What is Bot Mitigation & Prevention?

TL;DR: Half of all internet traffic comes from bots, both good and bad. It’s important to manage bot traffic.


Identifying and Blocking Unwanted Bot Traffic

Bot mitigation is far more than just identifying your bot traffic. After all, not all bots are bad.

There are the “good” bots, the ones we rely on—such as bots that search for and find things on the internet. And then there are “bad” bots—ones that hoard resources, perform account takeovers and credential stuffing, launch DDoS attacks, or steal intellectual property. Bot mitigation is about identifying and blocking the unwanted or malicious bot traffic that hits your application or network, so you can reduce your risk.

As a reminder, bot threats are often defined as any automated misuse of functionality or action that adversely affects web apps.

Why Bot Mitigation is Critical

The majority of threats in any environment start with bots or botnets—they help cybercriminals achieve scale. As bot technology continues to evolve, along with other influences such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, so will the threats they pose. That’s why it’s critical, when looking at your overall security strategy, you consider how you’ll mitigate malicious bots.

Industries with the most potential for monetary gain are the hardest hit by bad bots. The top three bot-targeted industries are:

  • Gambling sites, which are ripe targets for account takeover attacks like credential stuffing
  • Airlines and tickets sites, which constantly deal with denial of inventory or resource hoarding bots to ensure seats or tickets are available to actual customers
  • Financial institutions, which are grappling with increased fraudulent activity across both web and mobile-based apps
How to Reduce Your Bot Risk

Preparing your organization to deal with the impact of bots will help protect your Intellectual property, customer data, and critical backend services from automated attacks. The best way to mitigate bot threats is to target the attack tool itself and adopt a layered security approach to manage changing attack vectors. Although traditional IP intelligence and reputation-based filtering can help, these technologies need to evolve to keep pace with increasingly smarter bots.

Here’s some steps you can take:

  • Move to fingerprinting to identify beyond IP addresses
  • Use identity and reputation to help classify and prioritize bot vs. human traffic
  • Create bot “acceptable use” policies to make it easier to interact with and service the good bots
  • Review and bolster business processes to more efficiently deal with fraud-related problems—this makes your organization more secure, and encourages fraudsters to choose easier targets.
  • Employ actionable threat intelligence to determine the likelihood of being attacked and prioritize your response.
  • Deploy a full-featured, flexible WAF to reduce and block unwanted traffic with capabilities such as proactive bot defense, headless browser detection, form and field-level encryption, layer 7 DoS mitigation, input sanitization, and behavioral analysis
  • Use traffic management tools (such as your WAF) that employ machine learning to quickly build and implement mitigations to help you address new and evolving threats
F5 Provides Industry-Leading Bot Mitigation

F5 bot protection delivers proactive, multi-layered security that blocks and drops bad bot traffic before it can hit your network, mitigating bots that can performing account takeovers, vulnerability reconnaissance, and denial of service attacks targeted at your network or app layer.

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