Digital ad fraud: the next security frontier

Businesses in the U.S. are expected to lose $15 billion in digital advertising fraud in 2021. Spending money on impressions that never took place is one thing, but there’s more to the problem than that. If brands and advertisers are trusting fraudulent traffic data, they are forming marketing strategy based on nonsense. Curating ads and placement to spark bot interest doesn’t drive revenue from real customers, and the resulting budget drain can become unending. 

From a web traffic standpoint, fraud in the digital advertising space can look and behave much like cybersecurity attacks on endpoints and networks. And since IronNet is regularly tasked by companies to defend and secure critical assets such as energy grids, financial records and healthcare data, we see the opportunity to apply our expertise to help mitigate these losses in the digital advertising space.

IronNet’s advanced analytics have been shown to detect suspicious behaviors and threats with accuracy levels unmatched by other solutions in the industry. Now, we’re applying our technology to fight digital fraud, where we can make a deep impact on reliability, view-ability, and consumer brand safety.

Backed by our experience in complex behavioral modeling, data science, and advanced computing, IronNet’s subsidiary, HighDegree, has developed  solutions to provide a more thorough analysis of digital advertising traffic and influencer authenticity. The result for brands and marketers is an improved ROI on digital ads and more confidence in influencer selection.

Digital Detect monitors traffic to digital advertisements and websites, identifying patterns indicative of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT), invalid impressions and other inefficiencies that yield reduced returns on advertising spend.

In deployments at a major online advertisement company, we were able to detect three times more fraud than other solutions. And in live deployments of IronNet’s invalid traffic detection capabilities, we found four times more SIVT at major advertising organizations than other products, providing the data to potentially save our early adoption customers millions in digital advertising spend. IronNet’s analytics and proprietary data science models are more aligned with the threats advertisers face, the regions those threats originate from, and their tactics.

Digital Verify analyzes an Instagram influencer’s audience and engagement level, distinguishing the amount of authentic followers and activity from bot activity to determine their real value.

In head-to-head tests of IronNet’s influencer authenticity measurements, IronNet was able to save a major brand from hiring an influencer whose follower list consisted overwhelmingly of bots and other non-consumer-oriented accounts. While other influencer verification solutions had marked this influencer as authentic, our solution flagged reasons why this influencer could be a risk to the advertising spend and to the brand reputation. The result was an internal audit of and suspension of campaigns with that particular influencer.

Digital Detect and Digital Verify are available exclusively by invitation only. To learn more about how your company can measurably improve the ROI of your marketing budget, request a demo.

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