Netacea Research Shows Bot Attacks Go Undetected for Weeks

Netacea, bot detection and mitigation specialist, releases today its report into how businesses are dealing with bot attacks. It reveals one key area where businesses are failing to tackle bot attacks — bots are going undiscovered for an average of 16 weeks, which is up two weeks from last year’s findings.

The study, The Bot Management Review 2022, surveyed 440 businesses across the travel, entertainment, e-commerce, financial services and telecoms sectors in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is a follow-up to last year’s report and finds that in almost every measure, businesses appear to be doing worse than last year in the fight against bots — though this may not mean they are losing the fight.

As well as the finding that bots attacks are going undiscovered for longer, the research also found:

  • Bot owners are shifting their tactics, with 60 percent of businesses detecting attacks on APIs and 39 percent detecting attacks on mobile apps (up from 46 percent and 23 percent in 2021 respectively).
  • Attacks from each of the main types of bots — sniper, account checker, scalper and scraper — have increased by between 7-9 percentage points from 2021. Fifty-three percent of businesses now detect attacks from account checker bots.
  • Around 97 percent of companies report that customer satisfaction has been affected by bot attacks.
  • U.S. retailers report fewer loyalty points being stolen by automated attacks, but the value of the average theft has more than doubled, suggesting a more targeted approach.
  • The revenue impact of skewed web analytics, caused by bots being treated as genuine visitors, has increased from 4 percent to 5 percent, though fewer businesses report a substantial impact from this effect of bot attacks.

“On the face of it, this looks like a very poor result for businesses hoping to fight the effect of bot attacks. Our research has shown that bots have a substantial effect on business revenues, and so it’s in their interest for our results to move the other direction,” said Andy Still, CPO and co-founder, Netacea.

“However, we think that the results can be interpreted another way. Businesses are taking time to wake up to the threat of bots, and we see at least part of this increase in bot attacks being down to a greater awareness. Businesses are getting better and recognizing bot attacks, and so while it may look like things are getting worse, there is some cause for cheer.”

The full report can be downloaded here: