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42% of total web traffic is generated by bots

A study noted that the consequences of the finding "include website performance degradation" and "site metric pollution," among others.

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A report from Akamai Technologies analyzed the state of the internet (SOTI) and detailed the security threats facing the ecommerce industry. It revealed that "bots make up 42% of total web traffic, and 65% of these bots are malicious."

The report titled "Scraping Away Your Bottom Line: How Web Scrapers Impact Ecommerce" highlights the widespread problem of bots and their detrimental effects on online businesses.

Patrick Sullivan, CTO of security strategy at Akamai, highlighted the severity of the problem and detailed the ways in which bots affect businesses, including data theft and phishing: "Bots continue to present massive challenges resulting in multiple pain points for app and API owners."

No laws prohibiting bots

The study notes that the most affected companies are those with "reliance on revenue-generating web applications," and that "the ecommerce sector has been most affected by high-risk bot traffic."

Among the ways in which bots are used to negatively influence business development are "competitive intelligence and espionage, inventory hoarding, imposter site creation, and other schemes that have a negative impact on both the bottom line and the customer experience."

The study notes that the technical impacts organizations face "include website performance degradation, site metric pollution, compromised credentials attacks from phishing sites, increased compute costs, and more." However, it similarly indicates that "some bots are beneficial to businesses."

The report concludes that "There are no existing laws that prohibit the use of scraper bots, and they are hard to detect due to the rise of artificial intelligence (A.I.) botnets."