Security

Clean up your private cloud: Distil brings its bad bot protection to enterprises

Optimus Prime takes down Megatron, the baddest bot of all.

Above: Optimus Prime takes down Megatron, the baddest bot of all.

Image Credit: Hasbro & Takara

With more than 1.6 billion bots blocked, Distil Networks is now setting its sights on protecting private networks from content scrapers, click fraud, and other nasty attacks from naughty web bots.

Today the company is announcing a new private cloud offering, which will let enterprise firms bring Distil’s Content Protection technology into their enterprise firewalls.

It’s meant for companies that are typically wary of public cloud solutions, which could potentially open up their networks to further intrusions. Distil says its technology can integrate into existing enterprise managed service providers (like Rackspace), and it can also ship out its software on a Dell server for self-managed networks.

Based on the company’s success so far with its public cloud offering (Distil reported that it blocked 1 billion bad bots back in July), founder and chief executive Rami Essaid tells me that plenty of companies were eager to put its technology behind their firewalls. Its initial customers include WhitePages.com, whose business is built entirely on managing a large data set. The company is also in talks with three of the top 50 sites ranked by Alexa (meaning they’re some of the biggest sites on the web).

Distil notes that around 30 percent of typical web traffic comes from malicious bots, according to industry research. By keeping those out, you can make your website run faster, protect content from competitors and pirates, and avoid potential network attacks down the line.

Even though Distil’s private cloud product runs behind your firewall, it can still take advantage of the anti-bot intelligence from its public cloud offering. “It’s self-learning, the more traffic we see, the better the performance is,” Essaid said. “Known violators and the metric to stop bots that we’ve seen before has steadily increased.”

When we last talked, Essaid pointed out that he expects ISPs to become more involved with anti-bot measures over the next few years. This private cloud offering is the first step towards delivering something that ISP’s can use to block bots before they even hit businesses and individuals.

Since launching earlier this year, Essaid has seen a few copycats enter the anti-bot and anti-scraping space. (Ironically, one was cheeky enough to scrape a blog post right from Distil.) He’s also noticed that bigger players like Akamai have started describing their products with language similar to Distil’s.

“This year we ‘ve made a big enough splash … it’s literally to a point where we’ve had to ban certain IPs because Akamai employees sign up for too many trial accounts with us,” Essaid said. “We’re not even worried they’re going to reverse engineer what we do, it’s more annoying since it clogs our metrics.”

Distil is a recent TechStars alum and has raised around $2 million so far from ff Venture Capital, IDEA Fund Partners, Cloud Power Fund, and others.