Any business or other organization that maintains a website may need to consider the implementation of a CAPTCHA system. These systems are designed so that website operators can have confidence that when information is entered on a form, it is an actual human being doing the entering. Without a CAPTCHA system, it is possible for a hacker to set up an automated program that will visit the company website and fill out the form with random or targeted data hundreds or even thousands of times in just a few minutes.
This attack tactic can have a variety of negative effects on a website. Too much data flowing into it simultaneously has the potential to take the website offline, disrupting a company's e-commerce operations. When the form in question is designed to help establish customer accounts, a bot filling it out can generate false accounts that clog up other types of business operations.
With CAPTCHA, or a Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, in place, those filling out a form on a website are typically asked to complete a test that only an actual human being will be able to handle. The data on the form is not submitted to the website until the test has been passed. This means that bots will be unable to flood company servers with useless and disruptive information.
The most common CAPTCHA test consists of an image letters that have been distorted in some way. A human filling out the form will type the letters into a CAPTCHA box to submit the form. Businesses interested in implementing a CAPTCHA system should work with an IT consulting firm with experience at designing websites that incorporate this feature.