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What is Bot Management and How Does a Bot Manager Operate?

First, let’s define what a bot is. Simply said, a bot is a computer software that is assigned to carry out specific tasks without additional human involvement. The goal is to use bots to automate some monotonous and normal jobs that would otherwise take people a lot longer to complete accurately. Bots may be trained to carry out tasks as basic as downloading content, crawling a website, and filling out and submitting forms. They may also be used to connect with users on social networking sites by like, following, or otherwise. The Google crawlers and chatbots that automatically respond to FAQs on websites are two examples of bots.

Good bots vs Bad bots

Not all bots are created equally or with the same goals. While some are made with good intentions, others are just meant to do damage. The best bots are ones that provide a service to humans. These can include web crawlers, chatbots for customer service that respond to frequently asked questions automatically, and bots that track a website’s performance and notify owners and administrators of irregularities. Any website that uses a bot is required to go by the guidelines provided by Google in the robots.txt file.

Bad bots are those designed expressly to abuse goods, damage websites, or disrupt services. Email harvesting bots that send spam to users in order to acquire their email addresses, user account-hacking bots, and bots that use website resources are a few particular instances of harmful bots. A network known as a botnet, which may be used to execute assaults like the DDoS threat, allows bots to occasionally be controlled remotely.

Bot management: What is it?

Bot management is the process of screening or preventing harmful internet bot traffic while enabling legitimate bots to flow through while providing real-time security. Good bots can include those that are required to be allowed through, like Google crawlers. Bot management’s main objective is to find questionable bot behavior. This protection entails locating the source of the bot and determining which bots are engaging in bad conduct that has to be prevented.

How does a bot manager operate

Bot managers operate by preventing harmful bots from stealing your assets, hence enhancing the security and dependability of your website. They remove malicious bots and properly reroute healthy bots. They thus enhance the end-user experience and defend your company from losses and reputational harm. A bot manager is a piece of software that achieves a specified set of goals.

These include distinguishing between bots and real visitors and examining the behavior, reputation, and origin of the bot as well as its IP addresses and reputation. Bot managers also provide you the option to add “good” bots to a list so that you may allow them to function. Bot administrators might use a variety of security tools, such as machine learning algorithms and threat intelligence, to evaluate their bots, identify suspect behavior, and prevent it while enabling valid bots to continue operating as usual.

The method

There are normally three primary methods for bot detection:

Static: A static technique can aid in the identification of known and active bots. Static analysis techniques are used for this detection, which entails searching for header data and web requests indicative of malicious bots.

Behavioral: On the other hand, a behavioral method may be used to differentiate between trusted users, good bots, and bad bots by analyzing the activity and comparing it to well-known patterns.

Challenge-based: A third strategy involves tasks or assessments that are difficult for robots to successfully complete. The well-known CAPTCHA verification test, Javascript injection, and other techniques can be used in this challenge-based strategy.

What sort of bot attacks can bot managers prevent

The capabilities of bot management may differ slightly between providers. However, the following list of bot assaults that these managers are most frequently employed for:

Credential stuffing:

In this kind of brute force attack, lists of stolen credentials are repeatedly tried by bots to connect into unrelated services. Due to the prevalence of users using the same login passwords across many accounts, these assaults are unfortunately rather common.

Web scraping:

Web scraping is the process of crawling web pages to extract assets. Images, price data, and hidden data are some examples of scraped data. While price comparison websites utilize web scraper bots lawfully and with the owners’ consent, criminal bots are also in use and have access to the private pricing information of trustworthy companies.

Fraud with gift cards or credit cards:

Making phony gift cards and exchanging them for the cash equivalent is another brute force technique. Some bots test the use of credit card data that has been obtained by making inconsequential, minor purchases that are unlikely to be noticed. More major purchases are frequently made when they are successful.

Stockpiling of inventory:

Over the last few years, online sales have been steadily rising. A record $4.28 trillion was spent online in only 2020, making internet retailers a prime target for thieves. Using harmful bots, some dishonest people load up online shopping carts with in-demand goods, buy them, and then resell them for a profit on other websites.

Ad fraud:

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements are ones that incur fees for the advertiser each time a user clicks on them. They show automatically when consumers search for things using internet search engines like Google, so you have probably seen them pretty frequently. In order to raise expenses for their rivals, bots are utilized to target certain advertising that will click on them “virtually.” 

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