Management and Impact of Good Bots and Bad Bots

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 29th March 2021

What are Bots?

Bots are internet programs created for automating various web interactions over the internet. Bots can be both good and bad depending on who is using them and what they are doing to your website. But, bots are necessary for creating internet traffic. However, bad bots can be dangerous and can have a bad impact on your business. That is why it is important to consider blocking them or deleting them before they cause harm.

What are Good Bots?

Good bots perform helpful tasks for your business or your website visitors. The good bots are created with good intention, and they do no harm or damage your business reputation or give a bad experience to the visitors. At the same time, good bots originate from reliable companies that respect the rules set by webmasters. Also, good bots aim to look for a file and read it while following its rules before doing anything else. Here are several examples of good bots.

  • Site monitoring bots
  • Voice engine bots
  • Search engine bots
  • Social network bots
  • Aggregator bots and
  • Marketing bots

What are Bad Bots?

Bad bots are created and aimed at hurting your website visitors or your company. The intentions are not good as they are built by cybercriminals or fraudsters who want to steal from you. Since good bots have similar characteristics to bad bots, the best thing is to be careful. It is important to do everything possible to block them before they ruin your business. That is why it is advisable to put bot management strategies in place. It helps you block the bad bots and leave the good ones to improve your web performance.

What is Bot Management?

Bot management is the strategy that helps you to filter which bots are useful to you and which ones are not. It ensures that the good bots can access your assets while blocking malicious or bots that are not useful to you. Cybercriminals use such malicious bots for cyberattacks.

What is the Purpose of Bots?

The purpose of bot management strategies is to detect bot activities, find out about the source and the activity’s nature. That is the best way you can handle bad bots to ensure they do not bring an insecurity impact on your site.

Also, bad bots can cause your website to be slow or block legitimate users. Some criminals can use certain bots to scrap important content and steal proprietary assets, credentials, or files. The criminals can then use the information they get to phish users, spam content, or plan any other cyber attack.

Take Precaution

Also, in Bot management, it is important to be careful because too strict or falsely recognized bad bots can also cause some serious damage to your business or any other organization. For instance, falsely recognizing search engine bots as bad bots and blocking them results in loss of traffic.

Reduced traffic means fewer or no conversions leading to loss of revenue. At the same time blocking home-grown bots used for testing or automation leads to disruption of business activities.

How Can Bad Bits Affect Your Business?

Bolt management is a procedure that is recommended for every business as it is part of security and operational processes. Lack of proper bot management can range from some mild inconveniences to a high loss of revenue. Thus, it is advisable to do everything possible to ensure proper bot management in your business. Proper bot management can help you avoid the following risks:

1. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks use networks of bots or devices, and criminals can use them to spam servers with requests and overwhelm processing assets. As a result, some sites, services, and applications may become unavailable or inaccessible. The attacks can be on either individual computers or internet of things devices. Proper management can protect your website and your computer from this kind of attack.

2. Credential Stuffing

In credential stuffing, the attackers use bots to automatically try various stolen credentials to see if any of them will accept to log in. That helps them to access systems and steal user accounts. Most of the attempts on credential stuffing succeed because most users use the same credentials with multiple accounts. Suppose the criminals happen to know one of the credentials they use it to try on all the other accounts. Most of the time, they succeed, and they do a lot with the stolen credentials. Proper bolt management will ensure security for your accounts.

3. Gift and Credit Card Fraud

Attackers can use bots to falsely access card creation accounts or gift creation accounts. Once they manage to access the accounts, they can create numerous cards and use them and exchange them with cash value. Attackers can also use bots to test whether the fraudulent cards will work. They can begin with small purchases to avoid them being noticed immediately.

4. Web Scraping Protected Content

Web scraping attackers use bots and crawler scans and extract vital information from sites or storage resources. They can get access to pricing data, logos, production information, and more. They can also access branding materials or any other hidden files. In most cases, ecommerce websites are the biggest target and sites for ticketing, airlines, and online gaming.

5. Intelligence Harvesting

Intelligence harvesting happens when attackers use bots to crawl or scan websites, Social media or forums to find personal information about various web users. The information can help the attackers carry out phishing attacks using personal information. That makes them appear like the authority, thus tricking users into giving up confidential information.

The worst thing is that when any of the above crimes occur, it works towards ruining your reputation. It is, therefore, important to do everything possible to prevent the attack by proper bot management.

Three Ways of Detecting and Managing Bots

There are currently three approaches when it comes to managing bots. These are:

1. Static Approach

2. Challenge based approach

3. Behavioural approach

Categories: Tech