Bot attackers are a common concern in the modern day.
Bots cause several issues for most businesses and even their customers that use products and services.
As for the most recent stats, bot traffic accounts for roughly 40% of the internet’s traffic.
Bot traffic costs might reach more than $100 billion this year.
The most common issue is that most businesses leave bot attacks unaddressed.
However, there’s no need to worry because in this article, we will dive deeper into learning more about the top reasons why bot detection and mitigation are crucial for your business.
Top 6 Reasons why you need bot detection and mitigation in your business
1. Reducing bot traffic
As we mentioned, nearly half of your online traffic is caused by bots on the internet.
It’s even harder to distinguish whether your traffic is from bots, or humans.
Most of the bot traffic you see online is from bad bots and they have one task, to attack sites and mobile apps.
Online bots are sometimes even hard to distinguish because they can disguise themselves as if they are mobile browsers.
Worst of all is that these bots are evolving and they’re creating different methods for attacking your online site.
The rise of bot traffic is making it important for businesses to stay vigilant of potential attacks and to carefully monitor these attacks.
If you want to protect your online business, you need to prevent these bots from causing any major issues.
2. Effective bot identification
Bot identification is important to have if you want to clarify if your traffic is from an actual user, or a bot.
The most common method to identify bot traffic is using bot detection tools and software.
Once you figure out how to identify bots, you can try to prevent them from attacking your site and API.
However, here are some methods you can use for doing so:
- CAPTCHA: Was created in the late 90s for preventing bots from entering forums and search engines. Bots weren’t too advanced in the past, so CAPTCHA could easily identify them back then. However, for the past 20 years, technology has come a long way and bots are only becoming smarter. For now, CAPTCHA isn’t a very effective method for identifying bots. Bots nowadays can act so similar to a human and it’s challenging for them to distinguish.
- Firewalls: Are used for protecting your online site or applications from SQL injections, cross-site scripting and more. They will use rules for filtering out good bot traffic from the bad ones. However, firewalls can only block the more basic threats and have difficulties blocking out the more advanced ones.
- Multi-factor authentications (MFA): Excellent for securing a user’s accounts. It’s better than the two other methods for identifying bots, but there are some highly advanced bots out there that can still overcome these attacks!
- Device fingerprinting: A common need method used for preventing bots. This is probably one of the most advanced methods for preventing bots and allows apps to assign an ID to a user on a specific device and identify any suspicious activities to the ID. Once they are marked as malicious, the app will further block out the requests from the fingerprint device.
Bots are now using similar technologies that humans do and they can plan their attacks out. With only a small effort, they can attack your mobile app API for a few days.
Moreover, they keep switching to different IP addresses and the bad news is that identification methods like firewalls will rely on IPs for distinguishing if it’s a human being, or a bot.
Another thing is that there’s a recent emergence of bots as a service (BaaS), which allows anyone to simply launch a bot attack.
These services give operators the ability for setting up attacks and sending out bots to a specific app, or website.
Nevertheless, these bots are actually even more advanced than many may think.
3. Preventing monetary losses
Did you know that the amount of global financial losses across the world has exceeded $48 billion?
Monetary losses are a major consideration when you are thinking about preventing bot attacks on your site.
It’s important to be able to separate good bots from the bad ones.
Good bots will many times be used for making people click on ads on a site, costing the business money that will reduce the profit made from ads.
These losses are usually from invalid ad clicks in online shops alone.
Moreover, we have downtimes that are caused by bad bots. 82% of companies experience some sort of downtime each year and many of these come from bad bots.
Downtimes can affect your business in multiple ways, causing both financial losses and even reducing human traffic to your site.
4. Protects your brand’s reputation
A brand reputation takes time to build, but can easily be lost.
Bad bots can easily destroy a brand’s reputation if they conduct a large attack operation.
Especially when most of the business activities are taken online, your customers are interacting with you online.
This means that you’ll need to keep their data safe and ensure they can trust you with it.
5. Improving the user experience
Customer experience needs to be top-notch if you want to run an online business.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of competitors on the net and if you want to stand out from them, you’ll need to provide a superb experience.
Bot activity on mobile apps, websites and other apps has a strong effect on the customer experience.
In fact, even good bot traffic affects your site’s usability and makes it more challenging to use.
The customer experience is sometimes affected by a sneakerbot, which is a bot that seeks to resell inventory.
This means that actual customers won’t be able to access the products they want to purchase.
Another issue can also be fraud bots, which manipulate data from the customer and businesses.
Providing false data will make your customers make errors while purchasing and this will significantly affect your brand reputation.
If you are using good bots, you can use them to improve the customer experience and not slow it down.
Overall, if there are too many bad bots on your site, they can disrupt the experience and this might not be good news for you.
6. Customer trust and confidence
Bad bots are used for spamming comment sections, writing fake social media accounts, fake user reviews and more.
Overall, bad bots will contribute to revenue losses for an organization by negatively impacting it.
The attacks caused by bad bots will encourage financial losses, reputational damage and by mitigating bot threats, you are not only saving customer trust, but millions of dollars too.
After all, it’s quite hard to gain customer trust. Statistics show that only 30% of customers actually trust a business.
It’s not a big number and once trust is lost, it’s almost impossible to regain it.
The most common type of bots
When coming to the types of bots and botnets, here are the four most common ones:
- Carding bots: These types of bots will test stolen debit and credit cards on your checkout pages and forms. When the payment passes on, the card number is validated for future market use. Most commonly, fraudsters will use validated cards for purchasing gifts and more.
- Credential stuffing bots: These bots will attempt to conduct numerous logins across top sites by using a bunch of stolen passwords and email addresses, or usernames. Whenever they get the credentials right, they’ll make illegal purchases if the account has money in it.
- Scalping bots: Will use fake accounts for trying to buy demanding goods and rare ones. Online attackers will usually use these items for selling them for high prices.
- Scraping bots: Scraping bots are always on the internet, violating copyright laws, images and prices from your site for malicious purposes. In many cases, these bots might reproduce your original content and images, lowering your SEO rankings.
The danger of modern-day bots
Modern day bots are becoming even more advanced and finding new ways to attack your site.
While many methods are being used for stopping these bots, technology has made them more powerful and resistant to these defenses.
Therefore, you need to carefully analyze your bot traffic and identify which bots are on your site.
After you do this, it’ll be much easier for you to create a strategy against bad bots.
About The Author:
Tony Ademi is a freelance SEO content and copywriter. He has been in the writing industry for three years and has managed to write hundreds of SEO-optimized articles. Moreover, he has written articles that have ranked #1 on Google. Tony’s primary concern when writing an article is to do extensive research and ensure that the reader is engaged until the end.