Bot Management

Sometimes the incoming web traffic is comprised of bots and most organizations suffer from bot attacks. Web and mobile applications are significant revenue drivers for business and most companies are under the threat of advanced cyberattacks, such as bots. A bot is a software program that automatically performs certain actions repeatedly at a much faster rate than a human. Bots can interact with webpages, submit forms, run actions, scan texts, or download content. They can access videos, post comments, and tweet on social media platforms. Some bots, known as chatbots, can hold basic conversations with human users. A bot that performs a helpful service, such as customer service, automated chat, and search engine crawlers are good bots. At the same time, a bot that can scrape or download content from a website, steal user credentials, spam content, and perform other kinds of cyberattacks are bad bots. With a good number of bad bots performing malicious tasks, it is essential to manage bot traffic and protect your web applications from bot attacks. By using NetScaler bot management, you can detect the incoming bot traffic and mitigate bot attacks to protect your web applications. NetScaler bot management helps identify bad bots and protect your appliance from advanced security attacks. It detects good and bad bots and identifies if incoming traffic is a bot attack. By using bot management, you can mitigate attacks and protect your web applications.

NetScaler bot management provides the following benefits:

  • Defend against bots, scripts, and toolkits. Provides real-time threat mitigation using static signature based defense and device fingerprinting.
  • Neutralize automated basic and advanced attacks. Prevents attacks, such as App layer DDoS, password spraying, password stuffing, price scrapers, and content scrapers.
  • Protect your APIs and investments. Protects your APIs from unwarranted misuse and protects infrastructure investments from automated traffic.

Some use cases where you can benefit by using the NetScaler bot management system are:

  • Brute force login. A government web portal is constantly under attack by bots attempting to brute force user logins. The organization discovered the attack by looking through web logs and seeing specific users being select over and over again with rapid login attempts and passwords incrementing using a dictionary attack approach. By law, they must protect themselves and their users. By deploying the NetScaler bot management, they can stop brute force login using device fingerprinting and rate limiting techniques.
  • Block bad bots and device fingerprint unknown bots. A web entity gets 100,000 visitors each day. They have to upgrade the underlying footprint and they are spending a fortune. In a recent audit, the team discovered that 40 percent of the traffic came from bots, scraping content, picking news, checking user profiles, and more. They want to block this traffic to protect their users and reduce their hosting costs. Using bot management, they can block known bad bots, and fingerprint unknown bots that are hammering their site. By blocking these bots, they can reduce bot traffic by 90 percent.

What does NetScaler bot management do

The NetScaler bot management helps organizations protect their web applications and public assets from advanced security attacks. When an incoming traffic is a bot, the bot management system detects the bot type, assigns an action, and generates bot insights, as shown in the following diagram.

Bot management system

How does NetScaler bot management work

The following diagram shows how the NetScaler bot management works. The process involves eight detection techniques that help in detecting the incoming traffic as a good or a bad bot. By default good bots detected by signatures are allowed and bad bots detected by signatures are dropped.

Bot management system

  1. The process starts by enabling the bot management feature on the appliance.
  2. When a client sends a request, the appliance evaluates the traffic using bot policy rules. If the incoming request is identified as a bot, the appliance applies a bot detection profile.
  3. You must bind the default or custom bot signature file to the bot detection profile. The bot signature file has a list of bot signature rules for identifying the incoming bot type.
  4. The bot detection rules are available under eight detection categories in the signature file. The categories are allow list, block list, static signature, IP reputation, device fingerprint, and rate limiting. Based on the bot traffic, the system applies a detection rule to the traffic.
  5. If the incoming bot traffic matches an entry in the bot allow list, the system bypasses other detection techniques and the associated action logs the data.
  6. For detection techniques other than bot allow list, if an incoming request matches a configured rule, the corresponding action is applied. The possible actions are drop, redirect, reset, mitigation, and log. CAPTCHA is a mitigation action which is supported for IP reputation, device fingerprinting, and TPS detection techniques.
Bot Management