An advertising network deals with many customers and carries a big responsibility toward both publishers and advertisers. It has to find the right placement for ads, and it needs to make sure the cybersecurity issues don't blindside the businesses that place them. If a website is blacklisted and blocked because it's infected with malware, any ads placed on it are money down the drain.
If visitors get through, they still might not see your advertisers' ads. Intruders could replace them with sketchy ads of their own. Visitors could be redirected to the intruder's website. Pages might fail to come up. If visitors can view the ads despite an infection, their experience will be so poor that they won't get a positive impression. Malware can steal an ad's links, resulting in not just lost revenue but a PR calamity.
You need to keep an eye on all the websites that host your ads. Not all publishers are diligent about security, but even the best are sometimes caught by surprise. If they've been napping, they'll pay attention to a note from the people who help to keep them in business. Sometimes it may be necessary to suspend services to a site until it is cleaned up. Your advertisers deserve placement they can trust.
Checking hundreds of publisher sites every day, one at a time, isn't practical. With Quttera's Website Malware Scanner REST API, you can run external monitoring on all your customer sites and get notified when it discovers malicious activity on any of them. The advertisers you represent experience fewer problems, the publishers gain valuable security information, and your standing with both sides of the business improves.
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What does monitoring give your advertisers?
Advertisers benefit from Quttera monitoring of publisher sites by receiving more reliable service and keeping their reputation clean.
- Malicious replacement or alteration of ads is quickly caught. The publisher will have to fix the problem and make sure malware isn't interfering with the placement and functioning of paid ads.
- Blacklisted sites are identified. Getting onto a major blacklist, such as Google, Yandex, or Norton, seriously cuts into an ad's view and engagement rate. Cleaning up the problem and getting removed from the blacklist as quickly as possible will minimize the impact.
- Malicious ads without authorization ("malvertising") are caught. Unauthorized ads which link to low-quality or dangerous sites make visitors suspicious of every ad on the site. Removing them improves engagement for legitimate ads.
- Visitors are less likely to use ad blockers. Users block ads more out of fear of malware than hostility to advertising as such. If they don't encounter suspicious-looking ads, they won't be as likely to block all ads on a site.
What does monitoring give your publishers?
The benefits to publishers are similar, though the perspective is different. No one likes bad news, but they gain from learning promptly about any problems on their site. When both the advertisers and the publishers win, your advertising network wins.
- Malware detection and removal keeps visitors' confidence high. They view the site without seeing dubious content. The site's reputation remains good, and visitors come back.
- A clean site has less downtime. Infected sites are prone to crash and stop responding. Prompt discovery and removal of malware reduce the chance of server failure.
- Publishers stay off blacklists or get off them more quickly. Blacklisting due to malware ruins a site's visitor count. Not knowing that it has been blacklisted, or knowing it has but not why, makes the problem hard to fix. Quttera's Website Malware Scanner REST API recognizes blacklisting and aids in removal after the problem is corrected.
- Repeat advertising keeps revenues steady. When the site is free of problems, advertisers get a good return and run more ads.
- You gain an additional line of defense against advertisers who try to sneak malware-laden ads through your advertising network. This protects both your business and the publishers.
How does site monitoring work?
External monitoring of a publisher's website doesn't require any special permissions. You integrate our API into your quality control process and run it against a list of links to your customers' sites. You already run quality control to make sure the ads are visible and work properly, and cybersecurity needs to be a part of it.
The Quttera API emulates the most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It will detect malicious redirects, malware behavior, phishing aimed at visitors, and other security anomalies. It will check the sites against leading blacklists. And, of course, it will report when part or all of a site fails to respond.
The reports your monitoring system generates will include all the information the publisher needs to attack the problem. They can cover redirection, dangerous scripts, altered forms and links, cross-site scripting, impersonation, and other threats.
How can you work with publishers?
The owners of publisher sites may be uncomfortable at first with having their sites monitored, but you're providing them with a benefit, not spying on them. No website owner wants to have their site hacked into and compromised. By keeping an eye on their sites, you help to make sure they'll stay safe and won't lose traffic because of damage or blacklisting.
Your technical contact at a publisher site will be ready to get reports if the Quttera API discovers any problems. The report will include specific data to help them identify the source of the problem and clear it up.
While you don't need authorization from your publishers, you should make their technical contacts aware of the monitoring and ask them to whitelist its IP addresses. That will keep intrusion prevention systems from mistaking the monitoring for a hostile probe and interfering with it.
Advertisers don't have to get involved, but you can tell them that your monitoring processes ensure the ongoing visibility of their ads and protect the reputation of their brands.
Quttera offers multiple services and plans for improving advertising network security. If you're looking for malware protection for your ad network's publisher sites, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our inquiry form.