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What is a Bot Manager? How does it differ from WAF?

Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

It seems that there is some overlap between these two types of solutions - how do Bot Managers and WAF differ? How can they work together to improve security?

PeerSpot user
55 Answers

JosephTran - PeerSpot reviewer

In general, WAF inspects the requested traffic, mostly incoming and some outgoing (responses), matches rules/ conditions, then takes appropriate actions. 

Again in general.

Bot Manager is a tool to detect a human and automated scripts = Bot traffic.

As automated scripts get smarter, some of them can emulate human behavior.

So, there are different levels of a bot manager release to adapt to the changing of an automated script.

Both should be used in conjunction to reach the maximum benefit of protection.

Mike Kajubi - PeerSpot reviewer

What’s the Difference Between a WAF and Bot Blocking Solution?

The main difference between a WAF and a bot mitigation solution is that the focal point of a bot mitigation solution is to only target bots. A WAF is capable of targeting them as well but is more focused on protecting against a combined threat profile to prevent app exploitations and safeguard sensitive data.

So which is better? It depends. If a company’s security goal is to minimize the probability of account takeover, content scraping, or denial of service attacks, to name a few examples, a bot mitigation solution would be best. If the goal is to safeguard against internal app exploitations, such as SQL injections or session hijacking, a Web Application Firewall serves best. It all depends on the security objective a company has for their web application, and in many cases, both solutions are leveraged to build a stronger security perimeter.

Oluwatosin Omojola - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

A Bot manager differs from a WAF in that it focuses on the management of Bots which comprises about 50% of web traffic today. A good bot manager should be able to differentiate between good and bad bots and perform relevant actions to prevent overwhelming a web application by bot activity ( even in advanced bot attacks ) WAF, on the other hand, manages a broader spectrum of threat activities which also includes bot detection. However, WAF is primarily designed to protect against the exploitation of web application vulnerabilities, like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and others. By this description, although WAF can do some level of bot filtering, it is not as deep and advanced as a dedicated bot manager. Both can definitely work together to enhance the security posture of an application. A bot manager can be positioned in front of a WAF to filter malicious bot traffic before reaching the WAF which protects the application from bad traffic processing.

SaurabhPal - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 10Real User

I have prepared some details regarding Bot Manager and WAF.

1. Traditional WAF have LIMITATION Mitigstion of Dynamic IP and headless attack whereas Bot manager can complete protect against the same.

2. WAF can not stop RIsk of blocking geniun false positive users whereas  Bot Manager can resolve the same.

3.  Bot Manager can't protect from API vulnarebilities whereas WAF can protect the same.

4. Bot Manager can't protect from Layer 7 DoS attack whereas WAF can protect the same.

5. Compliance of HIPAA and ACI is very limited for Bot Manager whereas for WAF it fulfill it fulfill compliance.

Robert  Falbo - PeerSpot reviewer

Bot solutions offer much more targeted protection against Bit traffic vs a WAF that is more owasp, sql injection, cross site scripting, and detailed rules.  Account takeovers using Bots is a common attack protected by these solutions.  

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