Cloudflare Bot Protection

Prevent bots from excessive usage and abuse across websites, applications, and API endpoints

Malicious bot abuse is growing in frequency, sophistication, and customer impact. The most common types of abuse include content scraping, fraudulent check-outs, and account takeover. Impacted companies can experience losses in customers and revenues, increases in operational costs, a damaged brand, and wasted marketing spend.

Websites and applications require the resilience and intelligence of a scalable network to combat malicious bot abuse. Protecting against threats should not degrade performance caused by security induced latencies, and security services must be easy to configure to eliminate misconfigurations, which introduce new vulnerabilities.

Shared Network Intelligence

With every new property, Cloudflare’s network becomes smarter. Cloudflare’s IP reputation database and predictive security identifies and blocks abusive bots across more than 13 million properties on the network.

Custom WAF Rulesets

Cloudflare’s web application firewall (WAF) blocks bots from systematically attacking Internet properties using custom rulesets, by enforcing user agents, geolocation, session limiting, and more.

Granular Rate Limiting

Cloudflare Rate Limiting offers granular control to block malicious bots targeting specific endpoints. User-defined rulesets establish request thresholds, timeout periods, and response codes, allowing protection for websites and APIs.

Common Types of Malicious Bot Abuse

Content Scraping

Content scraping bots steal information often used to create phishing sites, for competitors to offer lower pricing, and most commonly, stealing copyright materials and intellectual property. All of these actions will result in lost revenue, whether it’s from a malicious actor, or even from competitors.

Checkout Fraud

The most common type of checkout fraud bot is known as “Sneakerbot”. This type of bot purchases online products that are limited in quantity. As a result, it reduces repeat customers, lowers average purchased amounts, and can even damage supplier relationships.

Account Takeover

Account Takeover is the method where attackers use bots to brute force, or utilise stolen credential databases, to access customer accounts. These types of attacks are known to be the source of identity theft, fraudulent transactions and money transfers, and exfiltration of data and Intellectual Property.

Key Results

Instant blocking

of bots through the flip of a switch, instead of hours of manual work.

15% fewer

customer service calls due to website unavailability.

10% savings

on monthly bandwidth and infrastructure costs.

“Today we use Cloudflare’s Rate-Limiting to block these bots and ensure a good experience for our users.”

Matthew Butch

Systems Engineering Manager at Villa

Cloudflare’s Bot Abuse Mitigation

Cloudflare’s layered security approach combines multiple security practices into one service. It prevents disruptions caused by bad bots, while allowing the good bots, such as Google web crawlers through, keeping Internet assets highly available, protected, and performant.

More Cloudflare Security Solutions

Mitigate DDoS Attacks

block malicious bot abuse diagram

Protect Internet applications and APIs from malicious traffic targeting network and application layers, to maintain availability and performance, while containing operating costs.

Prevent Customer Data Breach

block malicious bot abuse diagram

Prevent attackers from compromising sensitive customer data, such as user credentials, credit card information, and other personally identifiable information.

Trusted By

Over 13,000,000 Internet Applications and APIs

Cloudflare Features

Cloudflare's Performance and Security Services work in conjunction to reduce latency of websites, mobile applications, and APIs end-to-end, while protecting against DDoS attack, abusive bots, and data breach.


Cloudflare Performance Services improve conversions, reduce churn, and improve visitor experiences by accelerating web and mobile performance, while keeping applications available.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    With 165 data centers across 76 countries, Cloudflare’s Anycast CDN caches static content at the edge, reducing latency by delivering assets as close as geographically possible to visitors.
  • Website Optimizations

    Cloudflare includes a suite of web optimizations to improve the performance of Internet assets. Optimizations include the latest web standards, such as HTTP/2 and TLS 1.3, as well as proprietary enhancements for images and mobile device visitors.
  • DNS

    Cloudflare is the fastest managed DNS provider in the world, routing over 39% of all global DNS traffic. Cloudflare has multiple ways to achieve maximum performance for online assets.
  • Load Balancing

    Cloudflare Load Balancing provides load balancing, geo-steering, monitoring and failover for single, hybrid-cloud, and multi-cloud environments, enhancing performance and availability.
  • Argo Smart Routing

    Argo Smart Routing improves Internet asset performance on average of 35% by routing visitors through the least congested and most reliable paths on Cloudflare's private network.
  • Railgun

    Railgun compresses previously uncacheable web objects up to 99.6% by leveraging techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. This results in an average 200% additional performance increase.
  • Stream

    Cloudflare Stream makes streaming high quality video at scale, easy and affordable.
  • Workers

    Cloudflare Workers let developers run JavaScript Service Workers in Cloudflare's 165 data centers around the world.
  • Mobile SDK

    Cloudflare’s Mobile SDK provides visibility into application performance and load times across any global carrier network.


Cloudflare Security Services reduce the risk of lost customers, declining revenues, and degraded brand by protecting against DDoS attacks, abusive bots, and data breach.

  • Anycast Network

    With 165 data centers across 76 countries and 25 Tbps of capacity, Cloudflare’s Anycast network absorbs distributed attack traffic by dispersing it geographically, while keeping Internet properties available and performant.

    DNSSEC is the Internet’s non-spoofable caller ID. It guarantees a web application’s traffic is safely routed to the correct servers so that a site’s visitors are not intercepted by a hidden “man-in-the-middle” attacker.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)

    Cloudflare’s enterprise-grade web application firewall (WAF) detects and block common application layer vulnerabilities at the network edge, utilising the OWASP Top 10, application-specific and custom rulesets.
  • Rate Limiting

    Rate Limiting protects critical resources by providing fine-grained control to block or qualify visitors with suspicious request rates.
  • SSL / TLS

    Transport Security Layer (TLS) encryption enables HTTPS connections between visitors and origin server(s), preventing man-in-the-middle attacks, packet sniffing, the display of web browser trust warnings, and more.
  • Secure Registrar

    Cloudflare is an ICANN accredited registrar, protecting organizations from domain hijacking with high-touch, online and offline verification for any changes to a registrar account.
  • Orbit

    Cloudflare Orbit solves security-related issues for Internet of Things devices at the network level.
  • Argo Tunnel

    Cloudflare creates an encrypted tunnel between its nearest data center and an application’s origin server without opening a public inbound port.
  • Access

    Secure, authenticate, and monitor user access to any domain, application, or path on Cloudflare.
  • Spectrum

    Spectrum protects TCP applications and ports from volumetric DDoS attacks and data theft by proxying non-web traffic through Cloudflare’s Anycast network.