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Keep Grinch bots from stuffing your stocking with coal

The Log4j zero-day attack and the proliferation of Grinch bots were two of the most notable occurrences of 2021 in the realm of cybersecurity. In contrast to the former, whose effects have thankfully subsided but may still be felt by security personnel, the latter cannot be easily remedied. In 2023, we anticipate a growth in bots’ influence on the convenience and success of online purchasing as well as on retail establishments generally. An industry-wide effort is needed to battle these bots and restore online shopping’s excitement.

Like its namesake, the Grinch, a Grinch bot is dedicated to ruining Christmas for good people everywhere by stealing their presents. Online retailers have seen the rise in popularity of Grinch bots, which are programmed to immediately purchase newly listed items. These bots are often programmed to buy an item on sale and then resell it for a profit. A bot can make these purchases far more quickly than a human being could, allowing it to buy out whole stockpiles of a commodity in a matter of seconds.

It’s not only customers that suffer from the effects of Grinch bots and other forms of bot assaults. Imagine a scenario in which a bot is used to choose a product from a retailer’s inventory, selects the store pickup option, and then never picks up or pays for the merchandise. When bots are used to conduct illegal transactions, companies are still responsible for credit card transaction costs, which might lead to the brand’s suspension from POS systems. Freezing inventory and high transaction costs may be disastrous for companies.

The use of robots is not going away soon

A company’s reputation and customer satisfaction might both suffer from the presence of bots. Recent research has shown that 97% of businesses have seen a drop in consumer satisfaction due to bot assaults. To take one extreme example, a well-known shoe company discovered that almost all of the clicks on a promotional link came from automated programmes. Obviously, it made purchasing a miserable experience for the vast majority of human consumers. Customers now want a hassle-free, equal playing field when they purchase online. Replacing stock that has been depleted by a bot assault may be expensive and time-consuming since supply networks are still at capacity.

Today’s sophisticated robots need today’s sophisticated fixes

Defending against automated attacks might seem like a game of “whack-a-mole.” As a consequence, real people are blocked from using the site, so they can’t buy anything or have a good time. An organisation cannot operate indefinitely with such a strategy. Therefore, companies need to adopt cutting-edge strategies to deal with today’s sophisticated bots.

Context learning is a powerful tool for reducing the impact of the bot threat. Not all bot attacks are obvious to humans. “Low and sluggish” attacks are common because they allow attackers to remain undetected and unblocked by defences. However, by looking back, security personnel may better see trends and questionable activity, allowing them to better defend against bots.

Whatever precautions your company takes, it is essential to start making substantial preparations for the influx of Christmas customers immediately. Taking action now might be the difference between satisfied customers and consumers who feel like they received a lump of coal in Christmas stockings.