Case Study

Sweetwater deploys HUMAN to significantly reduce fraudulent orders.

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Sweetwater launched the world’s first music retail website in 1995 and immediately became a trusted resource for music makers everywhere. Sweetwater has now grown to become the number one e-commerce provider of musical instruments and pro audio gear in the United States. Sweetwater is focused on delivering the best possible service and experience, and served 1.6 million customers in 2022. an exchange for programmatic advertising, offering a new way to buy, sell, and serve digital ads. The company delivers success for advertisers and publishers with innovative ad formats and insightful data.

- Jeremy Duddy

Director of Software Engineering, Web Applications

“ Sweetwater is very happy with the relationship and support from HUMAN. The HUMAN team is always really good at communication and getting everyone together,  and any time we’ve needed some help to get things implemented, HUMAN has been there for us.”

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As Sweetwater grew rapidly, the company became a bigger target for malicious actors, bot attacks, and fraud. Fraudulent orders were costing the company thousands of dollars in administration effort and lost inventory. Sweetwater realized that they needed a bot management solution that reduced the impact of sophisticated bots and enabled them to continue to provide the best possible customer experience.

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Sweetwater implemented HUMAN to combat the volume of attacks its platform had to endure. HUMAN delivered the following capabilities that allowed Sweetwater to mitigate bot attacks without sacrificing their users’ online experience:

• Accurate bot protection based on behavioral analytics, advanced machine learning techniques and predictive models that provided immediate benefits from the reduction in bad traffic. 

• The rich data in the HUMAN Portal allowed Sweetwater to drill into specific attacks to determine if a customer account had been compromised and correlate with other systems to take action.

• Seamless integrations with Fastly and Auth0 allowed Sweetwater to deploy HUMAN while preserving page load performance, ensuring low latency and secure user authentication.

• Improved efficiency and optimized use of Sweetwater’s internal web applications team, fraud team, customer support team and infrastructure.

• Helpful customer support available 24/7/365 via Slack, email or phone. When Sweetwater switched authentication provider and noticed an uptick in login attacks, HUMAN efficiently and quickly helped solve the integration problem.


After deploying HUMAN, Sweetwater saw a reduction in bad bot attacks. The company saved time that they previously would have spent sifting through data and responding to incidents. HUMAN has helped prevent online fraud, preserve Sweetwater’s reputation, and protect their bottom line.

The Human Defense Platform is continuously evolving to keep up with new technologies and threats from bad actors. The solution proactively shuts down bots and turns away malicious inbound traffic, shifting the economic viability of automated attacks on Sweetwater’s site and deterring future attempts. This provides Sweetwater with future-proof protection against the most advanced attackers.

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