How Bot Protection Enhances User Experience and Website Performance

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Over the course of a year, the average website may have hundreds of different bot encounters. Many of these will be positive experiences, like the GoogleBot indexing a site’s pages. Unfortunately, several will come from bad bot traffic, consuming your resources and slowing down your website.

Deploying bot protection services will help identify the difference between these bots, helping to free up server resources for your real customers.

By having available resources for your customers, they’ll have a positive user experience with faster load times whenever they come onto your site. As you begin to provide a better customer experience, your customer satisfaction and overall revenue will both increase.

Let’s explore the growing threat that bots pose to your website’s user experience and exactly how you can solve the problem with modern cybersecurity solutions.

The Growing Threat of Bots

The last few years have seen a steady increase in the number of bad bots that plague the internet. One of the contributing factors to this has been the rise of IoT devices, like smart fridges, water boilers with WiFi, and other digital devices that are connected to the internet. Beyond just having several mobile phones and computers, the average household may now have numerous other domestic devices that have an internet connection.

Part of the issue with this is that many IoT devices have fairly lackluster security. Most people don’t realize these devices can pose a security threat, meaning they never change the default password or enable any security on them. Due to this, hackers have had an easy time building up worldwide networks of compromised devices. There are around 39 billion of these devices across the globe, giving hackers more than enough opportunity. 

Using these devices, hackers can send bot traffic to any site they like. Whenever a connection arrives on a website, the site must accommodate it by using its resources to deliver information to the account. While this is fine when a real person is browsing, it rapidly becomes a problem when hundreds or thousands of bots are consuming your server resources.

Whether the bots that arrive on your site are bad or good, they’ll equally consume resources. The only difference is that good bots will provide something to your business in return, while bad bots are there to slow down your site’s performance and create problems.

Considering how available bot networks now are, cybersecurity vendors are seeing more bot-related problems than ever before. While DDoS attacks are an obvious example, the damage that bots do doesn’t have to be so intense.

Simply by consuming a site’s resources and slowing it down, bots can reduce the appeal of a website to real customers. If organizations don’t have effective cybersecurity protocols in place, they may not even realize what bots are doing on their site until their load speed has been reduced to an intolerable level.

Bot Attacks and the User Experience

Any connection to a website will require your server to deliver information. The process of clicking on a web page will request the information of that page from your server, with your company expending resources to deliver upon these user requests. While the total resource consumption of these interactions is minimal, it can build up when lots of customers attempt to connect at once.

When bot traffic arrives on your site, your business has to expend the same amount of resources you would if the bot were a real customer. When lots of bots plague your site, this can create a huge drain of resources, slowing down your site for everyone else. A resounding 73% of users will leave a slow site if it doesn’t load in time and search for a new one, meaning this scenario can negatively impact your customer experience and reduce profitability.

However, managing bot traffic is a delicate procedure. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing botted traffic from legitimate customer connections, businesses need to develop a strategy that targets bots without preventing what could be real customers from connecting to the site.

With extremely stringent connection controls, there is a high chance of false positives occurring, meaning that real customers are impacted and unable to connect to your site. Equally, extensively analyzing traffic will slow down website functionality, making for a worse user experience. This can frustrate your customers and negatively impact the experience your business offers.

On the other hand, if you implement lax bot restriction security, you essentially let down your guard and allow bot traffic free rein in your business. This approach leaves you wide open for DDoS attacks, which could have a disastrous effect on your business.

Too much protection and your users suffer; too little, and your business suffers regardless. Finding the right balance between these two unfavorable extremes will depend on your company’s priorities and existing security infrastructure.

Managing the UX Threat of Bad Bots

The most effective method of managing the bot problem online is to find a cybersecurity solution that can distinguish between bad bots and good bots. Modern bot solutions carefully analyze a bot’s behavioral patterns, blocking any bots that display malicious intent while permitting useful bots to exist on and browse your website.

Blocking bad bots from reaching your site ensures that they do not consume any of your server resources. This form of protection helps guarantee that all of your server’s resources go directly to your real customers. With this strategy in place, your business will be able to create a more reliable and responsive customer experience on your website.