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Protecting Your New Start-up Online Business From Costly Bot Attacks

6 min read

There are a number of companies out there on the market today claiming to offer the best bot detection and prevention solutions. But do they?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of solutions on the market today are unable to keep up. Bots have evolved considerably in recent years. Bot operators use proxy networks, anti-detect browsers, stealth plugins, and DevTools so that they can appear and act just like a human.

Most of today’s solutions are not able to keep up with this. A legacy detection system must allow an automated request in to find any suspicious activity that flies beneath the radar. By this point, it is already too late. Preventing bot-driven carding and other attacks requires a modern solution, and that is what we will explore in full in this guide.

Not only will we look at why modern bot management is critical, but also what elements of bot protection are outdated and which approaches are effective today. We will take a look at how KYC verification checks help, but also what else you need to put in place. So, let’s get to it:

Why Do You Need Bot Management?

Before we take a look at today’s bot management solutions and the effectiveness of them, it is important to assess why these tools are so important, to begin with.

Bad Bots Can Lower Your 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 before. 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.

Your Budget Can Take a Huge Hit

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 filtrating your systems.

Bad Bots Are Bad News for Everyone

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.

Why Don’t Legacy Solutions Work When It Comes to Bot Management?

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.

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 Does Work

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.

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 Interrogation

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 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 own 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 Intelligence

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 checks can also fall into this space.

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.

Final Words on Bot Detection and Protecting Your Business

So there you have it: everything you need to know about the threat of bots and how you can stop them from derailing your start-up business. Make sure you choose a solution with care. It should be made up of the three elements mentioned above, i.e. client interrogation, mitigative actions, and threat intelligence.

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