There has always been an increase in bot attacks. However, as the number of connected devices has grown and automation capabilities have improved, bot assaults have become more frequent than ever, making bot identification even more important.
This is not promising for companies that depend on websites to deliver consistent user experiences and reliable performance. Bot attacks have the potential to overburden websites, distort performance indicators, and pave the way for more dangerous online assaults that might cost a company money. However, new methods are also being developed to enable websites to identify and counteract these bot attacks, which are becoming more sophisticated.
Bot attacks are a sort of cyberattack that uses automated chores to obstruct a website, application, or device’s regular functioning. In what is referred to as a “botnet assault,” bots can be linked to a network of hardware to coordinate and scale the number of requests.
Signals of bot activity
Bot traffic is not always malevolent. Some are necessary for automating tasks including those for search engines, legal online scraping, and more. But when bot traffic is suspect, there are certain obvious signals that may be seen. In order to spot certain important abnormalities, such as the following, website administrators and analysts should either check directly at their network requests or utilize a service like Google Analytics.
A visit from a single IP address that is unusual
Everywhere in the globe will visit any website that is made publicly viewable. Depending on the location of the business, its clients, and other circumstances, the distribution of the traffic’s source will undoubtedly vary in certain ways. However, if a single IP address consistently generates unusually large amounts of traffic, there is cause for further investigation to determine whether the traffic is being created by bots.
Abnormal page time
The length of a session or the time spent on a particular page of your website can also serve as signs of bot traffic. Time on page can also change depending on a variety of things, but generally speaking, it stays consistent. Look for situations when sessions are a few milliseconds or significantly longer than usual. Bots that are trained to surf the website slowly may be the cause of the lengthy time on page or session duration, while bots that flick through sites quickly may be the cause of the short time on page.
Unusual increase in page views
There is still cause for concern even if your sites are being seen from places and IP addresses that make sense for your company. Bots that are attempting to overwhelm your servers may be to blame for a sudden increase in page traffic. DDoS attacks are a common way for this to appear.
Bots may be programmed to submit contact forms at scale in addition to bringing visitors to a website. For instance, people can put several goods to a shopping basket on an e-commerce website without ever checking any of them out.
Anomalies in contact form inputs include nonsensical names, email addresses, and phone numbers, as well as unexpected, irrational increases in newsletter subscriptions. These could also appear as bounce backs when you send your newsletter again. All of these conversions are artificial or garbage and the consequence of bot activity.
What makes bot detection important
Unfortunately, bots are becoming increasingly clever and growing alongside detection techniques. Web application firewalls and perimeter security were traditionally used by enterprises to cope with bot traffic, but even these are now proving to be ineffective. Dedicated bot detection tools can stop harmful bots while allowing beneficial bot activity to continue. They accomplish this in the following ways:
Real-time detection & Bot protection services
Bot assaults are frequently discovered, but only after they have already hurt the company. Some bot detection systems use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and continuously improve their detection skills, while others can provide real-time monitoring of bot traffic and identification of aberrant patterns. With practice, the company will eventually be able to instantly identify between good and harmful bots in real-time and at an early stage of the bot’s trip, preventing or minimizing the damages.
Saving money and time
Businesses may suffer a large financial loss in nearly every major bot attack scenario. In addition to deceiving your web admin teams about the health and traffic of your website, you put yourself at risk for DDoS assaults and more dangerous threats like ransomware, which have immediate financial repercussions.
The downtime you experience as a result of DDoS assaults might result in substantial costs for you. The hourly rate for this might vary from $140,000 to $540,000. Through the use of bot detecting tools, all of these may be preserved.
Increasing the performance of business websites
Increasing website performance is another way bot identification benefits companies. Bot traffic can jeopardize or slow down websites in the absence of such measures, which can therefore slow down conversions and sales. This may be especially harmful to e-commerce companies who are up against rivals on a certain day, like a holiday or Singles’ Day shopping sale. On the other side, companies who employ bot identification may avoid the negative effects of bot traffic and deliver a smooth user experience with fast website performance.