Report: Bots are costing companies millions of their online revenue

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Bots harm companies, both directly and indirectly. Bot traffic costs businesses millions every year, whether it’s scraping content, buying goods for someone else, or using stolen passwords to take over accounts. New research from Netacea shows that bots cost companies an average of 3.6% of their online revenue, but the problems run deeper.

If companies can’t tell the difference between real customers and bots, marketing analytics data can become useless. Companies have used up marketing budgets and made bad decisions based on bad marketing data. Despite a lower profile, this is just as much of a problem as ad fraud. To fight an enemy, you must understand him. We wanted to know what companies knew about bots – and what myths they still believed in.

Many are confused about which techniques and technologies are effective against bots, where these bots are used and who uses them.

Most worryingly, more than two-thirds of companies believe web application firewalls (WAFs) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection protect them from bot attacks. These tools are valuable and recommended, but they are ineffective against sophisticated bots, leaving businesses vulnerable to attacks that can make the difference between winning and losing.

Bots are “democratized” and offered as a service, so the assumption that major nation states are behind all bot attacks and are bought and sold on the dark web is completely outdated.

In the battle between companies and bots, bots have the upper hand due to lack of understanding. Defeating bots requires better knowledge of the enemy – and that means breaking these persistent myths.

Netacea interviewed 440 companies in the US and UK in the e-commerce, telecommunications, entertainment (including online gaming and streaming), travel and financial services markets. Netacea conducted this research in collaboration with independent B2B research specialist Coleman Parkes. The companies surveyed had revenues ranging from $350 million to more than $7 billion.

Read Netacea’s full report.

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