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Mobile App Protection from Bots and Scrapers

June 26, 2015 | All Automated Threats Bot Prevention Technologies

Bot prevention for mobile apps

“Mobile First”- Many companies are now adopting this new business strategy in an attempt to give personalised experience to all their customers.Myntra, India’s largest online fashion store recently went mobile first – App Only. The company claims that a major chunk of sales come from the mobile site and hence the move.  Whilst adopting such a business strategy seems futuristic, there are certain security risks involved.

There is a wide misconception that mobile Apps are inherently more secure than websites in terms of bot prevention, web scraping and content protection. But if we look deep enough, it becomes clear that similar problems exist in mobile apps mainly pertaining to several facets of mobile app protection from bots and scrapers.

Mobile applications allow users to consume data that is accessed through web services. This web services data is vulnerable to scraping / content theft for various purposes by automated programs called bots. Imagine all your app content being posted on a different site? The very thought is terrifying.

The bot problem is  a major hassle for mobile first companies. Bots can crawl through the application to steal or duplicate data, eventually spamming the app that caters to a number of genuine users.

The Business Impact of Bots

Popular app’s like Tinder, Snapchat have been constantly fighting bots that are hampering the credibility of their business and causing inconvenience to customers.

More recently there was a dispute between Myntra and another company. The latter was successfully able to port Myntra’s App content (read-only) on a different website domain. This move ended in a takedown notice sent by Myntra leading to the shutdown of the unauthentic desktop version.

The risk is paramount in this context and the one question every app only/app-based businesses need to ask themselves is “How safe is our content from bots?”.

Securing Mobile App API

It is necessary for all app-based businesses to employ security solution that can safeguard their web services data from bots. This is not as simple as installing an antivirus software on your computer. It requires meticulous planning and a robust bot protection solution that manifests itself employing multiple technologies.

Security is a full-time job for all app-based businesses and needs to be addressed with expertise and caution.While evaluating a bot protection solution, please ensure to ask the service provider whether they can secure your web services data or not.


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