Webinars - Featured Articles

October 23, 2014

Webinar - Battling Bots and Winning

Whether in our personal or professional lives, we are all aware that automation—having mechanical objects or in our increasing software-centric world virtual processes— do what historically has been manual labor has been transformative in countless ways. Indeed automation and robotics are at the top of the list of true wonders of our times. However, we are also painfully aware that there is a downside to all of this when sophisticated tools are in the hands of those with malicious intent. 

In that category of sophisticated tools being adroitly used by some very clever bad guys are what are commonly referred to as “Bots.” While they come in a variety of forms, these are those automated computer programs that are now seemingly pervasive on the Internet, which in the wrong hands can wreak havoc.

The list of bots behaving badly is long and frightening, which is probably apropos this Halloween season. Their purpose is to do such nefarious activities as perpetrate fraud, steal confidential data that can be then resold or used for ransom, redirect traffic to a bogus site for all kinds of reasons, and crash your website. Unfortunately, their dexterity is impressive and bad actors have fine-tuned them to do specific tasks extremely well.

It is also difficult to write about this subject without noting the fact that on an almost daily basis there are major data breaches many of which have been traced to having been bot-based. Plus, on a quarterly basis the industry is kind enough to inform us that not only are things bad, but they are getting worse as the frequency, sophistication and amount of damage done seem to ratchet up exponentially. 

There is even one final factoid to consider, it has been estimated that depending on what vertical market your organization is in, especially those deemed as high value ones by bad guys meaning financial institutions, retailers and government agencies, as much as 60 percent of the traffic on your website could be bots.

The bots’ mission is to search and destroy. This means shoring up your defenses, no matter how good you think they are needs to be a priority.  This has become not just an issue of commercial vitality, but one of national security.  In the U.S., for example, the Obama administration is looking to require banks that are probably the most advanced when it comes to protecting themselves, to do more. This is a case where literally every second counts when it comes to mitigating risk.

The above is certainly a bleak picture, but it turns out that one of the reasons the bad guys are so successful is that many organizations do not take simple and common sense measure to decrease their online vulnerabilities, and most do not have the right/best tools available for use by their IT professionals to detect bot mischief early, remediate a situation quickly, or prevent one from happening in the first place. 

Even the world’s leading security professionals say that no solution is perfect, but that creating significant deterrence, quick detection and rapid response can have profound impact on your organization’s risk profile. The object, as with home alarm systems, is to make the bad guys look elsewhere for easier pickings. Indeed, when it comes to mitigating the risks created by bad bots doing bad things, the forthcoming webinar, Knowing your Online Enemy: Breaking down Bots, is an event you will not wish to miss. To be held, Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT, you are invited to join me and Rami Essaid, CEO & Co-founder Distil Networks as we explore the nature of the bot enemy(s) you face and how to take the measures needed to protect your organization.

As I have pointed out in a previous article on this subject, if you wish to know just how big a problem this is take a few seconds to visit Distil Networks home page where it shows the number of bad bots that have been blocked approaching 16 million. We know about the ones that for whatever reason were not blocked, and there are lots more in development looking for an opening.

What the webinar will cover in detail is the need to improve your organization’s ability to monitor bots by having the ability to find out who your attackers are, how they work, and what they want. The webinar is your chance to know the enemy and know how to handle them before they mishandle you. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle