Online events such as product launches and sales attract higher than usual traffic, both from genuine customers and from bots. Servers can quickly become overwhelmed, potentially causing issues like website crashes and slowdowns.
TrafficDefender’s virtual waiting room can control the flow of traffic into the website, but online queues can also be targeted by bots.
What are bots and what harm can they do?
Bots, or automated traffic, account for nearly 50% of all web traffic today. They can launch business logic attacks that cause harm to websites and users, as well as quickly clogging up servers and slowing websites to a crawl.
Specialist tools and expertise are needed to block unwanted bots whilst allowing the right kind of traffic through.
Can a bot beat a queue?
Virtual waiting rooms are targeted by bots just the same as other websites. Once a bot has made it through the queue to the target site, they will carry out their attack. For example, scalper bots will snap up limited stock items for resale before genuine customers are able to.
Other bots will simply sit in the queue until they reach the front, before passing back control to a human.
Under certain circumstances, specific “good” bots may be allowed to bypass a queue to carry out their tasks on the website. For example, the functionality of Google crawlers or uptime checkers would be compromised by being placed into a queue, therefore they are whitelisted to allow immediate entry to the target website.
However, harmful bots will aim to side-step the queue by masquerading as a “good” bot or whitelisted user to carry out attacks like:
Even bots that can’t bypass online queues can still create a “denial of queue position” situation, which is similar to the common bot threat of “denial of inventory”. Bots will flood the queue, extending wait times to excessive levels, making it harder for genuine customers to get through and make purchases.
Keeping bad bots at bay
TrafficDefender helps businesses protect their websites at times of peak traffic. Such events also attract malicious bot traffic.
Unlike any other virtual waiting room provider, TrafficDefender works closely with a Forrester-recognised leader in bot management to offer a solution. Netacea uses advanced machine learning and AI to monitor all web traffic, detect bot activity and protect businesses and their customers against automated threats.
Netacea and TrafficDefender can be managed through one online portal, allowing you to analyse bot traffic and control virtual queues all in one place. This puts you in full control over bot traffic and uptime during peak traffic events.
If you are interested in learning more about how bot management and virtual waiting rooms can work together, contact our team and we’d be happy to help.