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Essential Steps to Identify and Prevent Malicious Bot Traffic



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September 12, 2021

Bot traffic

Essential steps to be followed for identifying and preventing malicious bot traffic

The advent of AI-based chatbots has introduced a hot term in the tech-driven world known as bot traffic. It does not only have any negative connotation in computer systems, but it is neutral— depending on the purpose of a bot. There are multiple steps in identifying bot traffic as well as in preventing bot traffic efficiently and effectively. On one hand, bots can be beneficial to companies such as Siri or Alexa while on the other hand, some malicious bots can perform a new form of cyberattacks such as credential stuffing, unauthorized web crawlers, DDoS attacks, and many more. Thus, companies need to look for malicious bots for effective management of bot traffic. Let’s explore some of the essential steps to identify and prevent malicious bot traffic for the welfare of an organization.

There are different kinds of web bot traffic for organizations to know— good bots such as search engine bots, partner bots, and vendor bots; commercial bots include aggregator bots, price comparison bots, copyright bots, and finally bad bots like web scraping bots, credential stuffing bots, spam bots, ad fraud bots, Denial of Service (DoS) bots, as well as card fraud bots.

 

Essential steps in identifying bot traffic

  • A sudden spike in pageviews: Malicious bots can create bot traffic through a sudden spike in pageviews where it can be seen that bots are clicking through a website all the time
  • A sudden spike in bounce rate: It is one of the essential ways of identifying bot traffic where the bots are being directed at only one page leading to a higher bounce rate suddenly
  • Increase in junk: One can identify bot traffic through an increase in junk conversion like fake accounts, fake names in contact forms, fake numbers, and many more are done by spambots or malicious bots
  • Increase in traffic: Identifying bit traffic is easy when one can observe a sudden increase in traffic in a period of one day or one week instead of a gradual increase in web traffic through SEO, paid search, and many more activities
  • Slow server performance: Bot traffic can get stressed out due to a sudden spike in multiple malicious bots hitting at the same period of time that in turn can slow down the server performance
  • Mysterious locations: One way in identifying malicious bot traffic is to seek mysterious locations that are out of the target locations of a business

 

Essential steps in preventing bot traffic

  • Block outdated browsers: Malicious bots can be prevented if an organization can block outdated browsers and install modern browsers to catch and prevent bot traffic efficiently
  • Disallow proxy services: Cybercriminals will be discouraged from entering mobile apps, APIs, and many more by disallowing easy access to proxy services
  • Accurate evaluation of traffic: Bot traffic can occur gradually over a long period of time but to prevent sudden high bounce rates, slow server performance, etc. it is essential to accurately evaluate bot traffic and its sources
  • Proper monitoring: Monitoring is required on a daily basis to prevent failed log-in attempts, an increase in failed validations, and many more
  • Implementation of WAF: A Web Application Firewall (WAF) can be implemented to prevent bot traffic in between a web application and a client where the traffic and resources move towards the WAF before entering the client’s account
  • IP-based protection: IP-based protection should be installed in preventing bot traffic to block suspicious IP addresses from malicious bots

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