Bot Protection And Stopping Bots in Their Tracks

August 18, 2014 Courtney Brady

Bot Protection And Stopping Bots In Their Tracks

After learning about the dangers of web bots and how they can hurt your website, your sales and your business as a whole, you’ll likely want to take every precaution possible to stop a bot attack. While there are some steps you can take on your own (like implementing CAPTCHAs on forms, for example), the best solutions are wide-ranging and comprehensive ones, like programs that monitor bot activity, track bot strings and block them every step of the way.

How to Choose a Bot Protection Solution

There are a number of bot protection and prevention solutions on the market, especially as the number of bad bots continues to grow. In order to ensure your site and business is as protected as possible, it’s important to choose the best possible one to represent your site.

When evaluating bot protection solutions, you’ll want to look for these items:

  • Stopping Bots on Different Levels – A truly comprehensive bot prevention tool won’t just offer one or two layers of protection for your site, but will employ a wide range of methods. They’ll check bad bot databases, have the ability to distinguish between good bots (Google, Yahoo, etc.) and bad bots, and filter out malicious IP addresses, referrers and users from questionable locations.
  • A thorough database – The key to a great bot protection solution lies in its database – its file of known bot strings, spiders and crawlers that could attack your site. The database should include a detailed fingerprint of each bot, so they can be detected immediately when an attack is imminent. The best bot protection solutions should offer a database that catalogs millions of known bots.
  • Stopping Bots of All Kinds – If you really want to protect your website, then you’ll need a solution that targets not just one type of bot, but all of them. An effective bot protection tool should protect against content theft and duplication, click fraud, traffic fraud, comment spam and any other attacks a bot could deliver.

The 10 Capabilities of a Bot Protection Solution

When assessing the different capabilities of a bot protection solution, look out for the 10 essential capabilities listed below:

  1. Proven Success - Bot defense is a full-time job, requiring teams of experts working around the clock. Not all vendors are up to the task. It takes years of experience, effective technology, and a dream team of bot defense experts to solve your bad bot problem.
  2. Laser Focused on Bad Bots - Bot defense requires hard earned experience and laser focus on automated threat prevention. Because automated threats are constantly evolving and increasing in sophistication, bot defense can’t be done internally or by stitching together disparate products designed to solve different problems. Avoid solutions that weren’t purpose-built to solve the bad bot problem.
  3. Unmatched Knowledge and Experience - Most IT security teams have implemented basic rate limits or CAPTCHAs to prevent automated abuse. But truly effective bot defense requires the most thorough understanding of the technologies and tactics that go into thwarting automated threats. You need the vendor with the most knowledge and expertise.
  4. All Inroads Covered: Web, Mobile, and API - Don’t lock your front door, but leave your back door open. Bots don’t just attack your website, they also abuse the APIs that power your website and mobile apps. In fact, “Underprotected APIs” is now considered one of the ten most significant web application threats according to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). Consider complete protection an imperative when selecting a vendor.
  5. Superior Bot Mitigation Technology - Two out of every three bad bots are engineered to evade detection. These advanced persistent bots (APBs) continually adapt to whatever you throw at them. They cycle through IPs and user agents, load JavaScript, accept cookies, move their mouse, and vary time on page—all of which help them more easily blend in with regular humans. You must have a solution that can detect these evasive tactics.
  6. Built on Unprecedented Learning and Improvement Capabilities - You’re in an arms race. The caliber of bots you’re facing today pale in comparison to what you’ll see tomorrow. Every time you thwart an attack, your enemy learns more about your defenses—giving them the upper hand. You need a system that stays ahead of the game, using lessons learned from past attacks coupled with selftraining models that adapt faster than the enemy.
  7. Not a Solution, Your Solution - No two companies are alike, so anyone trying to sell you a one size fits all bad bot defense is leaving you exposed. And because there are no cookie-cutter solutions, you must have a partner that will customize a bot defense strategy that matches your specific needs.
  8. Reacts Quickly and Digs Deep - By the time you notice a bad bot attack, it’s often too late. Your best defense is to choose a partner that digs deep and reacts quickly to any threat posed by bad bots. You don’t want your time consumed by what often becomes a constant, ongoing struggle.
  9. Access To The Professionals - There is no silver bullet for the bad bot problem. You need a team comprised of bot defense experts from top to bottom. More importantly, you need a partner that gives you easy access to these experts, and that is willing to fight side-by-side with you to keep your business safe.
  10. A Partner In The Endless Fight - The war on automated bot attacks is not a “winnable” one, and by all accounts the worst is yet to come. But for those companies wanting to turn the tide in their favor, it’s essential to pick the partner having the best blend of human expertise, technology, and industry knowledge.

You can find efficient, comprehensive solutions for blocking and stopping bots and protecting your website with Distil Networks. Distil’s protection tools eliminate content theft, stop fraud bots, and alert you to any and all potential attacks; in fact, Distil identifies bot page requests in real time. To learn more about Distil Networks, visit or contact the Distil team today.

About the Author

Courtney Brady

Courtney Brady is the Director of Marketing at Distil Networks. She comes to Distil Networks from a variety of start-up companies, routed in SaaS and DaaS solutions. Formerly the global communications manager at multiple companies, Courtney is responsible for developing the company’s marketing strategy and branding campaign.

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