Akamai Bot Manager, announced back in February as a major competitor to Distil Networks, published a product brief detailing how the financial services industry are impacted from bot traffic and why a bot management system is absolutely necessary.
Collecting and processing data and executing transactions is fundamental to financial services. More organizations are relying upon bot traffic to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. At the cost of automation investment, they need to approach how to effectively manage bot traffic.
Traffic from bots (i.e. aggregators, scrapers, crawlers) have some estimates approximating 40-60% of their overall website traffic. This traffic, ranging from harmless “good” bots engaged in essential tasks to malicious “bad” bots executing malware, include scrapers that grab content or price information, automated “clicks” that fraudulently increase ad revenues, and “transactional” bots that can be used to purchase limited availability goods and services. Financial companies could lose confidential information to bots and be subjected to information leakage or services shutting down. As a result, financial institutions require a new way to not only identify the type of bot activity they are experiencing, but also provide a variety of techniques to most effectively respond to different types of bot traffic beyond simple blocking techniques.
While financial institutions might know how much of their traffic is from bots, the issue is distinguishing between the various types of bot traffic. They need a flexible framework to improve managing their interaction with different categories of bots and the impact bots have on their business and brand. This requires a set of capabilities working in concert to provide automation and intelligence that can be used by human analysts for the most effective result.
Akamai Bot Manager provides the ability to control malicious bot traffic without alerting the operator, such as by slowing down the rate at which the bot can retrieve information or by feeding it different information than what it came for. The company claims that their product has already identified 1,300 pre‑defined bot signatures in 15 different categories of legitimate web and business services, making it easier to rapidly identify commonly seen bot traffic. Their bot detection and response system allows organizations to gain greater visibility into the bots that access their sites and greater control over the actions they’re taking.
Such distinct features include:
- Ability to create custom bot signatures and categories
- Establish flexible policies to deal with multiple varieties of bots
- Silent denial where a bot (and its owner) does not know it has been blocked
- Serving alternate content (such as sending competitors false pricing information)
- Limiting the activity of good bots to certain times to limit impact on performance for real users
- Prioritising good bots for different partners
- Real-time detection of unknown bots
- Slowing down aggressive bots, good or bad