When exploring how digital advertising affects users on a daily basis, you may wonder what solutions are in place to monitor complex systems in real time. Think of searching for the latest Apple iPhone: it only takes this one search and then you’ll get iPhone ads in your email and in between your daily search for other items. This is called adtech and it focuses on a targeted demographic or subject through direct advertising. This blog explores adtech, but first we need to understand how the adtech ecosystem works.

Understanding the adtech ecosystem

There are two sides in the adtech ecosystem: server-side (publisher) and demand-side (advertiser). Adtech helps both advertisers and publishers offer applications that meet consumer needs.

Adtech technology has a process that focuses on a target audience. The target audience enters content in Google, then the content is reviewed by adtech, and finally the content is sourced in a video, is shown in email marketing collateral, or redirects to social media site.

But once the content is advertised, ads are subject to hijacked tags or malicious programs to divert digital ad revenue. Digital advertising needs regulations and data privacy is a big concern for consumers.

Why would SecOps need to track adtech?

In order to protect the data privacy of adtech, tools are needed to track the operational efficiency of the metadata advertised. There are drawbacks in evaluating the metadata for digital advertising, however; tracking against malicious ad fraud, unauthorized tag injectors or spam from bad actors within the use of an endpoint protection platform (EPP) could be a useful source from a SecOps perspective. A solution like Great Bay Software gives a publisher enhanced visibility, remediation, and risk intelligence of endpoints and mobile product applications.

Some companies limit interactive advertising that focuses on click fraud, ad quality issues, and verification initiatives by using solutions such as blocking bots or malware to catch those symptoms. As adtech evolves, the impact of e-commerce and mobile product development will require proactive security measures and actionable metadata to verify trends of lateral movement in the network. A SIEM would capture the events of the malicious ad attacks, but does not provide proactive visibility to verify flow analytics of digital ad fraud.

Programmatic ad fraud is a huge concern, and publishers need a provisional solution to monitor malware and exploits from unknown threats. This is how SecOps plays an important role in these high-risk areas. As new vulnerabilities are found on malicious advertisements, publishers require new regulations for complex data systems. In my experience, having a network traffic analysis and network detection response system proactively defends against potential data privacy breaches resulting from digital advertising.


As adtech evolves, hijacked ad fraud will increase and the ability to protect e-commerce on mobile applications will be severely compromised. Companies are launching client-side solutions such as JavaScript security that provide security measures for adtech. SecOps teams seek a proactive solution such as Scrutinizer to ingest adtech metadata. That said, configure NetFlow for your devices, download Scrutinizer, and become network-aware.

Elgin Robinson

Elgin provides pre-sales support to the sales team at Plixer. Elgin comes from a technical support background, having years of experience doing everything from sales engineering to technical support. Some of his interests include spending quality time with his significant other, mentoring youth in the DFW area, playing bingo with the elderly, and staying fit with the local CrossFit and boot camps in his area.