Why Should Businesses Move from a Bundler to a Bot Expert?
Published: 14/04/2021

Why Should Businesses Move from a Bundler to a Bot Expert?

  • Alex McConnell, Cybersecurity Content Specialist

4 minutes read

Traditionally, when selecting a bot management solution, businesses have chosen a multi-purpose cybersecurity bundle bolted on to a content delivery network (CDN). While bolt-on bot solutions have their benefits, they lack the comprehensive feature set needed to combat the ever-growing bot threat.

In this blog we delve into the advantages of working with a bot expert over a bundled solution, designed to help your business make smart decisions about your cybersecurity software.

What is a bot bundler solution?

bot bundler solution is a bolt-on bot management solution provided by web application firewall (WAF) and CDN vendors. The solutions are often derived from traditional JavaScript-led approaches to bot management including deny listing and IP blocking techniques. They block requests from certain IPs that may be browsing your website with malicious intent.

Typically, when businesses first experience a bot attack, they all too quickly assume it’s a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack due to the unprecedented influx of traffic to their website. They turn to a DDoS mitigation vendor that tends to be a defense system which provides bot management plug-in modules to deal with the bot problem.

What are the advantages of bolt-on bot management?

Out of the box, JavaScript-based approaches can have a great impact; these solutions deal with basic bots and show quick results. Although bot operators are constantly developing clever new ways to get round these defenses, the vendor is able to update the script and block the threat again.

Cybersecurity bundle vendors are trusted by leading brands across the world, and have the advantage of offering a whole suite of security products including DDoS, WAF, CDN and bot management in one tidy cybersecurity bundle. They are also easy to implement and deploy into your existing infrastructure.

What advantages does a bot expert solution offer over bundles?

While buying bot management as part of a cybersecurity bundle is a good first step to reducing the risk of bots, a dedicated bot management solution backed by experts can seek out the more sophisticated threats. Approaches that include serving CAPTCHA, IP allow listing, or static rules are a long way from stopping the complex bots that require a more advanced approach.

As the threat landscape evolves, we are seeing more attacks across mobile devices and APIs as opposed to solely website-based bot threats. This weakens the position of businesses reliant on traditional security controls, while those investing in all-encompassing protection are in a stronger position.

While bot bundle packages vary in spec, they all rely on a similar approach of JavaScript and digital fingerprinting to stop malicious traffic. However, the problem is that JavaScript can be easily cached and reverse engineered to the bot writers’ advantage. JavaScript can protect browsers but not native mobile apps or third-party API integrations. Attackers will always look for the easiest point of entry and your bot management solution must be equipped to cover all attack vectors

Bot bundles also often require heavy configuration and management to reduce false positives. Crucially, a lack of transparency in the solution’s decision-making process can lead to a loss of confidence if legitimate users are stopped or delayed from reaching the point of conversion on your site.

How are bot expert-led solutions leading the way?

With cybersecurity bundles you need to be set up on the vendor’s CDN platform before accessing the bot management solution as part of a package deal. Although bundling your bot management into your security package gives the benefit of housing all your security defenses under one roof, you risk having no dedicated expert support to optimize the bot detection.

A dedicated solution like Netacea Bot Management applies a highly agile, data-driven approach that adapts as user behavior and bot techniques evolve. By applying machine learning to understand human and bot behaviors, dedicated solutions look specifically at bot activity to determine motive and intent.

Unlike strictly rule-based approaches adopted by many cybersecurity bundles, a machine learning-first approach analyses thousands of signals in real time to detect and mitigate automated bot attacks. By its very nature, this machine learning approach becomes more effective over time, while traditional approaches become less effective as the bots evolve and work around the scripts.

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