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Bot Protection Must Scale to Meet Today’s Threats

Bots are ubiquitous, so bot protection should be too.

More than half of today’s internet traffic is not derived from human activity. It comes from bots. Many bots are harmless, but others represent an unprecedented risk to organizations that rely on the internet for their very existence. Traditional methods of defending against bots are not sufficient or sophisticated enough for this evolving threat landscape.

Why you need bot protection

Today’s hackers use bots to launch pre-attack scans, post comment spam, exploit vulnerabilities, and execute a variety of attacks — code injection, DDoS, and password guessing hacks — against your web facing properties. These bots also commit fraud by credential stuffing, repetitively making and canceling purchases, holding and/or consuming inventory, scraping sites, stealing information, and a host of other unwanted activities.

malicious botA malicious bot can cause application and API outages that affect your customers’ experience, resulting in commercial losses. To effectively protect themselves from the bot epidemic, organizations are faced with the challenge of staying ahead of threat actors and their malicious bots.

Complicating the issue, however, is the fact that legitimate bot traffic is a necessary part of the internet. Organizations want to detect, allow, and manage this good bot traffic. Having malicious bot protection and the ability to manage legitimate bot traffic is critical to maintaining your uptime and your lines of business.

In the very near future, everything you can imagine will be connected to the internet. All estimates show that the number of devices on the internet today is going to double in the next four years. Does that mean the amount of malicious bot traffic will double as well? It’s quite possible. If this is the case, how do you eliminate bad bot traffic before it gets to your sites, regardless of the source or amount?

Cloud-based bot detection

The need for malicious bot protection is going to escalate to levels never seen before. The best method of removing the vast amounts of unwanted traffic generated by bad bots is to eliminate their traffic in the cloud, upstream, before it ever reaches your websites — while at the same time allowing all good bot traffic to flow to your websites and to not impede their intended purposes.

In the past, most organizations relied on filtering technology deployed on or near the websites they wanted to protect. This strategy did not block the unwanted traffic from flooding internet pipes, however, which hogged important bandwidth. In addition, that filtering technology’s compute demands only grew as unwanted bot traffic increased as well.

The days of addressing bot protection by throwing more bandwidth and compute power at the problem are over. That model will never scale, especially with the number of new devices being connected to the internet daily.

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Whois: Stephen Gates

Stephen Gates is a Edge Security Evangelist at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.