It is no news that cybercrime has continued to increase, with new cyber threats and attacks springing up almost every day. Many of these cybercrimes are made possible with the help of malicious bots, among others.
Bots are non-human traffic on a website. They are software programs that run an automated script on the internet. They execute simple but repetitive tasks much faster than a human could.
It is essential to state that although bots have a bad reputation due to their association with various cybercrimes, there are still good bots owned by reputable companies like Facebook or Google that can benefit our website.
The very advanced bad bots can imitate human behavior, which makes it more challenging to differentiate the bots from authentic human users. You must know various websites are targeted for different reasons. Still, in most cases, bots are created with malicious intentions and significantly impact the overall optimal operation of your website to avoid the negative impact. Such bad bots include web scraping, brute force attacks, spam, credit card cracking and related fraud, DoS attacks, etc.
This aims to prevent attacks from these bad bots while allowing legitimate traffic from human users. Below are some of the most effective ways to stop or prevent bot traffic.
CAPTCHA (a completely automated Turing test to tell computers and humans apart) is a system that was introduced as a security test to differentiate between human users and bots that harm websites. A CAPTCHA will protect your website by generating tests or puzzles that only genuine human users can pass, not bots. CAPTCHA was first limited to distorted letters or words. Still, as it evolved, its updated versions show various pictures in which users must select photos with similar images, such as mountains or traffic lights. Over time, they have proven helpful in battling bots on websites, but it is essential to know when to use them and when not to, as they will not stop more advanced bots.
Monitor your website traffic as often as possible; if you see a spike in the traffic for a short time window (there are few exceptions), this can indicate bot activity, especially if something new is happening on the website. Also, when there is a notable slowdown on your website, and it drops the quality of its overall performance, there is a high possibility that it is due to bots. Bot traffic usually comes from direct traffic, not from Google searches. When you identify the bot, you block them. However, the accuracy of this method varies because it is a manual process and, therefore, error-prone.
Servers all have log files that record all website visits from each user based on their IP location. Log files will help you identify bots; any request made on your website goes to your log files. Since you can check the IP address of every request, you can locate the bot by tracing and checking its IP. When you get your log file, consolidate them into a text file and export it to excel; if you find anything unusual, it is most likely a bot and should be blocked. The downside of this is that not all suspicious IPs are bots, and therefore there is a chance you just blocked a user or potential client.
A controlled and secure environment known as a “honeypot” is used to study various risks and demonstrate how attackers operate. They can give you detailed intelligence about how threats are evolving on your website. Honeytrap is an excellent way to capture bots because it works as a simple website, baiting bots into thinking it is a legitimate targets. This system is made attractive enough to lure the bots into this mimic website, thereby giving you information about the bot and also allowing you to spot the emergence of new threats. After getting this information from the honeypot, security efforts can be prioritized against the bot. There are various honeypots to identify different kinds of bots, such as email traps, decoy databases, malware honeypots, etc. A bot may still exist even if your honeypot doesn’t alert you to it; it should be noted. There is a handful of disadvantage of honeypots, but ultimately, the benefit of honeypots outweighs the risk.
One very effective solution that can stop bots is automated bot prevention software. This will stop bots from ruining your website. Anti-Bot solutions such as ClickPatrol employ robust algorithms to detect malicious bots, differentiate them from human users, and ultimately eliminate them. When looking for a bot solution, you should look for proven and efficient bot detection quality, a non-intrusive design that does not require DNS rerouting or significant web application changes, and an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to understand the bot traffic pattern, among others, quickly. The ideal prevention solution should eliminate every bot issue and stop every bot attack on your website.
More effort than passively handling bot traffic might be required to get bots on your website. To effectively stop the invasion of bots on your website and prevent future attacks, you must invest in professional bot management solutions that can detect and block even the most advanced attackers.
An efficient bot management solution should provide a unique and adequately managed attack response optimized explicitly for various bot attacks. A standard-sized website’s most appropriate bot management solution should enable sufficient cost savings, low infrastructure costs, and time optimization for handling bot attacks and customer complaints.
Bot issues are continuous; therefore, stopping bots from showing up on your site is essential to securing your website and protecting your content.
As the sheer volume of business damage caused by automated threats grows, bots put a costly strain on people and resources. These days, bots mimic human behavior and slip by traditional security tools.
As much as increased traffic appears to be a great win for your business, it is essential to find a clear, specific basis for the spike because one that is unexplained can be a sign of harmful bot activity.