What is Web Scraping, Denial of Service & Skewing?

February 22, 2017

If your company runs an e-commerce site, then you’ve experienced the frustration of launching a sales promotion designed to increase traffic and sales, only to see your competitor launch a similar promotion, but better, seconds after yours goes public. Unfortunately, this is a perfectly legal way for your competitor to undercut your business.

What you’re dealing with is called web scraping, which is when a competitor uses traffic generated by bots to tax your system, undercut your sales, and engage in competitive data mining and price scraping. Now, when your customers search on Google, your competitor will show as having the lower price, reducing your sales and SEO rankings.

To make matters worse, malicious bots can tax your systems causing slow downs. Because the bots are automated, there is absolutely nothing you can do to keep up with them. Their constant queries overwhelm your backend services and impact your entire site’s performance, creating a secondary problem – called Denial of Service.

Let’s face it – who can afford for their entire infrastructure to come crashing down? When you start piecing together what happened, you’ll see that your site was scraped by bots that pushed the product through the shopping cart pages, consuming more computational power than your system could handle.

While traffic is typically considered good, in this case, you now have no idea what part of your traffic is human and what is bots. When bot activity skews your business metrics, like website conversion or Google Analytics information, you’ll be left with inaccurate data, called Skewing.

Sure, you can spend hundreds of man-hours trying to figure it all out, but by the time you do those bots will be gone and another group will pop-up elsewhere.

Ready for the good news? Distil Networks blocks every OWASP threat.

Previous Video
Better Together: A Partnership for Mitigating Bad Bots
Better Together: A Partnership for Mitigating Bad Bots

Join Tin Zaw, Director of Security Solutions at Verizon Digital Media Services and Edward Roberts, Director...

Next Video
How Drupal Fights Spam Using Distil Networks
How Drupal Fights Spam Using Distil Networks

The Drupal Association and Distil Networks would like to invite you to a webinar about how we teamed up to ...