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Better Metrics, Less Hacks: Online Travel and The Future of Web Security


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30% of travel industry website visitors are unsavory competitors, hackers, spammers, and fraudsters. Fact is, travel suppliers, OTAs, and metasearch sites are all being scraped by bots which hurts their marketing metrics, SEO, website performance, and customer loyalty.

View this presentation to understand:

- The prevalence and impact of bots on your website
- How to improve your online KPIs
- How to identify and block fraudsters and scrapers
- When a web scraper is actually good
The future of online travel and website security

Published in: Travel
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Better Metrics, Less Hacks: Online Travel and The Future of Web Security

  1. 1. Better Metrics, Less Hacks: Online Travel and The Future of Web Security
  2. 2. Speakers Rami Essaid CEO & Co-founder Distil Networks Speaker Orion Cassetto Dir. of Product Marketing Distil Networks Moderator
  3. 3. Good Bots Search Engine Crawling Power APIs Check system connectivity and status Bad Bots Steal content Scan for vulnerabilities Perform Fraud etc. The Basics of Bots A “Bot” is an automated program that runs on the internet
  4. 4. Cheap scraping software Inexpensive cloud computing resources Botnet-as-a-Service What is Contributing to the Growth in Bots?
  5. 5. Three Layers of Business Damaged Caused by Malicious Bots Bots hurt your KPIs... Slowdowns, downtime and poor CX Decline in website traffic Loss of revenue and customer base
  6. 6. How Bad Bots Impact Travel Business Profits
  7. 7. What Kind of Data is Being Scraped? Customer Data Pricing Info Editorial Content Incentive Packages Reviews Keyword Placement SEO Optimization
  8. 8. What Are Scrapers Doing with Your Travel Site? Posting your content on competitor sites Scrapers steal your traffic and advertising dollars. Duplicative content and high bounce rates diminishes your SEO Undermining your prices Bots monitor your prices, ensuring competitors can undercut with lower price listings Executing searches on your site The resulting API calls to third parties can cost you
  9. 9. According to RyanAir unauthorized scrapers frequently ○ Added excessive charges to European customers ○ Failed or refused to pass on vital information like customer contact info, flight changes, web check in, and info on special needs ○ Caused missed flights and repeated problems for customers Unauthorized Scraping Causes Problems for Passengers and Airlines Alike
  10. 10. EasyJet complained of 60% increase in ticket prices due to eDreams adding excessive fees to its tickets Affected over 300,000 customers during the 6 months period of monitoring EasyJet implemented bot detection tech to make informed decisions about automated clients Aggregators Add Excessive Fees to Airline Tickets “Utilizing an automated system for detecting scrapers gives us the information we need to act on each situation, and block individuals if we wish to.” -- Jerry Dunn Distribution Development Manager, EasyJet
  11. 11. Add-on sales like upgrades, travel insurance, etc. result in an average of $20 to $40 of additional revenue per sale for airlines When scrapers insert themselves in the sale as middlemen, the upsell/cross-sell opportunity moves to their businesses Web scrapers and travel aggregators may also charge referral fees or ask for volume discounts from airlines or hotel chains Scraping Causes a Loss of Upsell and Cross-sell Opportunities Source:
  12. 12. Negative SEO Attacks Damage Relevancy Bots steal content, product lists, and prices for duplication elsewhere on the Internet Duplicated content reduces your company’s uniqueness and thus quality score SEO damage may result, especially if ○ Your prices are undercut ○ The content is repurposed on a more popular site Duplicate Content Results in Diminished SEO
  13. 13. Bots Break Into Accounts with Stolen Passwords Brute Force Account Takeover Using a bot to try stolen usernames and passwords from breaches at other websites on your site Newly compromised accounts are then used for various forms of fraud/theft
  14. 14. The Ashley Madison breach released 32 million log-in credentials into the wild Account takeover and transaction fraud have significantly increased Lost or stolen credentials were already the top cause of data breaches since 2010 Online Fraud Boosted by Ashley Madison Breach Source: VBIR 2105
  15. 15. Brute Force Attacks used to Pilfer Loyalty Programs Loyalty programs are Low hanging fruit Loyalty programs are frequent targets for hackers Legacy systems were secured with 4-digit PIN numbers Points in can be used for air travel, rental cars, dining and shopping.
  16. 16. Traffic from unnecessary bots inflates “Look-to-book” ratios Blocking unnecessary bots improves KPI tracking and analytic data accuracy Bots Skew Key Website Analytics
  17. 17. Roughly 23% of traffic on the average travel website is from bad bots Bot traffic frequently cause websites to experience performance issues or brownouts Garbage Bot Traffic Increases Costs and Infrastructure Utilization
  18. 18. Challenges Distil Results Bots caused brownouts which led to immediate loss of revenue Increased uptime from 99.6% to 99.9% (no downtime for the first time in five years) Bots can hurt Google quality score and SEO Improved SEO and Google quality score Homegrown IP blocking wasn’t working - Bots came in through proxies and used spoofed IP addresses Automated bot defense identified and blocked more than 99.99% of bots Protects SEO and Uptime by Blocking Bad Bots specializes in finding fantastic travel deals on vacations, flights, cruises, hotels and car rentals. With Distil, we increased our uptime from 99.6% to 99.9%, reduced infrastructure costs and eliminated costly bot-driven API calls. Bots, be gone!” -Rob Gennaro, Digital Marketing Officer, Red Label Vacations “
  19. 19. Reviewing The Impact Bots Have on Travel Site Profits Customers transfer loyalty to 3rd party sites Add-on sales happen on 3rd party sites Excessive fees increase prices SEO damage reduces web site searchability Order errors and ToS breaches cause poor experiences Loyalty programs hacked
  20. 20. Good bots make up over 35% of all traffic to the average website ○ Search engines - Google, Bing, Baidu, etc., ○ Alexa Crawler ○ Pingdom, Keynote, etc. ○ Vulnerability Scanners ○ etc. Effective solutions block bad bots but leave good bots unhindered The Importance of Accurately Identifying Good Bots Source: Distil Networks, 2015 Bad Bot Landscape Report
  21. 21. Partners in Disguise Many meta search sites get their start from scraping. Once revenues appear they license API access. Site Indexing Search engine bots scour and prioritize content to drive inbound Traffic to your site. When Site Scraping Should be Sanctioned
  22. 22. The First Easy and Accurate Way to Defend Websites Against Malicious Bots
  23. 23. The World’s Most Accurate Bot Detection System Inline Fingerprinting Fingerprints stick to the bot even if it attempts to reconnect from random IP addresses or hide behind an anonymous proxy. Known Violators Database Real-time updates from the world’s largest Known Violators Database, which is based on the collective intelligence of all Distil-protected sites. Browser Validation The first solution to disallow browser spoofing by validating each incoming request as self-reported and detects all known browser automation tools. Behavioral Modeling and Machine Learning Machine-learning algorithms pinpoint behavioral anomalies specific to your site’s unique traffic patterns.
  24. 24. How Travel Companies Benefit from Distil Increase insight & control over human, good bot & bad bot traffic Block 99.9% of malicious bots without impacting legitimate users Slash the high tax bots place on internal teams & web infrastructure Protect data from web scrapers, unauthorized aggregators & hackers
  25. 25. Offer Ends: November 26th Two Months of Free Service + Traffic Analysis
  26. 26. QUESTIONS….COMMENTS ?I N F O @ D I S T I L N E T W O R K S . C O M 1.866.423.0606 OR CALL US ON