Bot protection firm Kasada lands $23M to abolish the CAPTCHA

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Cassada, which today announced a $ 23 million Series C funding round, said it was looking for growing demand from large enterprises for its “advanced” boat safety techniques, which could be used to prevent automated attacks without the need for annoying captcha challenges. The New York- and Sydney, Australia-based company has added Fortune 50 customers and seen an 80% increase in customer numbers over the past 18 months, and is looking at potential expansion of its technology into other areas of application. As well as security, Cassada founder and CEO Sam Crowther told VentureBeat.

Bot attacks જેમ such as distributed denial of service (DDoS), content scraping, and online fraud વધુ have become more prevalent in 2021, with automated attacks increasing by 41% during the first half of the year, LexisNexis Risk reports. According to a recent report by Netassia, boat attacks now cost businesses an average of 3.6% of their revenue – and there are indications that automated attacks are also increasing in sophistication.

“Boat attacks have evolved – and first-generation boat mitigation solutions just can’t continue,” Crowther said in an email.

Closed bots

Such solutions rely on IP addresses, device fingerprinting and behavior analysis, which have “become effective,” he said. “Modern bots look and act just like humans. They disguise themselves more with residential proxy networks, new developer tools such as Puppeter and Playright, anti-detection browsers, customized stealth plugins and digital harvesting techniques.” Makes it difficult.

To protect against today’s bots, Cassada has developed a solution focused on quickly adapting to new automated risks without the need for manual intervention – which is ultimately more effective in detecting and preventing malicious automation, Crowther said.

“We are the first to apply a zero-trust philosophy to reduce bots, which allows us to make new stops that bots have never seen before, without analyzing their behavior,” he said. “We’ve also eliminated the need for captcha, which is hated by humans and fraudsters can easily work around them.”

Partially powered by machine learning (ML) capabilities, Kasada’s platform provides protection against bot attacks on web, mobile and API channels. According to the company, the product prevents automated attacks in real-time before entering the customer’s infrastructure.

In addition to not relying on captcha, Cassada says it differs from other boat mitigation products in that it does not need to adjust risk scores or rules.

In addition, Cassada’s product is different because it is easier to use than a competing platform, which often requires specialized resources to manage, Crowther said.

Version 2 of the company’s platform, released in March, includes enhancements such as 15 times more client query sensors to help ensure the search for stealth automation tools in particular.

Customer traction

Cassada now considers “many of the largest Fortune 50 and ASX 50 businesses in the US and Australia” as customers, Crowther said. Most of the company’s revenue now comes from the US, he said.

The company’s customer base has grown by 80% since its Category B round in June 2020, although the total number of customers has not been disclosed. Overall, Cassada says its customer base handles more than $ 20 billion in e-commerce transactions annually and has millions of associated account logins.

Customers announced include Hyatt, Empire Cat, AGL, True Alliance and Sydney Opera House.

Cassada “is rapidly gaining market share because [stopping bots] We have a singular focus, “said Abbott.

Eighty-five percent of the company’s customers used different anti-boat providers before contacting Cassada, he said.

Production plans

While AI and ML are important tools for boat discovery – and have been deployed to power Cassada production – they are not the perfect solution because they rely on historical data, which means “they can only stop bots at the first request.” No, “said Crowther. “This makes systems that rely entirely on AI and ML vulnerable to bots that mimic human traffic, as they can easily trick machine learning models.”

As a result, Cassada has adopted a hybrid approach that combines server-side data analytics and real-time, client-side protection, adding multiple layers of security, he said.

In 2022, the company plans to roll out new functionality that will strengthen its defenses on both the client side and the server side, according to Crowther.

“The data we collect can also provide additional insights for our customers – strengthening their security and decision-making ability in other areas – so that’s an area we’re also looking at,” he said.

Meanwhile, many Cassada customers have reported that using the company’s product has resulted in reduced traffic traveling to their web application Firewall (WAF), Crother said.

“This opened our eyes to the possibility of applying our anti-automation capabilities to other areas of AppSec, as we are easier to use and more efficient than we are today,” he said.

Growth fund

Kasada plans to use the funds from its Category C round to increase sales in the U.S. and expand its development, support and marketing teams worldwide. The company currently employs 70 people.

The Series C Round was led by Stepstone Group, an investment firm that acquired venture capital firm Greenspring Associates in September. Current investors who participated in the round were Ten Eleven Ventures, Main Sequence Ventures, Reinventure, Our Innovation Fund and Turnbull & Partners.

Since its inception in 2015, Cassada has raised 39 million. Crowther previously worked on the Red Team at the Australian investment bank, Macquarie Group, and previously worked for the Australian Government’s Cyber ​​Security Agency.

“These roles inspired me to explore Casada in 2015, with the goal of making it easier for defenders to use app security, but reverse engineering for bad performers was difficult,” he said.

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