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What is bot management?

Bot management regulates bot access to websites or applications. The solution filters out traffic generated by bots, and it blocks unwanted or malicious bots while allowing other bots access. This makes bot management a decisive factor for comprehensive IT security at the company. It protects against a variety of botnet attacks by hackers, thereby helping companies to avoid economic losses.

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A definition of what bot management is

Bots are small automated programs that independently carry out specific tasks. They perform recurring operations in most cases. Bots can be extremely useful. The Google crawler is one example of such a bot. It indexes web pages to ensure that they are included in Google search results. But bots are also used by cyber criminals to carry out their attacks. Bots thus represent a security risk for website operators. This is especially true when many thousands of bots join together into a botnet and carry out strategic attacks on websites.

A bot manager is software that manages which bots are allowed to access a website. The tool can tell the difference between human traffic and bot traffic and block unwanted access. It is not advisable to block all bot traffic, because useful bots, such as the Google crawler, will also no longer be able to access the page. Instead, a properly set up system of bot management identifies trustworthy bots by determining their reputations, analyzing the source IP addresses, and monitoring their behavior. Trusted bots are added to a whitelist so that they are still able to access the website, while dubious and malicious bots are denied access.


How does bot management work?

Bot management is based on the identification and subsequent containment of bots. The following are some of the solutions bot managers use to identify bots:

Limiting requests from a single IP address:
If too many requests from a single IP address threaten to overload the server, this is an indication that the traffic is being generated by bots.
“CAPTCHA” is the acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”. These familiar mosaics and puzzles are used to determine whether a human or a computer is sending a request.
It is also possible to use JavaScript to determine whether a request comes from a user or a computer program. People access websites using browsers with a JavaScript engine. If one is not present at the source of the request, then the traffic is most likely from a bot.
Behavioral analysis:
By analyzing the behavior of a user, modern bot managers can also tell human users apart from bots.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI):
This is an area that is still in its infancy, but more and more bot management systems are relying on machine learning to better distinguish bots from human users.

A bot manager can do more than just block bots. It can also direct them to special content. It’s possible to use bot management to provide valuable information to the Google crawler that will positively effect the website’s ranking on Google. In addition, bot management can be used to optimize the delivery of website content to human users.


What are the advantages of bot management?

A bot management system offers many advantages to website operators:

  • Transparency regarding traffic and actual user behavior
  • Protection against cyber attacks, such as botnets, and better IT security
  • Better website performance for human users and valid bots
  • Lower hosting costs thanks to filtering out malicious bot traffic

In summary, webmasters who use a bot manager have better control over the traffic on the website. This makes it possible to analyse user behavior and adjust the content of the site accordingly, which has a positive effect on both the conversion rate and sales.


How does bot management improve security?

Hackers are increasingly using bots and botnets to perpetrate cyber attacks on corporate websites. This is why good bot management is a key contributor to a company’s IT security. It can prevent major financial damage by identifying and blocking malicious bots in time.

Online retailing is at particular risk. The sector is currently increasingly becoming a target of botnet attacks, while at the same time many companies are not yet sufficiently prepared. If you want to protect your company from economic losses, you should rely on timely and effective bot management.


What kind of cyber attacks does bot management protect against?

A bot management system provides particular protection against the following bot-based cyber attacks:

Denial of service attacks (DDoS):

In a DDoS attack, hackers use a botnet to overload the server by flooding it with a huge number of requests. DDoS attacks can be directed against websites and other online services.

Web Scraping:

With web scraping, which is also known as screen scraping, bots read the content of a web page and then reproduce it on another page. This can have a range of negative consequences for the operator of the original site. In the worst case, cyber criminals use an exact copy of the original website to steal sensitive data from the source site’s customers via phishing.

Ad click fraud:
Botnets are also used to engage in click fraud, which occurs when hackers generate revenue from fraudulent clicks on ads.
Credential Stuffing:
Bots use forums and internet portals to test stolen user/password combinations on a large scale to find valid accounts to exploit online.
Price grabbing:
Bots are used to obtain product prices or entire pricing structures in order to selectively take advantage of and harm competitors.
Formular Spam:
Bots exploit contact forms to bombard companies with their messages. This phishing method is often used as a jumping off point for more advanced attacks.
Hype Sales:
Bots are able to beat out real customers and purchase highly coveted products. These products, which for the most part are limited special editions, are then resold at exorbitant prices to realize a high profit. The result is disappointed customers.
Cart abandonment:
Bots fill up shopping carts without completing the checkout process. As a result, the products that are reserved there are temporarily no longer available for regular customers, therby harming the shop operator’s business.
Credit card tests:
Cyber criminals use bots on online portals to verify stolen credit card information. They use this technique to find valid cards within a matter of seconds for the purpose of commiting other crimes.
Account creation & takeover:
Cybe criminals use automatically generated fake profiles to send out spam and malware. Huge amounts of fake user account information can also be used to perpetrate money laundering and SEO manipulation.

The targeted manipulation of analytics and user data is known as skewing. Attackers do this to prompt victim companies to make the wrong strategic decisions.


How can companies use bot management?

Operators of websites and online services do not have to set up their own internal bot management system. In terms of IT security, this would entail a great deal of time and require a high level of expertise on the part of the company.

There are, however, cloud solutions on the market that companies can connect to quickly and easily. They offer a number of advantages, since the company does not need to have the required expertise available in-house. Bot managers are developed by IT specialists, and they allow providers to deliver consulting services to their customers. No additional hardware or software is required. These cloud solutions are also highly scalable. This is of particular interest in online retailing, for example, where a large number of bot attacks are anticipated during the Christmas shopping season or at the time of a new product launch.


What you need to know about bot management

An effective bot management system forms an important component of a company’s IT security. Attacks by bots or botnets are on the rise, and the eCommerce sector in particular is frequently the subject of this type of cyber attack. Bot managers can differentiate bot traffic from real user traffic and filter it accordingly. Malicious bots are blocked, while useful bots are added to a whitelist. Bot management also has a positive effect on the delivery of content to human users.

Myra Bot Management offers an all-around solution for companies. It ensures that

  • harmful bot requests are immediately rejected or blocked
  • search engine bots are treated individually
  • human users are able to access the right website content quickly and easily.

If you are interested in futher informations, we are willing to send you our whitepaper for free

How to control your bot-generated traffic efficiently:

  • These bots threaten your business
  • Bots leave fingerprints
  • Graded combat: from blocking to honeypot

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