How to Stop Bots on Your Website: 3 Effective Strategies
- Updated on 27 Dec 2023
- 6 min
Lots of companies claim they can stop bots in their tracks. But do they deliver?
The harsh truth is that most anti-bot solutions don’t cut it these days.
Bots have gotten scary smart. They use proxy networks, stealthy browsers, and cunning plugins to impersonate real users.
Legacy bot detectors let these tricky bots slip through the cracks. When they raise a red flag, the damage is already done.
Fending off carding attacks and other bot-fueled scams calls for modern solutions designed for the bots of 2024, not 2014.
In this guide, we’ll talk about:
- Why outdated bot management doesn’t work anymore
- Which anti-bot approaches are still relevant, and what needs to get left behind
- How KYC checks help, but what else do you need to lock out bots
Let’s dig in and talk about how you can get one step ahead of those pesky bots. Game on!
Why Bot Management Matters
Before we take a look at today’s bot management solutions and their effectiveness of them, it is important to assess why these tools are so important, to begin with.
Bot Traffic Drags Down Conversion Rates
Did you know that one in 10 users will not return to your website if they have a poor experience?
And, if bots flood your website, the user experience is going to be a very bad one, as your site will be slow and people will not be able to purchase the products they really want to buy.
If that was not enough, a lot of the bot management solutions today use CAPTCHAs, which make the user experience even more frustrating.
We are sure you have all had to click on traffic lights or bicycles before making a purchase.
Not only can this make the experience more long-winded but it can sometimes mean you end up missing out on something you really wanted to purchase.
This is why you need an effective bot management solution that is going to stop your business from suffering.
Bots Can Blast Huge Holes in Your Budget
If you fund and support all of the non-human traffic on your online channels, you’re basically spending money on something that is never going to result in any genuine leads, sales, or engagement.
There are many ways that bad bots can cost you money.
The solutions out there on the market today tend to be very expensive to install, which can be another barrier.
Also, did you know that the downtime caused due to a denial of service attack can be anywhere from $140,000 to $540,000 per hour?
This is why you need a bot management solution that can prevent bots from filtering your systems.
Bots Hurt Everyone – Fight the Good Fight!
As you can see, bad bots can cause frustration amongst your customers and everyone on your team.
Costing a lot of money and ruining the consumer experience, it is not difficult to see why businesses need to prioritize bot management.
Legacy Bot Solutions: Where They Fail
There are a number of issues when it comes to the bot solutions that are on the market today.
One of the main issues is that these systems work on historical data, using past trends and actions to determine whether there are bots invading your website.
This means that by the time you’re warned about bot action, it is too late.
You need a solution that prevents bots from their very first attack.
One of the major problems with a lot of the solutions on the market today is that they use CAPTCHA, which is an incredibly outdated and inefficient approach. CAPTCHA is a fraud detection service.
You are probably familiar with it. You are asked to select “all of the boats” or “all of the squares with pedestrian crossings” in the images.
CAPTCHA is a real problem because it makes the user do all of the hard work, and if that was not bad enough, today’s bots are sophisticated enough to be able to effectively bypass this sort of measure.
Your customers would need to use a CAPTCHA proxy just so they can compete with bots.
We need to recognize that bots have advanced considerably over the years, and they now use an array of approaches to appear human-like.
They can easily bypass CAPTCHA, which means that this solution is ineffective.
In fact, these sorts of challenges can pose more issues for human users in comparison to bots.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to buy tickets for a concert and missing out on the opportunity because you have to click on the squares that have boats in them!
This is bad news for your business as well.
After all, customers will end up feeling frustrated due to the poor user experience your website is providing and the fact that they are never able to purchase the items they want to.
We also advise that you stay away from Web Application Firewalls – another big issue with bot management solutions today!
WAFs were one of the very first tools available for protecting web applications.
However, times have moved forward. Bot operators have figured out how to work around Web Application Firewalls.
Bot Management That Actually Works
There are companies that offer an effective and simple bot detection and mitigation solution.
They will protect your business from the damaging and often underestimated impact of malicious automation across your web, APIs, and mobile.
Bots are just one of the many types of privacy threats that your business should keep a close eye on to protect its sensitive data
Look for a cloud-based service, as well as immersive, embedded, 24/7 customer support, ensuring there is no extra maintenance burden on your internal team.
There are three key areas when it comes to an effective bot management solution: client interrogation, mitigative actions, and threat intelligence.
We will explain more about each one below so you can get a better understanding of what makes some solutions better than the other solutions on the market today:
1. Client Interrogations
Make sure the solution you select will inspect every client request for any immutable evidence of automation that will be left behind when a bot interacts with any of your applications.
All of this is done without having a negative impact on the user, as the client inspection process is entirely invisible to any human user.
During this phase, they will look for the likes of headless architecture browsers and automation frameworks.
They will use inference to figure out whether the request has come from a bad bot or whether it is simply from a human or even a good bot.
They can do all of this without having to let any requests in.
As mentioned earlier, one of the issues with a lot of the solutions out there today is that they need to let requests in so that they can analyze them.
By this point, it is too late, and the damage has already been done.
The best companies also use their polymorphic method to obfuscate our sensors, ensuring that any reverse engineering attempts are deterred.
2. Mitigative Actions
Next, we move on to mitigative actions.
Earlier, we mentioned how a lot of companies use CAPTCHAs, which make the human user do all of the work, causing a huge amount of frustration.
Well, instead, they should implement cryptographic challenges on the bot side.
This means that clients need to figure out increasingly difficult asymmetric cryptographic tasks as proof of work.
The best have designed their solution so that the bots have to do all of the work.
Designed to deceive bot operators while making sure that bot attacks are simply too costly to conduct at scale, a modern solution will prevent bot attacks not only now but also in the future.
They also fight automation with automation.
This means that launching a bot attack on your business would exhaust computer resources and be incredibly expensive work.
This will prevent the hacker from ever wanting to target your business again, as they will know that it is simply not worth it.
3. Threat Intel
Another important part of a modern service is threat intelligence.
Threat intelligence involves deeply assessing any traffic patterns and adversarial techniques.
Companies do this by automatically evaluating any sensor or request data.
KYC software checks can also fall into this space. It can assist with identity verification digitally and securing information.
Any findings or learnings will then be added to the client inspection process in real-time, without there being any need for code upgrades.
This means that you are going to be able to benefit from continual feedback and instant updates to your defense.
Outsmart Bots with Custom Security Solutions
Staying ahead of sneaky bots takes hard work – you need to keep tabs on the latest tricks and have a flexible defense plan.
Our team of experts can reinforce vulnerabilities and implement intelligent bot management solutions tailored to your site.
Contact us today to review bot risks and forge an ironclad strategy. We’ll assess your setup, find gaps bots can exploit, and create a robust defense plan using intelligent techniques.