Bot attacks that execute account takeover, scraping, payment fraud, application DDoS, and denial of inventory ─ in addition to other malicious activities ─ are among the most harmful threats that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) must confront. The bad bot problem is widespread and growing by double-digit percentages every year. In the first half of 2020, the percentage of bad bot traffic went up by 50% across our customer base when compared to the first half of 2019. 75% of enterprises surveyed in our 2019 State of Web Application Security suffered bot attacks in the preceding year, and 81% of organizations surveyed reported attacks against their business-critical APIs.
Botmasters generally attack large enterprises as they are target-rich environments that can be exploited for greater gain. Unlike many large firms that have confronted growing numbers of bot attacks by implementing dedicated bot management solutions, SMEs have generally not been rich targets for cybercriminals and fraudsters in years past. This trend is now changing because of two reasons: the proliferation of smaller firms going to market with popular products and services, and botmasters resorting to casting a wider net to carry out unethical or outright criminal activities against newer and often smaller firms. We are seeing a steady ramp-up in bot attacks against SMEs ranging from start-ups to established firms. The fact that many of them continue to use non-specialized or in-house solutions to deal with malicious bots makes them attractive targets for a range of attacks.
However, in-house solutions have several disadvantages when it comes to detecting and blocking advanced bots that are capable of emulating human visitors. Homegrown solutions require a great deal of time and effort put in by security specialists to detect suspected bot traffic, and usually ends up being a futile exercise because botmasters continually change their attack patterns, devices and IP addresses in response to anti-bot measures. Simply put, there is no substitute for a dedicated bot management solution that leverages the latest detection technologies, vast bot signature databases, and the knowledge of domain experts who continually work on improving their solution to deter the most sophisticated attacks.
Using techniques such as behavior hijacking, the most advanced bots have evolved to mimic human behavior and interaction patterns when visiting websites and mobile applications. Moreover, they now use techniques such as ‘low and slow’ ─ making just a few visits each from multiple IP addresses to blend in with regular traffic. The evolution of bots and evasion techniques mean that conventional security systems such as WAFs are ineffective in detecting and blocking malicious automated traffic, leave alone being able to ascertain every visitor’s intent. Dedicated bot management solutions such as Radware Bot Manager leverage powerful machine learning technologies and AI in their detection engines to ensure that bad bots are blocked before they can do any harm.
For SMEs looking to implement a comprehensive solution to secure their websites, mobile applications and APIs, it can be a complex and lengthy process to shortlist, trial, and choose from a range of solutions offered by a diverse set of providers. Integrating separate WAF and bot management solutions from different providers and making them work seamlessly can prove to be a considerable challenge. Solutions such as Radware Bot Manager and Radware Cloud WAF are designed to seamlessly work together to provide complete protection against advanced bots attacks, OWASP Top-10 threats, as well as robust DDoS protection.
With a range of integration options to suit any technology stack and the choice of on-premise and cloud-based deployment options, Radware Bot Manager gives SMEs award-winning Web, application and API protection. Radware’s comprehensive dashboard presents a unified interface for Bot Manager and Cloud WAF, giving firms the ability to easily and effectively monitor their security. Going further with features and capabilities that are beyond what any other set of standalone solutions are capable of, Radware’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) supports customers with expert analysis, recommendations, and updates to deal with emerging threats that could impact their business.
Enterprises of all sizes generally try to minimize capital expenditure (CAPEX) and have widely adopted cloud-based services, which allows them to deploy solutions such as Bot Manager and Cloud WAF on a subscription basis. Having the ability to implement essential security solutions through SaaS-based operating expense (OPEX) models allows them to adopt more effective budgeting strategies to rationalize expenditure and maximize investment in growth. Not surprisingly, bot management solutions with the flexibility to be deployed in the cloud or on-premise are becoming among the most preferred solutions for enterprises desiring comprehensive security that suits their budget.