Rise of the bots — 42.3 percent of internet traffic in 2021 wasn’t human

Bad bot
Bad bot

Imperva’s latest Bad Bot report shows that bots are a growing part of the web, accounting for over 42% of overall traffic.

Of even greater concern is that bad bots accounted for a record 27.7% of all global website traffic in 2021, up from 25.6% in 2020. The three most common bot attacks are the takeover of account, content or price scraping, and scalping to get -availability items.

Bad bots can often be the first indicator of online fraud and pose a risk to digital businesses, as well as their customers. In 2021, evasive bad bots — a group of moderate and advanced bad bots that evade standard security defenses — accounted for 65.6% of all bad bot traffic. This breed of bots uses the latest evasion techniques, including browsing random IP addresses, entering through anonymous proxies, changing identities, and mimicking human behavior to evade detection.

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“Companies cannot ignore the impact of malicious bot activity as it contributes to more account compromises, higher infrastructure and support costs, customer churn, and degraded online services,” said Ryan Windham, vice president of application security at Imperva. “With automated fraud growing in intensity and complexity, advanced bot protection is essential to prevent the growing threat to digital businesses and consumers from bad bots.”

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Among other findings, in 2021, 64.1% of account takeover attacks used an advanced bad bot. Financial services was the most targeted industry (34.6%), followed by travel (23.2%).

Interestingly, the proportion of traffic from bad bots varies by country. In 2021, Germany (39.6%), Singapore (39.1%) and Canada (30.2%) saw the highest volumes of malicious bot traffic, while the United States (29 .1%) and the UK (29.7%) were also higher than the global average. (27.7%) of malicious bot traffic.

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Mobile user agents are a popular disguise for bad bot traffic with 35.6% seeking to hide this way last year, accounting for more than a third of all internet traffic, and up from 28 .1% in 2020.

The full report is available on Imperva’s website.

image credit: davincidig/depositphotos.com

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