In May, global leader in bot detection and mitigation, Distil acquired real-time human detection company Are You A Human (AYAH). The acquisition was followed by the launch of Distil Bot Discovery for Google Analytics—a product that leverages AYAH’s technology. We spoke to Rami Essaid, Co-Founder & CEO of Distil Networks to understand how bots use browser automation to interact with websites, simulating human interactions.
MTS: What was the idea behind conceiving Distil, a bot detection company?
Rami Essaid: I’ve always had the entrepreneurial bug. After selling my first company, I went to work at a web security company. I was struck by how many customers were asking for a solution to combat malicious bots bombarding their websites and was inspired to face this problem head on. When Distil was founded in 2011, no one was talking about bots. Now, we’re seeing bots discuss everywhere, from how they are being used in major hacks to their impact on social media. Even Congress passed the BOTS Act in December 2016 to combat the use of bots to scalp tickets online. It’s become a bigger issue than I could have ever imagined.
MTS: Distil acquired Are You A Human last week. How did Distil identify AYAH to be a part of its offering? How did you prepare for the new addition?
Rami Essaid: When we founded Distil, we aimed to build the most comprehensive solution on the market to detect and mitigate threats associated with malicious bots. Are You A Human’s technology and method for identifying bots is different, but complementary to Distil. We added their patented biometric data analysis technology to make our bot detection even better, but also added new data from millions of new sites and users. Through the acquisition, we are also excited to onboard a team of experienced software engineers and data scientists who have dedicated the past seven years to understanding how online businesses have been plagued by the bot problem.