Imperva has today released its fourth annual Bot Traffic Report and one of the key findings is that for the first time in four years human traffic has overtaken botnet traffic on the web.
In the past, good and bad bots have always been responsible for most of the activity on our network. This year, however, saw a changing of the guard, with humans stepping in to become the Internet’s new majority.
Tim Matthews, VP at Imperva: “Overall Internet traffic continues to grow, including humans and bots. The number of new Internet (human) users has grown large enough that, despite their growth, the bots can’t keep up. Why? The number of good bots, as a percentage of the total, is decreasing because these bots are run by organizations that don’t increase visits based on a site’s popularity. And there are many more humans than organizations. Bad bots, on the other hand, are run by humans, and do target popular sites with multiple visits in order to probe for weaknesses or try different exploits. But the number of humans is growing faster than bots run by criminals – a cold comfort for all of us honest citizens.”
Key findings from the study include:
- The data presented in the report is based on a sample of over 19 billion human and bot visits occurring over a 90-day period, from July 24, 2015 to October 21, 2015.
- When analyzing the data, Imperva was very surprised to find out that, for the first time, humans were the ones responsible for the majority (51.5 percent) of all online traffic. These numbers initially appeared to be a complete trend reversal. However, upon closer inspection, and when put in the context of Imperva’s previous analyses, they actually signalled the continuation of a trend, which consists of:
- An increase in the relative amount of human traffic, from 38.5% in 2013 to 51.5% in 2015.
- A decrease in the relative amount of good bot traffic, from 31% in 2013 to 19.5% in 2015.
- A static amount of bad bot traffic, which fluctuates around 30%.
- In light of the above mentioned trends, it is interesting to note Imperva saw no decrease in bad bot activity, neither on smaller or more popular websites.
- As a result, websites of all sizes are as targeted as ever, and are visited on average by one malicious non-human for every two humans.