What is Malicious Activity- Is it the same as bot activity?


Bots and fake users have unfortunately become incredibly common in today’s world. Some argue that as high as 61.5% of the internet is non-human. But how does this relate to malicious and fraudulent activities online? And are all bots actively harmful? This article will explain the meaning of malicious activity and how that relates to both human and non-human users.  

How is Malicious Activity defined? 

Malicious activity is defined as any actions taken on the internet that are committed with the intention to be actively damaging to other internet users or businesses that operate online. This is different from suspicious activities like abnormal amounts of requests or proxy usage. Malicious activities have a clearly ill-natured intention and purpose. These types of activities can range in sophistication, and new types of malicious activities are being discovered by cybersecurity experts each day. 

Is this the same as bot activity? 

The short answer to this question is: sometimes. Malicious activity can be committed by bots but it can also be committed by humans. For example, an automation tool on its own is not “good” or “bad” inherently. But if it is specifically designed to carry out harmful tasks, then the actions it takes could be labeled as malicious activity. Similarly, not all human activities on the internet are done with malice, but some are, and those would also be considered malicious activity. The label of malicious activity can be given to both humans and non-humans – it relates more to the type of actions they take part in online and the damage they ultimately cause. Because of this, it is important for businesses to protect not just themselves from bot traffic but from malicious human traffic as well.       

What are the negative consequences of Malicious Activity? 

When malicious activities occur on a given website, that business is at risk for several potential outcomes. One commonly known consequence of malicious activity is a data breach or leaked customer information. But the damage does not stop there. Malicious activities can also lead to drained advertising budgets, incorrectly optimized campaigns, fake leads engaging with website content, polluted sales funnels, skewed metrics, and more. Because of this, organizations can ultimately become unsustainable if malicious activities continue to occur.  

What can businesses do about this? 

The world of malicious activity can quickly become intimidating to businesses that don’t have an active plan to combat it. Fortunately, many organizations have seen the benefits of Go-to-Market Security solutions that protect much more than just the IT department and can help them proactively guard against both bots and malicious humans online. 

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