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We’ve all checked this box after selecting images of lampposts, bicycles, train tracks, animals – or any other random category – on grids on our screens. In theory, it’s supposed to screen humans from fake bots, but today’s bots are sophisticated enough to bypass this kind of security.
Enter go-to-market security provider CHEQ, which launched in 2016 to help marketers identify and thwart such bots, fake users, fake data, and other invalid traffic. To further bolster these capabilities, the Tel Aviv-based company today announced its acquisition of cybersecurity firm Ensighten.
“The ‘fake web’ is wreaking havoc on business bottom lines,” said Guy Tytunovich, CEO of CHEQ. “Businesses operating online at scale are exposed to enormous risks and inefficiencies. It is virtually impossible to operate effectively today as a go-to-market organization when a large chunk of traffic running your funnel n is not authentic.
A constant and evolving battle
A huge amount of internet traffic is fake, automated, or malicious — somewhere between 40 and 60 percent, according to CHEQ estimates.
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As Tytunovich explained, this can include bots that click on ads, malicious actors that take over customer accounts, and automated site traffic that skews business intelligence (BI) and analytics. marketing.
Last year, for example, PayPal admitted that 4.5 million fake new accounts had been opened on its site – likely seeking to exploit $5 or $10 incentives for new users.
Then there was the high-profile suspension of Elon Musk’s takeover bid on Twitter – a move the multi-billionaire blamed on bots and fake accounts.
CHEQ itself analyzed 5.2 million visits from Twitter to its own clients’ websites. This research found that only about 11.7% of those visits were bots. But, as Tytunovich pointed out, this is a conservative estimate, as it only represented bots that clicked on the ads.
In response to ever-expanding threats, the global bot management solutions market is expected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $3.2 billion by 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate ( CAGR) of more than 16%. This comes as the overall cybersecurity market is also expected to continue on an exponential growth path – by a measure, according to Fortune Business Insights, worth $366 billion by 2028 (well over double from its valuation of $153.2 billion in 2020).
A legitimate customer? CHEQ says think again
The impact of the fake web is immense: CHEQ research found that it costs businesses around $42 billion a year.
CHEQ, which competes in the bot detection market with Netacea, Datadome and Cloudflare, also found in an analysis of more than 50,000 global websites that 470 million “online shoppers” are actually bots. and fake users. These include malicious scrapers, fraudsters, and account takeover bots.
Additionally, according to CHEQ research:
- 32% of all organic and direct traffic coming to retailer websites comes from invalid sources.
- 25% of invalid traffic comes from automated tools.
- A third of all online shoppers last Black Friday 2021 were bots.
- E-commerce sites lose $2.34 billion due to invalid ad clicks.
- Robots that abandon shopping carts cost businesses $5.7 billion.
Tytunovich also noted that nearly half a billion visitors to e-commerce websites each year are not genuine human users – so they have no intention, let alone the ability, to buy. . Common e-commerce schemes include click fraud, credit card fraud, user journey hijacking, and cookie stuffing (the practice of dropping multiple affiliate cookies on the user’s browser). a user to claim sales commissions).
“We’ve seen fake web threats have a major impact on e-commerce businesses,” Tytunovich said. “An abundance of bots can lead to loss of customer trust, as well as private data leaks and search visibility issues for the brand. It has become a strategic issue for retailers who want to maintain a sustainable business in the online world.
All of this leaves marketing teams wasting resources luring in fake users, sales teams spending time and money nurturing invalid leads, and companies investing millions analyzing inaccurate data collected from traffic. of robots, Tytunovich said.
CHEQ’s business mission is to help ensure that marketing funnels, sales pipelines, websites, forms, shopping carts, data and analytics are not compromised by bots, fake malicious traffic or users.
CHEQ secures vulnerabilities in a central hub and its tools run over 2,000 real-time cybersecurity challenges on website visitors to verify legitimacy. Its technology also mitigates bots and performs behavioral analysis to distinguish between good and bad traffic.
The company has a network of more than 14,000 customers and performs weekly analysis of 25 trillion interactions, events and engagements to help power its algorithms and databases, Tytunovich said.
CHEQ’s acquisition of California-based Ensighten will help CHEQ expand into other vulnerable areas, including customer safety, privacy enforcement and data security, Tytunovich said. Ensighten specializes in privacy compliance enforcement, customer hijacking prevention, and anti-data exfiltration (ADX).
CHEQ, which acquired Ensighten for an undisclosed amount, has raised a total of $183 million in funding to date. That includes its last $150 million Series C round in February.
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