Account takeover (ATO) was one of the three most common ways bad actors leveraged bad bots in 2021, according to a report from cybersecurity firm Imperva Threat Research. In its ninth annual Imperva Bad Bot Report, the company’s analysis of internet traffic said software running automated scripts for malicious intent accounted for nearly 28 percent of total global website traffic—up from 25.6 percent in 2020.
ATO increased 148 percent in 2021 on a year-over-year basis. And, while retailers are intimately acquainted with the attack method, travel sites were a more common target—second only to financial services.
“Businesses cannot overlook the impact of malicious bot activity as it is contributing to more account compromise, higher infrastructure and support costs, customer churn, and degraded online services,” said Ryan Windham, vice president of Application Security at Imperva. “With automated fraud growing in intensity and complexity, advanced bot protection is essential for preventing the growing threat digital businesses and consumers face from bad bots.”
Germany (39.6 percent), Singapore (39.1 percent), Canada (30.2 percent), the United States (29.1 percent) and United Kingdom (29.7 percent) all experienced bad bot traffic higher than the global average of 27.7 percent.