GuideStar Stabilizes Website Availability by Blocking Bad Bots | GuideStar Case Study

September 25, 2015

At a Glance

  • GuideStar
  • Nonprofit Directory

Challenges

  • Web scraping bots were causing downtime on GuideStar.org
  • Existing Skyfence security appliance wasn’t working
  • IT was spending 20 hours a month parsing through log files to fight bots
  • Developers were frustrated and losing sleep

Results

  • Website stabilized and met 99.7% uptime service guarantee
  • Bad bots are blocked while good traffic gets through unhindered
  • Saved 20 hours a month parsing logs and fighting bots
  • More visibility brings peace of mind and business agility

Applicable OWASP Automated Threats

  • OAT-011 Scraping
  • OAT-015 Denial of Service
  • OAT-016 Skewing
  • OAT-003 Ad Fraud
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“Distil has really, really opened our eyes -- WOW, there was a lot going on! We had no idea how pervasive the problem was until we started blocking all the threats.”

-- Shane T. Ward, Data Architect, GuideStar

Overview

GuideStar is the world's largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. The service gathers and disseminates information about every IRS-registered nonprofit organization -- information about the nonprofit's mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance and more. GuideStar aggregates data which is provided by the nonprofits themselves, as well as information from other sources.

A key concern for GuideStar is protecting its valuable data from malicious bots and scrapers. The company’s success and reputation as the leading source for data on nonprofit organizations depends on it.

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