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Why Reliable Data Always Wins: A Conversation with Nicholas Holder

HUMAN believes in the power of  collaboration, and so does Sr. Director of Sales Nicholas Holder. He believes in breaking down silos across the enterprise to address fraud and abuse. And it all starts with reliable data and collective protection. I caught up with Nicholas to discuss building relationships via collective protection, how delivering trusted information is important to business reputations, why good data is essential, and what problems he is currently trying to solve with HUMAN via modern defense strategy. It’s time for a conversation.

How do we continue bridging the gap between cybersecurity and marketers to ensure we are all working together in unison?

Nicholas Holder: Our objective is always first and foremost, to connect with our partners and understand how we can start or continue to support their business and goals. How can we be a partner first, above everything else? What can we do to support their clients, their business, and their growth? Independent to that, it's really about educating humans that I speak to about the ecosystem in general on subjects like fraud adaptation, the different ways in which we’re seeing fraud evolve, the way that impacts companies and outcomes. 

But we're also building the idea of community. That’s the beauty of breaking down these silos. To understand what challenges are impacting advertisers, marketers, and the larger ecosystem.

When it comes to fraud, how do all these things intertwine? How are they all affected by different types of fraud?

NH: Whether you're an agency, a platform or a direct brand- you have interconnected risk when it comes to bots, fraud, and digital abuse. You risk not seeing the outcome that you are paying for. So, not only does that jeopardize your business, it jeopardizes your real customer experience. 

That’s why good data is so important at the end of the day.

When we're talking about advertisers and marketers - what connects them when we think about bots and fraud - is both an issue of business outcome and performance impacted. HUMAN makes it so they can see real performance outcomes, and increase conversions because at the end of the day no one benefits from fraudulent engagement, scaled automation or bad bots except fraudsters.

Why is it so important to not have all the information in silos but to collectively protect so we can safeguard multiple ecosystems? 

NH: I mean, simply and truthfully: bad bots don't operate in silos, organizations do. We've really been speaking to the market and the industry to change that. Leveraging the real need for organizations to be thinking about tearing down these silos and communicating across business lines. Another reason why building community is vital.

 Now's the time for marketing and security to team up to fight fraud, because the reality is that fraud impacts the entire digital enterprise. That's more true than ever, when we think about the digital transformation that's happened since COVID. The amount of dollars that are online to reach consumers where they are at is only increasing, and continues to grow through channels like CTV, in-game, audio, etc. They should have the confidence to know that their dollars are reaching the real humans, but that’s not the reality right now. 

That’s what we are trying to accomplish at the end of the day at HUMAN. To make sure the internet stays human.

NH: I always remember the basics, the foundational aspects of what we’re trying to achieve. Ensuring you know who is real, ensuring that your performance and your interactions that you've leveraged are the real humans that you intend to convert. It's all about customer trust, right? Ensuring that you're protecting your business from bad bots, and abuse, engaging with your customers. Showing the market that you take fraud seriously, you take their investment in your brand seriously, the loyalty that they give your brand, the affinity to your brand. That you care about protecting not only your own ecosystem from fraud and abuse, but the larger digital landscape in its entirety. Partnering with a company like HUMAN signifies that. 

That’s why you always have to be willing to evolve in real time when it comes to cybersecurity for your customers sake?

NH: When we talk about the exciting opportunities that we see in new channels, like CTV, in-game or audio, the reality is, those are amazing opportunities to build new customer bases and audience segments and drive new growth, but where money goes, fraud follows. So, it's also important as we break into these new environments not just think of traditional protections but also think of areas that aren't traditionally thought of as being vulnerable to fraud and abuse. 

I was reading while I was traveling that only 15% of organizations are actually protecting themselves from the types of bot based attacks that impact their bottom line. So there is both tremendous opportunity yet risk, right? When we think about this vulnerable surface area that is critically important to businesses, this needs to be top of mind. What does that look like when there's no visibility into the transparency of paid media and acquisition site traffic that brands spend millions of dollars on to drive audiences into lead gen pools or marketing funnels.

Everyone understands the importance of data, not only as a way to deliver amazing digital experiences, drive growth, and monetize the business, but even more important is protecting that data and understanding how vital customer trust is.

To have a good  reputation in this business, you have to make sure you deliver good data and reliable information.

NH:Yes, as it should be. We build this idea of working together because it is a proven strategy that benefits everyone. Sharing assured resources is a game changer. When we think about the nature of bot attacks, many times stolen PII and credentials combined with automated tooling make it very hard to distinguish a bot from a real human. And that's the whole intent. 

If I'm an organization and I'm spending millions of dollars to drive users to site into these acquisition funnels to grab critically important information, what happens if that information isn't a real  consenting human? What if it was stolen in a data breach, and then we're remarketing to bots chasing them around the internet that will never convert? You know, it's no wonder why organizations aren't seeing the performance that they should be with all of this data sitting in their marketing tech stacks that will never convert. 

It's not just how much you spend, it's what you spend it on?

NH: That is exactly right. I think that’s the value in ensuring that you have the transparency into knowing what's real. That you are getting data you can trust and information you can rely on.

Everyone is being asked to do more with less right now. Everything is about ensuring that your dollars go to reach a real maximum outcome. Having line of sight to who your real human customers are, is the easiest and most efficient way to ensure growth. We have market solutions for every obstacle in the digital space. It’s about making the right business decisions based on having reliable data. We ensure the humanity of your dollars. 

You discussed being able to have data you can trust and information you can rely on, how does HUMAN accomplish that?

NH: We continue to grow. If you stop evolving your technological advantage, it is no longer an advantage. So we strengthen our visibility, widen our network and have even bigger takedowns. We have The Human Collective sharing resources and trusted data to make sure we remain a reliable source. 

Collaborative relationships and open conversations allow us to showcase the real humans who are behind the organization fighting bots, fraud, and abuse, because that is what makes us really unique in this space. It allows us to engage with our partners to see what a great team we have that is at their disposal and what they need in the digital landscape.

That is why HUMAN Security is now satisfying new spaces across cybersecurity and marketing and advertising fraud. We're no longer just the programmatic ad fraud protection solution. We're truly satisfying a comprehensive Human Defense Platform to protect the entire digital business, which is what organizations need today. There’s true value in that.

A true modern defense approach. 

NH: Yeah, I think the ways in which we work with our partners in the larger ecosystem to collectively protect the internet, is really through that approach, our modern defense strategy. Using the goodwill that comes with showing our methods work, building strong relationships with our partners, building that visibility and network effect. 20 trillion interactions across over 500 partners and brands, increase signal which allows us to stay ahead of fraud adaptation, and the ways in which cybercriminals use automation to commit fraud. It all starts with humans communicating. 

It allows us to continue to be the leader in cyber takedowns. 

Leveraging our Satori Threat Intel team, to be at the forefront of actually removing fraud from the ecosystem. I think that is critically important, and not only what differentiates HUMAN but our entire business model. Modern defense, and ensuring that organizations have the tools they need to support their business and their customers. Free from fraud, free from abuse and free from bots.

On a personal level, what most excites you about the future of collective protection?

NH: I think what excites me most is that everyone understands that we're in this together. That we need to tear down barriers, we need to be communicating as an entire community, like you had mentioned collective protection. Taking that collective protection ideology industry wide and understanding the importance of protecting the humanity and integrity of the internet. So, what’s so thrilling is that everyone understands the importance of fighting fraud and the importance of how fraud impacts business and performance. 

 The best way to ensure we have reliable data is by working together. Come have a conversation with Nicholas and our other Humans at  The Haven at Cannes  to discuss the best ways to achieve  a winning strategy.