3 Things to Consider When Selecting a Bot Manager

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As the word manager indicates, a bot manager needs to do more than simply eradicate bots that come into contact with networks and employees. A level of discernment is required; remember, not all bots are bad. But it’s imperative to stop the bad, malicious bots in their tracks. That’s a large demand, though. It’s estimated that malicious bots account for as much as 40% of all internet traffic. And like all cyber threats, bot attacks become more sophisticated by the day.

There are a lot of bot manager options in the marketplace. On their respective websites and marketing materials, they all sound impressive. Some are, while others aren’t. They may seem alike, as well, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Selecting the right bot manager to protect your organization isn’t a decision to take lightly and make on a whim. So, consider the following when evaluating which bot manager to select to keep your organization safe from malicious bots.

Consider These 3 Things When Selecting A Bot Manager

Company Stability

If a bot manager provider hasn’t been around for years, that doesn’t mean it should be immediately wiped from your list of potential vendors. No question, though, it is important. Just remember that stability means more than tenure and time in the marketplace; it’s also about financial backing.

Without an optimal level of funding, research and development won’t keep a bot manager ahead of threat actors. The bad guys are constantly and feverishly working to create ways to bypass security measures to access victims’ systems and retrieve their critical data. A bot manager vendor needs to be thinking and working steps ahead of them. Without the right funding and experience in the marketplace, it will be tough for them to operate at that required level.

Client Service and Reviews

Not relying on reviews from a vendor’s customers is an inactivity you’ll pay for later. In this day and age, doing research is a snap. Reviews are just a few clicks away. Due diligence should also include obtaining references from customers whose organizations are similar to yours in size, scope and industry. Also, find out how long they have been using the bot manager in question. This will tell you a lot about the product, its features, the user experience and technical support.

Features and Functionalities

It’s easy to get locked into features without considering company stability and client service and reviews. Ultimately, though, the success or failure of a decision will wind up here. It makes sense. Without the right features, customers won’t be happy. But evaluating features can lead you down a long, head-scratching road. There are a lot of features out there, but it’s hard to know which ones are important. The following will help.

Bot Manager Features You’ll Definitely Want and Need

Integration and Deployment

Make sure and select a bot manager that will integrate with your existing infrastructure. That means not having to make complex, large-scale changes. Consider the following to help ensure integration is as seamless as possible and doesn’t leave you regretting your choice of bot managers:

  • Cloud connectors
  • SDK for native mobile applications
  • JavaScript tagging
  • Web server plugins
  • DNS redirection
  • Virtual appliances 

It’s a good idea to select a bot manager that can be deployed in all cloud environments — public, private or hybrid. You may not need this now, but you never know what the future may bring.

Also, select a bot manager that is part of a web application and API protection suite (WAAP). This will Include DDoS protection, a web application firewall (WAF), account takeover (ATO) prevention, API Security, and more.

Dashboard and Reporting

The dashboard from which you’ll be monitoring and managing the bot manager needs to be intuitive and easy to use. You’ll want that single pane of glass from which you can manage the entire application protection stack. It’s important because today’s hackers and malicious actors run multi-vector, multi-layered attacks. They launch different bots for DDoS, brute force and scraping attacks, to name a few. In short, there many attacks laying in wait; you need to monitor and manager these as easily as possible. That single pane of glass will help get this done.

For reporting purposes, you’ll need to easily set up alerts (and different types of them) and define how to get notifications. For instance, you may want to get alerted about all bot attacks or only those from the most sophisticated attackers. Each alert should include analytics so you can dig deeper into the activities that triggered them. And you should be able to easily analyze traffic and access real-time reporting that breaks down legitimate traffic from the malicious type.

Multiple Mitigation Options

Select a bot manager that provides multiple mitigation options. It will help you better customize the user experience. For instance, being forced to rely on CAPTCHA will strike the wrong nerve with some users. More importantly, there are now bots that can solve CAPTCHA.

Make sure and select a bot manager that provides multiple mitigation options, like crypto-challenges, drop request, session termination, and more.

Event Tagging

Select a bot manager that tags each blocked incident so they can be analyzed as needed. Details should be provided, including the bot source and reason it was blocked. When you need to determine which source(s) to unblock, this feature is a must.

Machine Learning

A bot manager needs to keep up with the onslaught of attacks it will invariably encounter. To do that, it must rely on machine learning (ML) to remain up-to-date and relevant. ML recognizes bot patterns and relies on historical data to retrain itself. And that retraining should include traffic from all the vendors’ customers, not just your data. Of course, your data should be individually analyzed, as well, to detect changes specific to your organization. 

Are You Prepared for Bot Attacks? You Can Find out Now

If you’re wondering about your organization’s cybersecurity posture, take advantage of Radware’s free online security assessments. There are two that will let you know how protected you are against malicious bots. And please reach out to the security experts at Radware for more information about cybersecurity. For over 25 years, Radware has protected organizations the world over and helped ensure their data remained secure. Contact their security professionals here. They would love to hear from you.

Radware Selected as Best-In-Class Bot Manager Vendor by Aite-Novarica Group

Read Aite Matrix: Leading Bot Detection and Management Providers report and learn why Radware was awarded its highest honor — best-in-class vendor for bot managers. Selections were based on 3 major factors: market knowledge and product demonstrations, client reference feedback and Radware-provided information based on Aite-Novarica Group’s detailed RFI document.

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