theft?” says Ghin Khoo, Sales Manager at Kasada, an Australian cybersecurity company focused on the emerging Bot Risk Management space. “The number of break-in attempts can be massively scaled via new technology, and the chances of getting caught are much lower.  Criminals know it’s economically viable and lucrative to perform automated online attacks.”

Founded by Australian security practitioner Sam Crowther and backed by venture capital firms Reinventure and Our Innovation Fund, Kasada has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Chicago and is expanding the team rapidly. Kasada’s Polyform platform is built not only to detect and block malicious bots, but to fight them so aggressively that attackers are forced to move on.

Kasada Polyform uses a “fingerprinting” system to sort requests made by humans (and good bots, such as Google web crawler) from those produced with malicious intent. Suspected bad bots are given an increasingly difficult “proof of work” challenge intended to exhaust the computers generating the malicious activity, eventually driving criminals away. Kasada Polyform also provides website owners with granular visibility of good, bad and benign traffic.  It also helps optimise marketing and digital strategies

Kasada Polyform is a SaaS solution, which Sam Crowther calls “a big plus.” “Businesses are looking to migrate to the cloud for efficiency, effectiveness and agility benefits. For us to be there with this strong bot mitigation solution is very attractive for them,” he says. “The future of stronger, seamless security is in the cloud.”

While Kasada counts several Fortune 100 and top Australian corporations among its customers, the Polyform platform is designed and priced for smaller-sized companies, too. “People deserve to be able to transact online with the confidence that no one is trying to hack their account. They should feel their personal data and other things they value are safe,” says Crowther. “That’s the drive for us.”

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.