Veracity Blog

Malicious bots can damage your company reputation

Malicious bots can damage your company reputation

Bots can cause multiple types of damage to your brand’s website and – by extension – your company reputation.

Misinformation is one of the many ways bots cause issues worldwide and, while you may think your brand is safe from that type of attack, the technology used to create bots which spread false data can also be used to cripple legitimate businesses.

Malicious bots mask themselves and are becoming cleverer, attempting to interact with applications or websites in the same way a legitimate human user would, this makes them much harder to detect and block.

They enable high-speed abuse, misuse and attacks on your website, mobile apps and APIs, leading to the bot operators being able to perform a variety of unsavoury acts including click fraud, competitive data mining, information scraping and more.

Any one of these actions can have a significant effect on your company reputation and the confidence of your customers when it comes to their identity and other data safety.

Malicious bots are often the first indicator of online fraud and represent a risk to digital businesses, as well as their customers.

Bot related digital ad fraud

The cost of bot traffic, as measured through digital ad fraud, is projected to reach $100 billion in 2023 according to Statista. Malicious bot traffic can have financial implications for businesses, even if their website performance is unaffected, as well as a knock-on effect on company reputation. 

IMAGE: Statista estimates for global fraud up to 2023

Sites that depend on advertising or sell merchandise and only have limited stock availability are more vulnerable to bot traffic issues than some other business types.

Fake ad clicks for websites that depend on ad revenue can result in loss of earnings and damage to the company reputation because of action taken by advertising networks including removing the brand’s ability to use them.

For eCommerce sites that have limited inventory, or which sell high value goods, scalpers have often used bots to snap up things like gaming consoles or event tickets. In other instances, bot owners have  used them to dump inventory into thousands of carts, making items unavailable for genuine buyers.

How much of your web traffic is bots?

Given that a quarter of all internet traffic in 2021, or 27.7% to be precise, was composed of these malicious bots, as per the data compiled by Imperva, it’s likely a high percentage of your website visitors aren’t human.

Almost 70%  of these bots are what are described as “evasive bots”, which means they use multiple different tricks to stay hidden, aiming to present themselves as human.

This form of bot uses the latest evasion techniques, including cycling through random IPs, entering through anonymous proxies, changing identities, and mimicking human behaviour to evade detection.

Veracity Trust Network offers protection

Alongside its Ad Fraud Protection (previously Beacon), Veracity Trust Network has unveiled its Website Threat Protection platform, which successfully utilises machine learning to detect bots and safeguard online revenue, competitive edge, and company reputation.

Nigel Bridges, CEO of Veracity Trust Network, said: “As the digital world continues to evolve, so do the challenges around fraud and security, underpinned by the growth and sophistication in bots.

“However, many business owners are unaware that these bots infiltrate and attack our websites on a daily basis, which can lead to risks to revenue, reputation and even customer and/or client relationships.”

Veracity is applicable to any business operating a website and blocks a wide range of bot attacks, preserving website performance, while optimising infrastructure costs and security resources.

Its official launch follows an impressive pilot, where 18 businesses from across different industry sectors trialled the solution, which revealed – on average – 38% of web traffic was suspicious, with the majority clearly bots. 

Nigel added: “We have developed a dedicated Website Threat Protection solution which protects any website from automated bot attacks and enables businesses to gain visibility and control over human, good bot, and bad bot traffic without imposing friction on legitimate users.”

The early success of the Website Threat Protection platform follows the continued growth of the firm’s original Beacon Ad Fraud Protection solution, which detects bots and blocks them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Search Ads, and Microsoft Search Ads to maximise digital advertising spend and increase ROI.

Start protecting your website now

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