Bots are Taking Over the Internet, Why is it a Reason for Worry to Enterprises?

Bad bots are placing additional strain on networks, resulting in higher infrastructure costs. They also indicate a rise in cyberattacks and malicious activities by cybercriminals and threat groups. According to Radware’s 2022 report, nearly one third i.e 32% of the companies surveyed stated, automated bot attacks are one of the most common threats to APIs. Account takeover (ATO), content or price scraping and scalper bots have been the most common form of bot attacks. Hackers are also becoming increasingly sophisticated and creative by designing bots that are capable of evading traditional bot mitigation solutions making them harder to detect.

Why is this a cause for worry among enterprises?
Bad bots are usually the first sign of online fraud, posing a threat to both digital businesses and their customers. Bots of this type typically use the latest evasion techniques to avoid detection, such as cycling through random IPs, entering through anonymous proxies, changing identities and mimicking human behaviour. Bad bots make it possible to abuse, misuse and attack websites, mobile apps, and APIs at a high speed. Bad bot traffic is on the rise at a time when enterprises are making investments to improve and digitalize their operations internally for their staff and externally for their customers, clients, vendors and other agencies. Private and sensitive data belonging to an individual or an organization and its associated entities can all be stolen if a bot attack is successful. Organizations’ non-compliance with data privacy and transaction laws is elevated by automated misuse and online fraud. The array of new endpoints emerging across verticals makes it easy for bad bot operators to launch automated attacks. The one successful method of fighting bots is by adding a right Bot Manager into an organization’s security system. The success rate of fighting bots would be higher when there is an integrated solution like that of Radware’s Application Protection Solution that has a sophisticated technology to fight bots.

It is vital to understand that bots affect multiple functions and teams across organizations. Collaboration and the adoption of a holistic approach are important in creaing a successful bot management strategy for any organization. The biggest challenge in fighting a bot is to understand its target point since each bot can be customised for a select target/s and to understand their targets a deeper analysis needs to be in place which is what a bot manager does. Radware Bot Manager with its integrated Radware’s Application Protection Solution offers integrated WAF, Bot, API and DDoS protection to protect organizations from a variety of threats,” said DR Goyal, Vice President – Technology at RAH Infotech.

Radware Bot Manager uses proprietary IDBA, semi-supervised machine learning models and over 250 parameters to accurately identify malicious bots in real-time traffic. Both are collected by the Radware Bot Manager engine in order to create a unified customer profile and provide the best possible customer experience to distinguish illegitimate traffic from legitimate bots and people. The solution offers a number of mitigation options, allowing users to respond to bot types and signatures based on their organization’s needs. Publishers can also show content only to humans and block non-human invalid traffic using the platform. It uses bot data from its global customer base to identify and flag bad bots, as well as share new information about bot attack patterns with other websites.

“Any online application, Web/Mobile Property today is facing increased threats like account takeover, API abuse, scalping, skewed analytics, form spam, web scraping, carding and digital ad fraud. Almost ¼ Traffic on Internet today is Bad BOT’s.” said Navneet Daga, Sales Director – Cloud Security Business – Asia Pacific & Japan. “The Radware Bot Manager provides comprehensive protection of web applications, mobile apps, and APIs from automated threats like bots. It offers precise bot management across all channels by combining behavioral modeling for granular intent analysis, collective bot intelligence, and fingerprinting of browsers, devices, and machines. To help organizations safeguard and grow their online operations without impacting focus on innovation.”

Bad Bots: How do we fight them?
1.Identify the Issue:
Increased bot activity can be detected by an increase in bandwidth consumption and log-in attempts. Bad bots probing a site for vulnerabilities indicates traffic from unusual countries of origin. The performance of a business can also be a sign of malicious bot activity. For instance, a sudden drop in conversion rates for ecommerce sites that will lead to price scraping. When it comes to bad bots, enterprises must be proactive. If their networks are being attacked by bots, they should look at their web analytics and review the traffic to recognise and identify the problem with the help of IT teams. Bot activity can be detected by looking at the IP addresses and geo-locations of traffic sources.

2.Take Defensive and Protective Measures:
It’s critical for organizations to adopt and enhance cybersecurity measures that protect their respective infrastructure. Bots can be programmed to automatically fill out forms on websites and web applications in order to spam or credential stuff them. Using challenges that require human input or validation, such as CAPTCHA, can help prevent bots from successfully carrying out their intended hacks. Organizations must invest in more advanced forms of protection which are capable of identifying and blocking bots according to their behaviours, origins, and signatures. One-Time-Passwords (OTP) can be used to protect against bot attacks like credential stuffing. Administrators can use Identity and Access Management (IAM) to specify which resources within their network can be accessed by specific user accounts.

3.Monitoring and Testing Security:
It’s important to monitor and test the behaviour of all security measures constantly. As there might be a possibility for a misconfiguration or a faulty implementation to take place. Penetration tests and attack simulations should be performed on a regular basis to ensure that the measures are working as intended. Even the most expensive tools and solutions would be useless if they were configured incorrectly. Companies must ensure whether the measures are having a negative impact on the company’s objectives. Poorly configured bot detection can prevent good bots from getting through.

Given the prevalence of malicious bots, enterprises should pay close attention to their web traffic. Bad bot traffic, if left unchecked, can quickly escalate from a nuisance to a more serious threat, such as a full-fledged cyber-attack. Knowing how to deal with bad bot traffic can help to protect the enterprise infrastructure and make the internet a safer place for users.

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