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FanDuel Wins the Wager Against Bad Bots With AWS and HUMAN

The 2018 Supreme Court decision to allow states to authorize betting on sports events brought an unprecedented growth opportunity for the sports-tech entertainment field. That year, FanDuel, an online gaming company whose product portfolio includes daily fantasy sports, sports betting, casino, and horse racing, saw an 18% increase in group revenue.


With this explosive growth, FanDuel’s users became higher visibility targets. Account takeover (ATO) and credential stuffing attacks on FanDuel’s website became rampant with up to 10 million bad actor login attempts daily.

Alan Murray, FanDuel’s Senior Director, Architecture, outlined their challenges: “As our business has scaled, it generates a lot of attention for the brand itself and as such, that gathers the attention of bad actors who are keen to commit fraud.”

FanDuel’s Homegrown Solution Wasn’t Enough

FanDuel tried to develop an in-house mitigation system to respond to the threats, but it wasn’t enough to stop increasingly sophisticated attacks. Malicious bots put a strain on the company’s IT resources, reduced operational efficiency and threatened customer accounts. FanDuel turned to HUMAN Bot Defender to solve its bot problem.

Accurate Bot Detection

Bot Defender leverages machine learning (ML) and behavioral analytics to detect and defeat bad bots. The solution mitigated 99.9% of attacking traffic to FanDuel’s website, enabling the company to protect a historic volume of user information. Murray noted that “During various 24 hour periods, I have seen Bot Defender dispel bad actor requests at a rate of 3000 requests per second. And this is not uncommon.”

FanDuel uses Bot Defender to collect data from incoming traffic, determine human vs. non-human interactions and mitigate malicious bot traffic. The solution generates advanced reports and analysis, which FanDuel can use to investigate attacks.

Easy Integration with AWS

FanDuel needed a bot management solution that would easily integrate with its existing tech stack, specifically Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFront. Bot Defender integrates seamlessly with CloudFront using Lambda@Edge to provide comprehensive application protection without causing latency or sacrificing scalability.

HUMAN has completed the requirements and been accepted into the AWS Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate Program, a premier co-selling initiative for AWS Partners. With direct access to AWS resources, HUMAN optimizes its cloud computing capabilities and delivers better customer outcomes.

Preserves Website Performance

Preserving FanDuel’s website performance is critical to maintaining user loyalty. Because Bot Defender integrates with AWS CloudFront and AWS Lambda, bots are mitigated at the edge with minimal latency. This reduces the magnitude of requests with minimal page reloads that disrupt the user journey.

Innovative Product Portfolio

As FanDuel grows and malicious bots adapt to detection methods, continued success hinges on an evolving product. Murray details how a comprehensive portfolio drives customer satisfaction:

“The one thing I love about HUMAN is that they are a tech company that is evolving the product. It’s not just the Bot Defender, here’s your solution. There’s also a well-charted roadmap of features, which in my opinion, are directly relevant to customers.”

In addition to highly responsive engineers available on Slack, the HUMAN product portfolio includes HUMAN Credential Intelligence, HUMAN Code Defender and HUMAN Account Defender.

Disrupts Credential Stuffing Attacks

Credential Intelligence is a cloud-native web-based security solution that protects against credential stuffing and ATO attempts. Leveraging a database of credentials used in real-world attacks, Credential Intelligence flags and blocks the use of compromised credentials in real time to reduce incidents of fraud and security breaches.

The solution is reliable even against more advanced breaches. The benefits extend to both customers and businesses, as Murray highlights: “[Credential Intelligence] is beneficial to the customer in terms of their protection of their resources, and it’s beneficial for us because it reduces the number of claims a fraud team might have to process.”

Bot Management and Cloud Computing Are Winning Bets

In February, FanDuel reported a 36% market share of online gross gaming revenue in the U.S. online sports betting market in the previous year, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The company relies on HUMAN to safeguard its users’ account and identity information as it continues to grow.

The reputation of online brands are increasingly at stake as cyberthreats evolve. If your bot protection solution is siloed and stagnant, it will negatively impact your customer base, reduce operational efficiency and threaten revenue. Together, HUMAN and AWS prove that a comprehensive ecosystem of bot management and cloud computing is critical for long-term success.