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Case Study

Belk Blocks Account Takeover Attacks and Gift Card Abuse

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Company

Belk is a leading retailer offering a broad range of fashion products and home accessories. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with 290 physical stores located across the U.S and a strong e-commerce presence.

- Richard Spencer

CIO, Belk
"Not only has HUMAN been invaluable at stopping automated bot attacks and helping us improve server performance, but it has also provided significant benefit to my security team, enabling them to spend far less time dealing with malicious bots and instead focus on other business critical areas."
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Challenge

Belk’s e-commerce app and website are important parts of its business model and continue to grow at a rapid pace. For some time, the company had been encountering malicious bots that were attempting account takeover attacks (ATOs) and gift card abuse.

Belk’s in-house security team had been dealing with the ATOs previously, but as the attacks increased in sophistication, it was taking up too much of the team’s time. In addition, server workloads were being slowed due to the scale of attacks.

Site performance issues during holiday periods were of particular concern, as customer numbers rise dramatically at these times. Slow, frustrating buying experiences could damage reputation and impact conversions and sales.


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Solution

Belk wanted a solution that would preserve their high quality buyer experience, keep transactions flowing freely, and save time for their busy security team. They evaluated several vendors and selected HUMAN Bot Defender for its broad bot protection capabilities. They later deployed Credential Intelligence as well, enhancing their defenses against credential stuffing attacks.
  • Proactive Fraud Defenses
    HUMAN protects Belk’s website and mobile app against sophisticated bot attacks using behavior-based, machine learning algorithms, and the latest threat intelligence, with minimal performance impact to critical server workloads.
  • Detailed Visibility
    The management console gives Belk granular insight into incidents with detailed logs and reporting, as well as the high-level, big picture overview.
  • Easy to Deploy with 24/7 Ongoing Support
    Bot Defender was quickly deployed and configured by HUMAN’s experienced onboarding team, with 24/7 support available from bot experts.

RESULTS

  • Bot Defender resulted in a massive decline in the number of sophisticated bot attacks that Belk experienced. This had significant performance benefits, with an estimated 90% reduction in server load during attacks.
  • Previously Belk was spending a high number of man hours over peak periods such as Black Friday, investigating and responding to malicious bot attacks. With HUMAN in place, investigation and resolution times dropped from an average of four hours  to the time it takes to read an alert notifying automated blocking has occurred.
  • During the recent holiday period, Belk achieved its highest ever online orders per second. This was driven in part by HUMAN stripping out unwanted requests from malicious bots, significantly improving server performance.

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