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Five Questions to Consider When Evaluating Your CDN Provider's Bot Solution

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Questions to Consider

With bot attacks up 106% YoY, your business needs a bot management solution to stop automated attacks. Your content delivery network (CDN) vendor offers one that can be rolled into your existing contract. It’s an easy decision, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Although it may seem appealing to consolidate vendors and use a provider that you’re already familiar with, this might not be the best strategy for your business.

There are upsides and drawbacks to using a CDN vendor’s bot management solution. Here are some questions to help you determine what is right for you:

1. Was it designed to block sophisticated bots?

Many CDN providers offer security solutions like distributed denial of services (DDoS) protection and web application firewalls (WAF) that are positioned as bot management capabilities. If you’re looking to block simple botnets then a WAF or DDoS tool may be sufficient. However, more advanced attackers can quickly bypass these protections by using more sophisticated techniques such as varying device fingerprints or mimicking human behavior.

Attacks — like credential stuffing, account takeover, carding, inventory hoarding and scraping — have become increasingly pervasive. And they are especially hard to stop using just DDoS and WAF capabilities. These attacks can be highly distributed and fly low and slow, under the radar of most WAFs and DDoS detection engines.

2. Are you locking yourself in?

Content delivery architectures evolve and over time you may find yourself wanting to switch, or managing multiple environments due to cost savings, acquisitions or consolidation. A bot management solution that is tied to your CDN could very quickly leave portions of your infrastructure exposed, such as the origin servers or staging environments.

Using a single vendor for both CDN and bot management locks you into the vendor’s architecture. This limits your ability to grow, hinders innovation and negatively impacts your bot management efficacy. Instead, use an environment-agnostic solution to seamlessly integrate bot management into your existing infrastructure like AWS CloudFront.

3. Will it improve your operational efficiency?

Using a CDN vendor for your bot mitigation could fragment your threat detection by only providing a partial view of bot traffic, pushing more of the threat response burden onto your teams. False negatives can lower your operational efficiency and burn your team’s time chasing down the bots that got through, but shouldn’t have.

Having complete, real-time visibility into bot traffic is critical for better decision making. This grants you the ability to analyze automated attack data — including details about specific cloud vendor activity, IP classification data, ASNs and more — and gather actionable insights.

4. Does it deliver rich reporting and analysis?

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Security teams need robust insights into every bot attack against their site, including malicious login attempts, checkout abuse and web scraping. Reports should be tailored to your role, with data on automated fraud incidents, operational efficiency, protected revenue and impact on user experience delivered to individuals based on the information that is of interest to them.

In addition to analyzing attacks against your own site, make sure you can easily review cybersecurity trends across the industry. Adopting a vendor at the forefront of threat research allows you to gather insights on attacks happening across the web, which can inform your future cybersecurity strategy.

5. How will it impact site users?

Some bot management tools can introduce friction into the user journey. CAPTCHAs are one example of a security feature that frustrates consumers and drives abandonment — not to mention that they don’t actually block sophisticated bots. Similarly, slowed performance due to a spike in bot traffic also annoys human users and motivates them to leave your site.

False positives can cause frustration and lead to more customer support tickets, increasing support costs. Adopting a user-friendly verification makes the process less frustrating and more human. This improves your conversion rate, increases revenue and helps maintain customer loyalty.

Don’t skip out on exploring your options

There are a lot of tools out there to manage malicious bots, so make sure you look into various solutions and choose the one that is best for your business. Here are some key capabilities to look for:

  • Accurately detects even the most sophisticated bots
  • Enables flexibility and scalability
  • No expensive add-on services
  • Removes burden from your team
  • Preserves user experience

You should consider a leading, purpose-built bot management solution that can effectively combat bot attacks of varying sophistication, including the low and slow attacks that target your business logic. PerimeterX Bot Defender combines machine-learning, behavioral analysis, intelligent fingerprinting and predictive detection methods to protect web and mobile applications and APIs from all types of bot attacks.

Bot Defender seamlessly integrates with a wide range of CDNs, load balancers, web servers and application servers and is compatible with any cloud-based, appliance-based or serverless infrastructure. For example, with AWS WAF and PerimeterX Bot Defender directly integrated with CloudFront using Lambda@Edge, you get the most comprehensive application protection without sacrificing latency or scalability. The user-friendly human verification system in Bot Defender preserves consumer experience while accurately blocking bots. By using Bot Defender you will improve operational efficiency, reduce risk and safeguard your revenue and reputation.

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