ShieldSquare named a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Bot Management Report, Q3 2018. Click to know more.

ShieldSquare named a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Bot Management Report, Q3 2018. Click to know more.

International Flight Booking Portal Deploys ShieldSquare to Protect its Booking Engine from Bot Abuses

Popular online air travel ticketing portal has been investing heavily in innovative low fare search, booking, and post-purchase support technology for travelers around the world. Portal attracts its customers by selling customised deals.

Business Problem

The company enjoys the trust of millions of customers by making the cheap flight booking simpler and safer. However, this is a fiercely competitive market and a target for hackers. These hackers are well-funded and can employ immense computing power at scale to plot automated attacks. They scrape fares and seat availability to sell this information on the market. Portal struggled with the scraping of fares, flight details, and availability. Such malicious automated activity resulted in undue spend on unwarranted GDS queries.

Portal had an in-house system to flag fraudulent activities. For example, if a high number of queries originate from one geo-location for travel between multiple source and destinations, portal's system used to flag such requests as suspicious. Every day their team used to detect such patterns in traffic originating from various IP addresses.

Scrapers were continually changing their approach and used advanced techniques to evade detection mechanisms. The company invests a lot of time and resources into getting the best deals for customers, and this strategy was at stake.

In-house bot prevention and conventional measures of WAF were ineffective in dealing with such organized army of scrapers.Blocking distributed attacks originating from hundreds of IPs was getting almost impossible with the in-house competency.

ShieldSquare Solution

Gaining granular control and visibility over the unwanted traffic was one of the major reasons why portal’s team decided to go with ShieldSquare.

They required a bot prevention solution with deep insights on the incoming web traffic, the type of bots, and their intent. They wanted to make informed business decisions against fraudsters.

The portal’s team opted for the real-time protection mode after evaluating ShieldSquare’s performance during peak hours. Web security team evaluated ShieldSquare's capabilities to detect sophisticated bots. They compared our Bot Detection Engine with other solutions available in the market. They were impressed by our strength in identifying the advanced bots that rotate through IPs and user agents over a short period and mimic human behavior.

Within hours of deployment, portal realized that malicious bot traffic was drastically reduced. Business teams shared that after a long while they were able to see a credible analytics report on their dashboard. Key metrics coincided with the marketing efforts and industry averages. Not only technology team but business teams got assured that their pricing strategy, security, and exclusivity of the brand was protected by an advanced bot defense.

Benefits After ShieldSquare Roll-Out

1. Reduced 15% of costs by blocking unwarranted GDS queries, server resources, and bandwidth

2. Eliminated the abuse of proprietary low fare search technology

3. Exclusive last-minute deals are protected from being scraped by competitors

4. Ensured the genuineness of ticket booking queries thereby improved the site performance. This reduction in non-human traffic helped improve the real user experience.

5. Significant improvement in % of human traffic led to better look-to-book ratio. Now, growth teams can precisely evaluate the success of marketing campaigns.

AT A GLANCE

Customer:   Popular Airline Ticketing Portal of United States
Industry:   Travel
Problem faced:
  • Flight deals were undercut by competitors to get unfair advantage
  • Scraping of pricing and availability led to unwarranted GDS queries and costs
Why ShieldSquare?
  • Only real-time bot protection that provides comprehensive visibility and granular control over unwanted automated traffic
  • Custom actions for different pages of website
  • End-to-end managed service with zero maintenance

Our best flight deals and seat availability were overrun by scraper bots, which also made us spend for unwanted GDS queries. Within hours of integration, ShieldSquare has helped us ensure that our flight deals remained hot and relevant!



CEO
Popular Airline Ticketing Portal of United States

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