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What Is Bot Management?

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What Is Bot Management?

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Bot management is a technique that allows you to filter the bots that can access your website assets. With this technique, you can enable useful bots, like Google crawlers, while on the other hand, blocking unwanted or malicious bots, like those that are used in cyberattacks. These techniques are made to check on bot activity, find the source of the bot, and get to know in detail the activity being undertaken.

Bot management is essential to prevent security and performance impacts on your website. In case malicious bots are granted access to your assets, they may end up overloading the servers and may make legitimate users to be slowed or denied access. Further, other bots are used to clear your content, and even worse, they can be used to acquire personal system files, credentials, and assets. After which, these stolen items can be used to spam content, plan cyberattacks, or phish users.

Still, bot management practices that are very strict or wrongly recognize bad bots may lead to fatal damage to the business of an organization. For instance, restricting the bots of search engines may lead to loss of revenue that results from the low conversation as a result of low traffic while preventing home-grown bots that are normally used for automation and testing can interfere with essential business activities.

Bot management leverages an array of security, web technologies, and machine learning to correctly check bots and deny any malicious activity while giving access to legitimate bots to operate without being interrupted.

Such technologies can include User Behavioral Analytics (UBA), Web Application Firewalls (WAF), and bot pattern databases that can block unwanted tasks and intercept network traffic based on business rules and real-time analysis.

How Does Bot Management Work?

Bot management strategies have progressed to meet the uses and capabilities of bots by cyber-attackers. The current bot management is faced with two challenges: to find attacker bots that are hugely becoming advanced at copying real users and to differentiate legitimate bots from malicious bots, which can be highly essential for a day to day operation of a business.

Presently, there are 3 major approaches used to identify and manage bots:

This approach uses static analysis applications to detect header info and the requests of the web that are known to match with bad bots. However, this strategy is passive and may only identify active and known bots.

Challenge-Based Approach

For this approach, it uses challenges that are active or even tests that are impossible or difficult for bots to handle to detect bots. Mostly used challenges span from the ability to run JavaScript, acceptance of cookies to CAPTCHA verification.

Behavioral Approach

This approach considers the task of potential users and correlates that task with the known sequences to prove user identity. This strategy uses many profiles to group activity and differentiates between, bad boots, good bots, and human users.

Approaches Of Bot Management

The best strategy of not management is the one that combines all the three techniques to ensure that more bots can be easily identified. Whenever you combine the techniques, you have a high chance of identifying bots even if they have dynamic behaviors.

You can as well use some bot mitigation services to manage bots independently. These services make use of automated tools to identify the bots. Additionally, these services prevent API abuse by monitoring API traffic while implementing rate limiting. With rate limiting, you can easily limit bots over a wide range rather than concentrating on one IP.

Importance Of Bot Management. Risks Of Getting Exposed To Malicious Bots

Each organization needs to prioritize bot management as a way of maintaining security and its day-to-day operations. Some risks can make you lose revenue and cause some inconveniences around you. Bot management can help to avoid risks such as;

Attacks From Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS)

These attacks usually use bots’ networks to send a request to spam servers and thereafter overwhelm the processing services of your organization. This creates major inconveniences because most services and sites will not be available. Additionally, these attacks usually occur on the Internet of Things (IoT) because they are less secure compared to other workstations and computers.

Stuffing Of Credentials

This usually occurs when criminals try to use bots to come up with some stolen credentials and one will automatically be accepted. These criminals can access the systems by force and take over accounts. The attackers are usually successful because users tend to use the same credentials on a wide range of accounts.

Gift Cards Frauds

Attackers can use bots to create counterfeit gift cards and lure users into using them. They exchange these cards for money afterward. Also, they can use stolen credit cards for smaller purchases and valid ones to make larger purchases.

Phishing Attacks

Criminals can use bots to scan through websites, forums, and social media to find any personal information about users. From there, they use this information appearing like they have authority and therefore tricking these users to acquire more confidential information.

Web Scraping

Here, attackers use bots to scan and extract any assets from storage locations. These assets are branding materials, logos, pricing data, and many more. Other portals and e-commerce websites are also vulnerable to web scraping.

Bot Management Solution

Good and experienced bot management solutions use all the three above approaches to check each visitor on the site and match their ID behavior. With the right bot management software, you will know whether the visitor is human or not. This helps to protect against any malicious bots and easier access on the site. This also helps to mitigate any bad bot activities. Therefore, bot management software helps to ensure that the websites are safe, secure, and accessible. It might include:

Cloud WAF – prevents any bad traffic and allows legitimate traffic. It ensures that your applications are safer at all times.

RASP – assures you of the safety of your application and prevents any zero-day attacks.

DDOS protection – it prevents any DDoS attacks that limit access to your website infrastructure.

CDN – reduces bandwidth costs while increasing website performance.

Final Thoughts

Using bot management techniques can help make your website operate in a safer and more stable manner, this means a better user experience for your visitors leading them to have confidence in your services, increasing their satisfaction and likelihood of becoming a returning customer.

A lot of the solutions presented here can be implemented cheaply and with little technical knowledge so there is no excuse not to put one (or more) of these solutions in place.

Do you have any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments below

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