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What Every Business Needs to Know About Anomaly Based Detection

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Eric Vardon
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There are constant unforeseen events and situations that happen in business.

Often they sweep the rug under your feet and cause an organization to rush to locate and address them accordingly.

These can be anything from security breaches to marketing failures or oppositely—profitable opportunities that were unnoticed.

How can an organization discover all of these without having to constantly monitor every corner of their company? Anomaly based detection.

This advanced form of artificial intelligence is a priceless opportunity for your business to automate all of the previously mentioned things and more.

In fact, it’s one of the large reasons that 47% of digitally mature organizations have a defined AI strategy.

Continue reading if you’d like to learn what anomaly based detection is and how you can adopt it.

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What is anomaly based detection?

Anomaly based detection is a form of artificial intelligence that’s trained to identify unexpected items or events within a given dataset. 

It operates under two very simple principles: firstly, anomalies only occur very rarely. Secondly, they differ significantly. 

I.e. They shouldn’t be regularly occurring but often enough to be taken seriously and investigated.

Although, all anomalies aren’t bad. In fact, they can be very, very good. But, more on that later. Think of the anomaly detection process visualized like this:

The purple line is average and expected data behaviour. Anything outside of that (visualized as red dots) is considered an outlier or anomaly. 

Using anomaly detection software like Morphio visualizes anomalies as cards so they are simple to understand as I’ll be showing you later.

What is the difference between signature detection and anomaly detection?

Signature detection is a similar albeit different form of artificial intelligence that’s closely related to anomaly detection. 

It applies a signature to previous attacks or items that can be thought of it as a stamp or profile. This means when it reappears, AI is able to alert organizations to take appropriate action. 

Anomaly detection, as I previously described, focuses on real-time monitoring automation to detect threats and opportunities depending on when they arise. After all, not all events and pieces of data are the same. One of the signature detection’s natural flaws is that it may not detect new items for this reason.

To illustrate my point further, consider this study on anomaly detection’s potential to protect SaaS websites.

Researchers concluded through several tests that anomaly based detection had a high accuracy rate at detecting outliers while producing few false positives.

What can anomaly detection be used for?

Now that you understand what anomaly based detection is and isn’t, I’m going to elaborate on ways your organization can deploy it for growth and protection.

Automatically detecting security threats

Cybersecurity accidents happen when you least expect them. You’re working on important projects when someone runs in your office panicking there’s been a breach. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But you get my point.

There were 4.1 billion personal records exposed because of cyber breaches in 2019 for instance.

But, your company doesn’t need to be another statistic.

Anomaly based detection constantly runs in the background of an organization to detect security flaws. This includes threats like rogue users, excess privileges, viruses, and others.

Your team can then address these problems before they cause damage.

Discover marketing opportunities and mishaps

Everything isn’t so harsh with anomaly based detection. It’s also capable of growing companies and helping them discover optimizations and errors well before the human eye can.

Firstly, human mistakes happen. We leave campaigns running longer than they should, credit cards get declined, and data gets lost in the mix. While you could struggle to fix all of this manually you don’t need to anymore.

Anomaly based detection software like Morphio finds all of these errors in real-time so they aren’t causing issues for days, weeks or longer. They are displayed as cards that look like so:

Additionally, it’s capable of narrowing down near marketing opportunities that drive revenue and growth. One way is by defining the successful channels and assets that are moving the needle more than expected. Secondly, anomalies may include customer profiles that are generating the highest conversions and engagement.

A business can take this information and completely reshape campaigns to concentrate on what’s netting the most gains.

Get one step ahead of competitors

Going against competitors is like a constant game of tug of war. You have to watch what they are doing, innovate, and get ahead. Fortunately, anomaly based detection can be used to constantly examine competitor marketing and advertising for changes.

The first application of this is monitoring their metadata in search engines, such as rankings, search terms, and impressions. Sharp movements can be investigated to find what content and search strategy they are deploying to mimic yourself.

Similarly, competitor advertising campaigns including pay-per click ads could be monitored for anomalies. These would include changes in ad sales copy, impressions, target keywords, and alike.

Instead of the competition reaping the rewards of fruitful campaigns for long periods, you can instantly combat them with their own strategies to drive internal performance.


Anomaly based detection is a very powerful technology that organizations can adopt for several purposes. 

It is artificial intelligence based software that learns how a normal dataset operates and uses that to find items that deviate from the norm.

Anomalies can be both positive or negative. Firstly, it will detect security threats and loopholes that can be fixed before they cause damage. These commonly include malware, data breaches, and website vulnerabilities

Oppositely, anomalies can be a practical tool for scaling a company. This is because anomalies also include lucrative marketing channels, customer profiles, and web assets. It will scan competitors so you can take their new techniques to improve your own too.

Interested in experiencing everything I mentioned in today’s article? Try Morphio today for free. Our marketing security software will scan your business for marketing failures and opportunities, helping you focus on important tasks and gaining peace of mind.

Eric Vardon Profile image

Eric Vardon

CEO, Co-Founder @ Morphio

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