Perspectives

Enhancing Malware Protection with clean.io

Enhancing Malware Protection with clean.io

Index Exchange has been committed to growing, supporting, and safeguarding publishers since day one. Part of that requires that every ad that runs on our exchange meets our high standards for quality and is consumer-safe, no matter the channel.

We employ a variety of tools, protective technology, and meticulous processes to this end, whether ads are being delivered through video, in-app, or connected TV. Before new buyers or ads are approved, they are human-reviewed and categorized for a wide range of attributes, ensuring they meet our publisher standards and aren’t misrepresented. Each ad is scanned through third-party and proprietary technology to identify malicious ads. And all of this happens before an ad can win on our exchange and is ultimately shown to consumers. Even once they’re approved, the quality assurance enforcement doesn’t stop – we have continuous scanning on active ads to prevent malware from being introduced. 

This approach has kept us at the forefront of safety and trustworthiness, keeping bad ads at bay and reducing the risk of these threats ever reaching our publishers or their audiences. We’re always imagining more ways to safeguard our customers as we continue our push beyond the web, which is why we are proud to be partnering with clean.io and integrating their cutting edge security solution, cleanAD, to deliver additional real-time threat protection. See the full announcement here.

A Lose-Lose for Bad Actors: Real-Time Malware Blocking

Bad actors have become increasingly sophisticated in delivering malicious ads, targeting a wide range of devices to achieve their misdeeds (Malvertisting Statistics: Attacks on Browsers & Devices in Q2 2020). Evolving problems require evolving solutions, and our partnership with clean.io extends our threat protection efforts to enable real-time threat detection and blocking, globally. This is particularly important during the all important Q4 stretch, when bad actors tend to take advantage of the overall increase in marketplace activity.

With this integration, clean.io’s technology is deployed alongside ads from Index Exchange as they’re rendered. In the rare case where our existing standards, practices and procedures are unable to proactively prevent malware, this integration detects malicious code attempting to deploy in an ad – such as cloaked redirects – and blocks it in real time, preserving a seamless user experience. The ad itself is still allowed to render, meaning the bad actor still pays for the impression, but can no longer financially benefit from the malicious code. Once detected, our exchange quality team is  immediately notified of offending ads to block from our exchange to enhance future proactive screening procedures. 

Protecting Publishers and Consumers

Advertising bridges the value tradeoff between consumers and publishers, and every bad ad can leave a negative impression on that value exchange. Many publishers enlist their own anti-malvertising technology to help detect and block bad ads from showing, but not all have the resources, time or expertise to do so. Our integration with clean.io means that every publisher large and small gets protected.

This partnership goes beyond Index Exchange. Any threat that is detected by our integration feeds information back to clean.io, who can then identify similar threats across their platform and protect their customers beyond the boundaries of our exchange. And Index Exchange gets the same collective benefit in return – we are protected from threats detected outside of our marketplace by their platform. This critical feedback loop helps safeguard the broader programmatic ecosystem and aids all participants that incorporate technologies like clean.io.

It is part of our DNA to protect our customers and their trust in our marketplace. With this added technology, publishers and their audiences are extensively protected, even beyond the confines of our systems. Now, our global malvertising protection extends end-to-end for publishers and their audiences.