cybersecurityAccording to Time Magazine the number of Internet users is approaching 3 billion worldwide. As a result, hackers have a treasure-trove of information from which to choose. The number of users affected by malicious online activity is growing daily—consequently, Internet security is a major concern.

Findings released by the security firm Incapsula reveal that the “bad bots” are overshadowing the good. With the majority of web traffic attributed to bots and other crawlers, there is definitely cause for concern.

The 2014 Bot Traffic Report is the third Incapsula survey of its kind. Data is based on a sample of 15 billion human and bot visits occurring over a 90-day period in 2014. Information from 20,000 websites in 249 countries was collected.

Accordingly, CIO Insight lists nine little known facts gleaned from the study as follows:

  • Malicious bots account for 29% of all website visits: 22% are impersonators, 3.5% are hacking tools, 3% are scrapers, and 0.5% are spammers.
  • Regardless of a site’s size, one-third of its traffic is from bots. For most sites, bot traffic is between 63% and 80%.
  • It’s difficult to say what the absolute average number of daily visitors is, but most websites get fewer than 10,000 visits per day.
  • Impersonator bots are the only group of bots that consistently grew in the last three years since the survey began.
  • Impersonator bots’ volume increased by 10% last year and by 15% since 2012. They are created by very experienced hackers and are designed increasingly for stealth.
  • Types of impersonator bots include fake search engine bots, bots with browser-like capabilities, DDoS bots, and bots masked by proxy servers.
  • Most of the decline in bot traffic is due to good bot activity, especially those associated with RSS services.
  • Googlebots crawl indiscriminately and with predetermined frequency regardless of a website’s popularity. Result: smaller websites receive a disproportionate percent of bot visitors (80%) compared to human visitors.
  • How are bots affecting bandwidth consumption and your bottom line? You can save money with better bot filtering practices in addition to better client site security.

For more Incapsula survey results, read the full CIO Insight article and consult Incapsula’s website.


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Impersonator Bots Are On The Rise, Survey Says

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