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Bots: Allies or Enemies? How to Ensure the Security of Your Business and Clients

Bots: Allies or Enemies? How to Ensure the Security of Your Business and Clients

At Azion we are Zero Trust philosophy adepts, seeking to limit damage and threats to the network. We follow the principle that no one is trusted by default, regardless of their role in the organizational sphere. In terms of security, we take into account today’s complex digital landscape - cloud-based and edge-native applications, containers and microservices - which makes the detection and prevention of malicious traffic more complex, but mitigable with modern solutions.

Today we face a worsening pandemic driving ever-increasing digitalization. The flow of data has continued to intensify since the beginning of 2020. How can we possibly protect so much data, since nowadays the most everyday activities - such as going to the store, studying, and working - have migrated to the virtual world? For this reason, many e-commerces have enhanced their functionality for customers, such as electronics stores that now also offer supermarket services, or increased support for logistics enabling faster deliveries, and even the entertainment industry offering more and more options of streaming services.

Customer data moves back and forth all the time, and although the forms of virtual interaction have diversified, security when protecting this data has not always been enough. Since companies are increasingly building cloud-based applications with SaaS, security must also evolve to keep pace with this modernization.

Security Wars: Cyber Attack of the Bots

It sounds like a movie title, but it’s reality. The security of your business may, in fact, be under attack every day.

With the growth of automated traffic on the internet, it is possible to find new forms of interaction, such as virtual assistants and chatbots, which are examples of good bots that can help companies grow. But, as in every battle, in the case of security there are two sides: the good one, which brings modernity to businesses; and the bad one, which seeks to attack companies in a sophisticated way.

In the case of good bots, we can include:

  • virtual assistants;
  • chatbots;
  • spiderbots (web crawler);
  • bots analytics;
  • and marketing bots.

The characteristics of bad bots are not so different from good bots. The biggest difference is the purpose their capabilities are bent toward. Bot attacks are so sophisticated that they can even turn good bots into bad actors.

In general, bad bots are software used to automate various attacks. Among the different types of threats, we can list:

  • Account takeover (ATO): identity theft, in which the fraudster illegally uses bots to gain access to bank accounts, e-commerce or other types of accounts.
  • API abuse: theft of personal ID information and critical business.
  • Application DDoS: cybercriminals intentionally overloading APIs with large volumes of bot traffic from multiple devices and IP addresses, resulting in highly overloaded servers.
  • Carding: automated form of payment fraud and card data theft.
  • Cart abandonment: when bots are used by competitors and fraudsters to add items to shopping carts on e-commerce sites, but do not complete the purchase, making customers think the products are out of stock or unavailable and leave to another website.
  • Digital ad fraud: digital advertising fraud is misrepresenting or obfuscating ad engagement metrics by fraudulent traffic that generates fictitious impressions, negatively affecting the click-through rate (CTR).
  • Form spam: filling and submitting web forms with irrelevant or false information, including abusive language, advertisements, spam, malware and phishing.
  • Skewed analytics: reports with distorted access analysis caused by bot activities.
  • Ticket scalping: scalpers buying tickets automatically on websites using bots.
  • Web scraping: the process of extracting data or information from websites and publishing it elsewhere.

More sophisticated bots mimic human behavior, surfing websites, simulating mouse movements, manage to avoid captcha, and even take browsers and tokens from real users.

In the face of such sophisticated forms of attacks, it is necessary to use tools that defeat these threats more effectively.

Security Wars: The Bot Management Strikes Back

In order to combat malicious attacks by bad bots, companies need to have bot management tools at their disposal, which work with detection methods, statistical analysis of users, data collection that detects abnormalities and continuous updating. This way, it will be possible to identify and differentiate between good and bad bots.

The adoption of bot managers makes it possible to detect bad bots through:

  • scripts that identify whether a browser is valid;
  • analysis of connected devices;
  • advanced responses, such as misdirection;
  • open bot connections with no response, increasing costs for attackers.

Being protected against the threats mentioned above is a great differentiator for companies that value quality and excellent delivery services.

Azion Solutions

Azion Technologies already provides several modern resources for controlling, monitoring and implementing security solutions:

An additional capability we can now offer is the adoption of partner tools, such as Radware Bot Manager. In partnership with Radware, Azion provides a state of the art bot mitigation solution, fully equipped to detect and block the most aggressive and sophisticated bot-based attacks.

On our Edge Computing platform, developers can use a feature that allows third-party applications, able to integrate cutting-edge solutions in a matter of minutes.

You can build applications on our platform and add on the Radware Bot Manager, saving time and taking advantage of this heightened level of bot management that our partnership with Radware provides. This way, you guarantee protection for web applications, mobile applications and APIs against automated bad bots, becoming immune to account takeover, DDoS attacks, ad frauds, web scraping, and other types of malicious threats.

Don’t delay bolstering your bot-mitigation. Sign up for Azion Marketplace Early Access and start protecting your business now, adding powerful new features to your edge applications.