What is Bot Protection?

Cybersecurity concept; shield with keyhole on digital background

If you're a mobile app developer, chances are you've heard of bot protection. Bots are programs that run automated tasks over the internet. Although criminals can use them for malicious purposes, such as spamming or denial of service attacks, they can also be used for legitimate tasks, such as web crawling and data collection.

Regardless of their purpose, bots are becoming increasingly sophisticated and account for a significant amount of internet traffic. In fact, some estimates suggest that bots now create up to 25% of all online accounts. The problem is so severe that it can have significant consequences - it appears to have led to the collapse of what would have been one of the largest company takeovers in the tech sector when Elon Musk backed out of a deal to buy Twitter, claiming the platform has a major bot problem. In addition, 93% of Internet attacks are now bot-driven.

Source: arkoselabs.com

Given the sheer volume of bot traffic, it's not surprising that many organizations are now looking to implement bot protection measures. By protecting their websites and applications from bots, they can reduce the risk of abuse and improve the quality of their user experience.

Bot protection is a measure taken by developers to protect their apps from illegitimate traffic or activity that can skew analytics and impact business decisions. It filters out bad actors, like scrapers and spammers, and allows developers better to understand their app's true usage and engagement. 

Why is Bot Protection Important?

There are a few reasons why bot protection is so important:

  • Skew analytics: As we mentioned before, bots can skew your analytics and give you false information about your app's use. This can lead to suboptimal business decisions that hurt your bottom line. 
  • Slow down servers: Bots can also clog up your servers and slow down your app for legitimate users. 
  • Launch attacks: Lastly, bots can be used to launch attacks on your app, like DDoS attacks or password brute force attacks. 

By protecting your app from bots, you can avoid all of these issues. 

How Does Bot Protection Work?

There are a few different ways to protect your platform from bots. As always with security, layers of protection are needed and multiple use cases must be considered because specialist solutions may be needed for some of them.

Considering broad approaches to bot protection, one common method is CAPTCHA, which uses human-readable text or images to thwart automated systems. Another method is rate limiting, which limits the number of requests that can be made to your app within a given time. There's also IP blocking, which blocks traffic from known malicious IP addresses.

Protecting the mobile side of your business, if mobile is critical to your commercial success, is an example of a use case which requires a specialist solution. Securing mobile apps and the APIs that service them is non-trivial because anyone can download your mobile app and use it and its contents to attack you.

When considering the key capabilities to protect your mobile business from bots there are multiple considerations to work through. A comprehensive solution such as Approov Mobile App Protection should be investigated. Approov ensures only genuine and authentic apps access your backend service, not bots or tampered or repackaged apps. It's also easy to integrate, deploy and manage in your platform.

If you're looking for mobile app protection, Approov is the best solution. For more information, check out the complimentary 30-day trial (no credit card necessary) or contact us to chat with a  mobile security expert.