Modern digital businesses face an ever-growing array of threats, from bad bots and account takeover attacks to malicious scripts and audience hijacking attempts. A recent global survey from Akamai and Foundry investigated the prevalence and eectiveness of specialized third-party solutions that combat
these challenges. Research findings show that not only are these technologies prevalent, but the companies using them have seen significant, quantifiable improvement in their ability to mitigate risk and prevent damage to the business —and to customers.
Organizations of all sizes are digitizing their operations and business infrastructure to drive competitive advantage. They depend heavily on digital security measures and controls to prevent fraudulent and abusive behaviors online.
Akamai partnered with Foundry to investigate the eectiveness of specialized security measures against online fraud and abuse tactics, surveying more than 300 IT (47%) and security (53%) decision-makers.
These decision-makers came from a diverse group of companies: 45% had more than 5,000 employees while 97% had more than 1,000; industries included retail (48%), manufacturing, production and distribution of consumer-packaged goods and direct to consumer (39%), and travel and hospitality (13%).
The respondent pool was also globally diverse, with 32% from the US, 36% from Europe and 32% from Asia-Pacific (APAC).
Respondents were asked about the solutions they had in place for four broad categories of fraud and abuse: malicious bots, account takeover (ATO) attacks, script protection, and audience hijacking prevention.
Akamai sees tens of billions of bot calls daily, some of which are benign and many of which are malicious.
Three-quarters of survey respondents (75%) experienced malicious bot attacks in the last 12 months. Malicious bots can be used for a myriad of malevolent purposes. They’re probably best known for monopolizing limited inventory, especially during high heat events—sneaker bots, for instance, corner
the market on limited-edition athletic footwear— but these inventory-hoarding bots also snap up huge quantities of concert tickets and hotel reservations, and anything else perceived as valuable but of limited stock.
Bots can also scrape content from websites or launch credential-stung attacks that lead to account takeovers. They can overwhelm applications and websites with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that prevent legitimate users from accessing web resources. Malicious bots make up a significant portion of today’s internet traffic.
But even benign bots can diminish site performance and skew analytics. While activities such as content or price scraping aren’t malicious, strictly speaking, they can slow performance, resulting in a degraded
customer experience. It’s important to have visibility into and control over all bot trac. With this information, organizations can make better decisions on the actions they take to reduce friction for
Bot operators are constantly evolving their tactics and techniques to evade detection, so vendors must constantly adjust their countermeasures. Almost nine out of 10 (89%) use third-party or a combination of
third-party and in-house solutions to combat malicious bots. These countermeasures were especially common in the US (96%) and Europe (93%). Just over eight in 10 (83%) had had a solution in place for longer than one year, with the US having the most longevity (89%).
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