Bot attacks are one of the greatest concerns that today’s businesses have. Bots cause problems for organizations and their customers, using a range of methods to exploit vulnerabilities. While much bot traffic comes from good bots, which perform useful tasks, about 30%-35% of all traffic comes from bad bots.
Businesses need to take the right steps to combat bad bots and protect their online activities. Bot detection and mitigation are key to catching bots and preventing them from having a negative effect on your business. All organizations that conduct business online can benefit from using bot mitigation products and services that will protect them from attacks. If you want to protect your business from automated threats, you need to use the right bot detection tools to ensure even the most sophisticated bots aren’t let through.
Bot detection should be your first line of defense against bad bots, for the following reasons.
1. Clean Up Metrics by Reducing Bot Traffic
Previously, around a third of traffic originated from bad bots, but this could be on the rise. In 2020, traffic from humans fell by 5.7%, while traffic from bad bots and bots, in general, was higher than ever. The majority of bad bot traffic, 57.1%, came from Advanced Persistent Bots, which result in abuse, misuse, and attacks on websites, APIs, and mobile apps. In 2020, ISPs and telecom received the highest level of overall bot traffic, while the travel industry was particularly affected by sophisticated bad bot traffic.
The pandemic has had an effect on bad boy traffic too, as well as the applications that are being targeted. Healthcare websites saw a 372% rise in bad bot traffic and bot activity on sites offering COVID-19 vaccinations was recorded at rates of 12,000 requests per hour. Scalper bots were used to take advantage of the pandemic by stockpiling commodities too.
In 2020, some of the most significant problems from bots included bots disguised as mobile browsers, account takeover fraud, and scalper bots causing problems during the holiday season. Bots disguised as mobile browsers grew by more than 12% between 2019 and 2020, to reach 28.1%. 34% of all login attempts in 2020 came from malicious bots, affecting a range of industries, and between September and October 2020, bad bot traffic on retail websites rose by a huge 788%.
This rise in bad bot traffic makes it more important than ever for businesses and organizations of all kinds to take precautions. Using bot detection and bot mitigation tools is a must if you want to protect your business and prevent bad bots from causing huge problems.
2. Avoid Risk to Your Online Applications
Many industries need to pay attention to how bots can have an impact on their activities. Some types of businesses may need to be more careful than others to ensure they know how bots could affect them. E-commerce businesses, in particular, might need to focus their cybersecurity on how to prevent bad bots from causing problems. This can especially be an issue for retailers that might have been focusing more on their online sales over the last year, due to being unable to conduct their sales in person.
E-commerce businesses need to collect their customers’ personal details and credit card information to process their orders and payments. This makes them excellent targets for bots, making their checkout and payment pages vulnerable. Bots can cause a variety of problems for e-commerce stores, using a number of different actions. They will check the security of the checkout process by filling a cart with random items, which reduces the inventory available for real customers to order. They will spam login attempts and scrape the website for details that they can use.
Bot detection helps to prevent these problems for e-commerce businesses and a range of industries. If you’re selling anything online, preventing bots from causing problems for you and your customers is a must. Kasada uses real-time detection to find and react to bot attacks as quickly as possible. You can automate your reaction to bot attacks to ensure you are able to fight back quickly and efficiently. Whether you are already using bot mitigation tools or you need to find the right ones for the first time, Kasada can help you by providing robust protection across your applications.
3. Prevent Monetary Losses from Fraud
The potential monetary losses that can come from fraud are, of course, a major consideration when thinking about the detection and prevention of bad bots. Being able to separate the good bots from the bad bots helps to prevent the losses that could result from malicious bot activity. The financial loss caused by bots can result from a number of activities that they carry out.
Bots represent a loss of more than $6 billion in digital advertising, according to one report from the digital security firm White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers. Bots are used to click on ads and watch videos that brands put out, costing them money by eating into their advertising budgets. One study estimated that $3.8 billion would be lost to invalid ad clicks in e-commerce alone during 2020. An increase in this type of bot behavior during the pandemic meant that e-commerce businesses had to be even more on guard to ensure they were detecting and preventing bad bots.
Downtime caused by bots can be very costly to your business too. It could cost between $140,000 to $540,000 per hour on average. Of course, every organization is different, and network downtime can affect each of them in different ways. As well as causing downtime, bad bots can cause issues that lead to financial loss in other ways too. By disrupting your website and slowing it down, you could lose money in less direct ways. A slow website can cause you to lose traffic and experience a decline in conversion rates.
By 2024, online payment fraud losses are set to exceed $200 billion. Bot mitigation is vital to play a part in preventing this.
4. Protect Your Brand Reputation
It’s not just monetary losses that your business needs to watch out for. Activity from bad bots could also lead to your business’s reputation taking a hit. When your business activities are taking place online, your customers are interacting with you online too. This means that you have to keep them and their personal information safe if you want to ensure your business reputation stays intact.
Not only can problems directly caused by bot attacks affect your reputation, but less direct issues that arise also make a difference. For example, if your IT team is spending more and more time trying to prevent bots from causing problems, they have less time for other issues that require their attention. Your customers may end up frustrated because they are facing various technical issues that are being neglected.
Your customers could come up against problems caused by bots, such as a lack of available inventory for them to order. Research from Forrester showed that 78% of respondents had seen more customer complaints and customer churn due to bot attacks in 2020. 65% also said that they had seen greater revenue loss. Some of the most common types of bot attacks included web scraping, card fraud, DDoS, and inventory fraud.
If customers are struggling to use your website due to bot attacks, it affects the reputation of your brand. Customers could find you less trustworthy if they can’t interact with your site properly and it seems as if you can’t keep it secure. Bot detection and mitigation make it easier to stay on top of controlling bot activity so that you can protect the reputation of your brand and ensure you can retain your customers.
5. Improve Your Customer Experience
Customer experience needs to be a focus of any organization conducting its business online. When there’s so much competition to face, you need to provide an excellent experience for your users to ensure they’re satisfied. Bot activity on your website, mobile app, or other applications can have a significant effect on the experience for your customers. In fact, even traffic from good bots can have an impact on the usability of your website, slowing it down so that it’s more difficult for people to use.
Your customer experience could be affected by sneakerbots, which hoard inventory to resell. This means that your genuine customers are unable to get access to the products that they want. Another problem can arise from influence-fraud bots, which can manipulate the data that both companies and customers use to make decisions. False data could cause your customers to make bad decisions about their purchases, and your brand could get the blame.
Bots should be used to improve the customer experience, not disrupt it. But if there is too much activity from bad bots on your website or other applications, it’s likely to have a negative impact on your customer experience. When customers use your website or other applications, you want any bots to be helpful for them. It’s much better for them and you if they associate bots with helpful applications such as chatbots, which help to provide them with the customer service that they need.
Bad bots could cause all sorts of problems for your customers, from breaking into their accounts to stealing data. Bot detection helps to protect them and enhance their experience. Kasada ensures you are able to strike back against bots so that they don’t ruin the experience for your customers.
6. Stay Ahead of Attackers
Using bot detection and mitigation from Kasada, you get ahead of attackers so that you can take a proactive approach to keeping your organization secure. Bad bots can cleverly mimic human behavior, which makes it very difficult for many bot detection solutions to pick up on them. But, with the right solution, you can ensure that even these bots that attempt to stay under the radar are detected and can be dealt with appropriately. Automated attacks can be detected and prevented to provide the ultimate protection.
IT teams can often feel like they are constantly trying to catch up with new threats. Instead of struggling in this way and always being behind, bot detection will allow you to stay ahead of attackers. Threat intel and powerful analytics tools from Kasada make it possible to improve your overall security and always be prepared to deal with any threats from bad bots. You can get started with our tools in just a few minutes, thanks to quick onboarding and immediate time-to-value. Getting set up is simple and delivers a range of essential features straight away.
Bots have evolved and most solutions struggle to keep up. Instead of putting out fires, the better solution is to identify and stop threats before they can ever be allowed to affect you. Although bot attacks can be complicated, the solution to keeping them at bay doesn’t have to be. Kasada will integrate with your existing architecture and enable you to start dealing with bots. With actionable insights available, you get the data that you need to continually improve the security of your infrastructure.
Bot detection is a key element for keeping your applications secure. With a robust bot detection and mitigation solution, you can stop bots in their tracks both now and in the future.