What Is Bot Management and How Bot Managers Work

What Is Bot Management and How Bot Managers Work

Security at your company is crucial both online and offline. Guards, cameras, and motion detectors help to ensure that only authorized personnel can access your building. It is essential to do the same for your company website. If you do not do that and your company gets hacked, you will lose your customer information and your customers too. People will not use your website if they know that their information is not secure.

One of the best ways to ensure malicious attackers do not get onto your system is using bot management strategies. Bear in mind that most hackers use bots to speed up and automate attacks. Excellent bot management can go a long way in securing your system and customer details.

What is Bot Management?

Bot management involves limiting the access of malicious bots while allowing legitimate bots to access your systems. Simply put, it ensures that you can filter out the bots you want to access your website. Bear in mind that not all bots are bad, and you need to allow bots like Google crawlers to access your website.

Bot management employs techniques that ensure you can detect a bot’s activity, identify its source and the nature of its activity. For instance, if you notice a bot trying to log into user accounts, then your website is under attack, and you need to block that particular bot. Bot management ensures that your website performance does not lag and you do not have security breaches.

Remember, if malicious bots get access to your system, they will overload your servers, and your legitimate customers will not be able to access their accounts. As mentioned, bots are used by malicious attackers to automate logins, for instance. If you have many bots making many login attempts, it can make it difficult for your customers to access their accounts as your systems can only handle a certain number of requests at one time.

Apart from slowing down your system, the bot can also steal your customer data, intellectual property, and crucial system files. This data can be used to spam your users and also send phishing emails. Attackers can also use the information to plan extensive cyberattacks or sell to individuals to plan actual robberies. For example, if hackers have information about new technology you are creating, they can give that information to thieves who will come to your business and steal it

Goals of Bot Management

Excellent bot management aims at achieving the following goals.

  • Identifying Human And Bot Visitors

Bot management allows you to identify and differentiate visitors to your website. It should tell you when a bot is trying to gain access and when a human being is trying to do the same.

  • Verify Bot Reputation

As mentioned above, there are legitimate bots and bad bots. Having a management system will ensure you can identify a legitimate bot and differentiate it from a malicious one. Your bot manager should be able to verify IP addresses and block certain bots based on the reputation of their IP address.

  • Behavior Analysis

Make sure that your bot manager can analyze bot behavior and bar malicious bots. For example, if a bot is making login attempts on customer or employee accounts, your bot manager should block it.

  • Pose Challenge

Your Bot manager should challenge possible bots with JavaScript injection, CAPTCHA test, among others.

  • Rate limiting

Your manager should rate limit anyone that is overusing a particular service.

  • Deny Access

Your bot manager should deny malicious bots access to website resources or content.

Bot Management Approaches

Bot managers must identify malicious bots and also distinguish legitimate bots from bad bots. It is therefore crucial that bot management strategies match the uses and capabilities of attackers. Here are approaches used for bot detection and management.

Static Approach

This approach uses various analytic tools to identify requests and header information from known malicious bots. This method, however, can only detect and block known malicious bots.

Challenge-based Approach

This approach uses questions and challenges that would be difficult for a bot to perform. These include running JavaScript, CAPTCHA verification, and accepting cookies.

Behavioral Approach

In this approach, the bot manager analyzes behavior and matches expected patterns. To use this technique, you need to classify users into malicious bots, excellent bots, and human users.

Importance of Bot Management

Bot management will help you avoid the following types of attacks.

  • Distributed Denial-of-service Attacks

In this type of attack, hackers use compromised devices or bots to spam your servers with so many requests that they are overwhelmed. Legitimate users cannot access their accounts as the servers cannot handle any more requests. Hackers use IoT devices because they are very many and generally less secure than computers.

  • Credential Stuffing Attacks

During credential stuffing attacks, hackers use a list of stolen credentials to log into user accounts. They will try different logins until one works, using bots to automate and speed up the process. Their stolen credentials are usually purchased from other attackers on the dark web. These attacks are successful because people use the same credentials for several accounts.

  • Gift and Credit Card Fraud

Attackers use bots to access gift card accounts and then create fake gift cards that they later exchange for cash. They can also use a bot to try out stolen credit card information by buying small things. That helps them validate the credit card information then buy bigger items.

  • Intelligence Harvesting

To get information for phishing attacks, hackers use bots that scan various websites for personal user information.

Web Scraping Protected Content

In this attack, bots scan websites to extract assets such as logos, pricing data, and hidden files. If you own an eCommerce site, you are vulnerable to this type of attack.

Bot management is an essential part of your website security. Make sure that you pick bot management strategies that combine the approaches mentioned above. Using only one will leave you vulnerable to malicious bots. Several companies offer bot management software to their customers. When hiring one, make sure you pick a company that is experienced, knowledgeable and professional. They will help protect your website from bot attacks.


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