Bot Traffic on the Internet Reaches Record Breaking 47.4%

The amount of bots that can be seen online has been a cause for concern for quite some time now. A recent study conducted by Imperva revealed that bot traffic has seen a startling increase of 5.2% year over year, with just under half of all internet traffic now being comprised of bots or 47.4% to be precise. Meanwhile, human traffic has reached record breaking proportions of just 52.6% with all things having been considered and taken into account.

2023 marks the tenth year since Imperva began tracking bots, which the company first started doing back in 2013. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the firm has noted a continuous increase in bot traffic online, and it turns out that this growth rate is exponential.

In 2022, just 30.2% of internet traffic came from bots. This was a 2.5% increase from last year, and while it might seem better than this year’s numbers, it was still the highest proportion that Imperva had ever seen up until that point.

This will now be the fourth straight year of bot traffic growth, with things first starting to come apart right before the pandemic. Advanced methods for detecting these bots have started coming to light, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, the bots are also becoming ever more innovative.

Last year, 25.9% of all bots that were detected online could be deemed advanced or sophisticated. In 2023, this proportion has nearly doubled to reach 51.2%. This suggests that there is a greater number of bad bots that are harder to detect, which makes it all the more challenging to prevent their malicious actions than might have been the case otherwise.

It bears mentioning that not all bots are bad. Some bots fulfil basic functions that make them necessary, but they are vastly outnumbered by harmful bots. These so called bad bots can help malicious actors conduct DDoS attacks, along with facilitating illegal data scraping and mining, brute forcing as well as intercepting transactions which can lead to considerable financial losses.

A major issue with the advancement of these bad bots is that they can mimic human behavior more effectively. This enables them to circumvent any security protocols that a business may have put in place, which places further strain on the already worn out cybersecurity infrastructure that so many companies are relying on.

As the year progresses and the battle against these bots continues, all eyes will be on the numbers to see if things get worse. If they do, we might be looking at the end of a safe internet.

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