Optimizing User Experience: Balancing Bot Management and Accessibility

Customers in the digital age are becoming increasingly impatient. With how quickly the internet can load, even a loading time of a few seconds could be enough to make a user click off your site. While every company wants to check a user’s connection and verify that they’re not bots, stringent measures may create long delays that completely ruin the user experience on your site.

Bot management shouldn’t come at the cost of your user experience. In this article, we’ll explore the bot threat and why it’s so challenging. Finally, we’ll touch on how your company can look toward modern solutions to offer high security and high performance simultaneously.


Why Good Security and Usability Are at the Expense of One Another

When you implement bot management security systems on your website, they monitor every individual traffic signature that attempts to connect to your business. When someone clicks on your site or a link to your site, their device requests information from your site. This interaction gives your site the opportunity to analyze its signature, IP, and other factors to determine whether or not it is malicious.

The activity of checking out your traffic can create a number of problems for both your users and your system. If your security system does an in-depth check on all incoming traffic, it will:

  • Slow Down Load Times: The average load time for a website is 2.5 seconds. If a site goes above this, many customers will click off before the content loads. Users don’t want to wait around while your site loads.
  • Increase System Burden: The more resources your site consumes managing every single traffic request, the more strain falls on your system. If you have comprehensive security tools that consume lots of resources, you could actually be even more susceptible to DDoS attacks, as these bots could request data en-masse from your business and cause its systems to overload.

On one hand, a rigorous security check will stop botted traffic from accessing your site. But, if the security processes you have in place take far too long, then you are actively reducing your site’s performance, creating user experience issues for your customers.

What’s worse is that bots aren’t just a class of traffic that you can simply overlook or completely ban. The bot threat is far more complex than a black-and-white solution allows for.

Why the Bot Threat Is So Challenging

While “Bot” may now have a negative connotation around it, bots are far from malicious. While some types of bots can be harmful to your business, just as many are helpful and even allow your company to thrive. For example, Google uses bots to crawl websites. Whenever you read content online, you’ve found that information because Google’s bot crawled the website, understood what content was on that page, and then indexed it accordingly.

Another example of a good bot is one that monitors your website’s performance. Ironically, the only reason you know that your anti-bot measures are slowing down your website is because you have a bot on your site that’s tracking site load time and other performance metrics.

With that in mind, it’s evident that not all bots are bad. Knowing this, here’s why the bot threat is so dangerous to businesses:

  • Difficult to Determine Bot Alignment: Both good bots and bad bots come in many of the same forms. They will interact with your site, comb through its information, and move through the entirety of your pages. Google’s indexing bot may behave in a very similar manner to a bot associated with a DDoS attack. Without a clear way of knowing what bot traffic is good and which may be malicious, your security team is in a tricky situation.
  • False Positives: Nothing frustrates a user more than when they’re browsing and are suddenly blocked from a resource they wanted to access because the site assumes they’re a bot. While these blocked screens ask users to message a system administrator, there’s only a small chance this actually happens. More likely, false positives result in you losing a customer who clicks off your site.
  • Site Vulnerability: As we discussed, the bot threat is so challenging because you need to toe the line between high levels of security and high levels of usability. If you have even one bot-related security, like a DDoS attack, it could significantly impact the reputation of your business. With that in mind, businesses need to find a risk balance that they’re comfortable staking.

With good and bad bots showing off similar signatures, how exactly does a business keep itself safe? The answer is by partnering with a solution that not only understands bots, but understands the difficult task of determining the difference.

Managing the Bot Threat

One of the most effective methods you can use to enhance your protection against bots while maintaining a positive user experience is to invest in a modern bot solution. Leading cybersecurity vendors understand the spike in bot traffic over recent years and have sought out powerful tools to counter this threat.

When running a website, you don’t have to choose between high usability and high security. On the contrary, you only have to find a security solution that will allow you to do both. With the ample range of highly effective security tools out there, the right solution is on the horizon.

The post Optimizing User Experience: Balancing Bot Management and Accessibility appeared first on Techyv.com.

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