Continent 8 (C8) has been enabling AWS Outposts for iGaming (or Real Money Gaming as termed by AWS) to such an extent that we proudly host and connect the largest deployment of AWS Outposts in the sector.

Based upon this experience, we have previously provided advice on considerations for co-location and power, connectivity, and security. 

In this latest guidance overview, David Brace, Anthony Engel, and Justin Cosnett have produced a guide on best connecting the AWS Outpost for iGaming and the steps to deployment and ownership.

AWS Outpost

An AWS Outpost Rack is effectively a Private Cloud for native AWS services, similar to C8’s own agnostic Private Cloud; it is fully managed, monitored and supported, and customers utilise the services and resources they need to deliver their product. Unlike C8’s Private Cloud it is a self-contained dedicated rack with specific power and connectivity considerations.

AWS Outpost Server is a 1U or 2U device from AWS which can be implemented into a customer environment to provide native AWS Services. The devices are replaced if there is any issue within a specific break-time response, and customers manage the installation and configuration of them. C8 has provided a further overview of AWS Outpost Server here.

Recommended for iGaming (RMG)

Licensed operators, especially in the US, need to ensure they deploy an AWS Outpost meeting stringent regulatory requirements in-state and consider wider federal perception.  Requirements for iGaming operators and suppliers to consider technically for resilience, scale, and performance are:

The Guide

In this guide, C8 simplifies and tabulates the options for connecting an AWS Outpost from our recommended and default implementation, to other specific deployment architectures which have been requested.

Advantages and considerations are provided, as well as simple diagrams showing a logical connectivity solution to all connectivity services, an example below:

Further, the guide provides a roles and responsibilities overview for each deployment type – acting as a step-by-step guide to how and who undertakes the various activities to ensure a smooth and fast deployment.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

We have supported significant growth in AWS Outpost deployment for iGaming operators, working with some of the biggest brands in the industry. To best serve our partners in the US and worldwide, our team works closely with AWS to understand and meet customers’ requirements. As a result, we can deliver template playbook solutions, enabling the fastest resilient deployment.

Justin Cosnett, Chief Product Officer at Continent 8 Technologies

AWS Accredited Hosting

C8 has ensured that all co-location sites are not just ready for connectivity but meet the stringent requirements of the AWS Outpost for power, logistics, environment suitability and security.

Additionally, C8 also has specifically accredited its European and US data centres for AWS Outposts, which enables an even swifter purchasing and deployment process through the AWS ordering process.

About

Continent 8 Technologies (C8)

Founded over 20 years ago, C8 is an award-winning, multi-jurisdictional, global network solutions provider that connects, manages, and secures the world’s most valuable information.

The company has data centres and strategic points of presence in over 90 connected locations spanning Europe, the Americas and Asia, and is expanding rapidly. Its carrier-grade network powers some of the biggest brands in iGaming.

With a first-to-market strategy, C8 is currently live in 25 states with future sites planned in the near future, enabling customers to capitalise on the fast-growing market.

C8 is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and as a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), the company can assist iGaming operators and suppliers with AWS RMG (Real Money Gaming) services and solutions. This includes the deployment and hosting of AWS Outposts throughout the US, via an AWS Outposts Enablement Package, which provides a delivery team to lead, co-ordinate and support the deployment from pre-install to go-live.

Jay Dempsey joined Continent 8 in July, taking on the role of Head of Cloud. Based in South Africa, he previously spent eight years working for a technology company that provides solutions to the world’s biggest suppliers in online gaming.

In the latest Cultiv8 article, our HR Manager, Jordan Holmes, speaks to Jay about his career progression, new role at Continent 8 and what the future holds for cloud technology.

Can you tell us more about your role as Head of Cloud at Continent 8? 

Continent 8 has always been a company close to my heart, so when I was offered the chance to build and develop its cloud team and offering, I saw this as a great opportunity.

Continent 8 services a unique, high-value, boutique global market. The demand on having secure public and private cloud solutions has seen it elevate its offering to its customers and allowed it to expand into other verticals with similar business requirements.

Building on our existing solutions to develop a world-class cloud offering for our customer base is an exciting opportunity.

How has your career progressed into such a role? 

Building technical teams and helping to drive innovation in infrastructure, cloud and automation have always been where I feel most comfortable. My experience in the world of gaming, combined with product development, means I have a unique view of customer requirements. This is especially important when navigating the worlds of gaming, sports betting, and highly regulated markets.

What attracted you to Continent 8? 

I have worked with Continent 8 for about 8 years and I know they are a great company, both from an employment point of view and from a customer perspective. Customer centricity is our philosophy, and the company has the passion and drive of a start-up with the pedigree to match any of the big global providers.

Watching it grow as a company has been superb and when it added cloud to its service catalogue, I knew it was a company to watch and one that I ultimately wanted to work for.

What are the challenges you face as Head of Cloud? 

The cloud market is changing, we can see the hyperscale cloud providers driving market growth. It’s something we have had to watch very closely. Not only in terms of increased competition but also their appetite for good technical staff.

But is also presents a big opportunity, and we have developed a multi-cloud provider strategy, supporting customers with hyperscale cloud solutions. I’m proud to see we are an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and Microsoft Silver Partner as this is a testament to the quality of the solutions and services we offer.

How do you use your knowledge and experience to overcome these challenges? 

I have always believed what attracts people to companies is not only their financial success. It’s about the right culture, passion and caring about your people. This always wins in the end.

Building a team with work-life balance, training and learning opportunities and taking the time to focus on the little things are all important to your people.

One of my team once asked me “If we automate everything won’t we be out of a job?”. The funny thing is when you have automation and remove all the menial tasks from your day-to-day working role, you get to work on the cool stuff and can think bigger.

If you take this ethos when dealing with big cloud providers, I don’t see them as a threat, I see them as an opportunity to scale our offering to our customers in new and unique ways.

What is the most rewarding part about your job? 

Joining my team ‘stand-up’ meetings and listening to them kick off the day with some friendly banter!

I could say things like when I see a project or solution we put together successfully go live or when the teams automate work that would have taken them hours to complete in the past, but honestly, these are all outputs of building the right culture and giving people the opportunity to succeed and grow. Removing silos and building a safe place for people to learn and share their ideas has always been the most rewarding part of my job.

How has Cloud technology changed the game for iGaming businesses? 

Cloud is evolving at such a rapid pace, and the expansion into new gaming markets globally as they open up and regulate has really put a spotlight on what cloud means to different companies. It’s no longer just about servers, storage, and network resources. Having the ability to develop environments that are secure as well as offer a range of platforms and software services in multiple locations, while meeting different regulatory and compliance requirements, is pushing the boundaries when it comes to cloud solutions for iGaming.

What makes Continent 8’s Cloud solution stand out from others in the market?

Continent 8 understands its customers are all different, each with unique needs. Being a boutique provider means giving specialised personal services. That’s something the company has prided itself on for almost 25 years.

Continent 8 has always walked the road with its customers, this means it is not racing ahead or lagging. When you are on a journey with a customer and you take the time to understand their needs and provide advice and services that are in their best interest, you build relationships that set you apart from others. That’s why we have customers today who have been with us from the very start.

Can you share any product developments/updates you will be rolling out over the coming months? 

We are about to release our Network Edge Cloud and Hyperscale Regulated Cloud.

Network Edge Cloud is a unique offering that allows customers to consume cloud services that are at the Network Edge. There is clear demand for global edge services and appliances to be deployed through infrastructure as code or virtual appliances. Having a solution that can scale to deliver these bespoke services is important for Continent 8.

Continent 8 is no stranger to regulation. There is increased demand for Hyperscale Regulated Cloud, where customers want to consume public cloud services in highly regulated markets. This means providing a cloud offering that meets regulatory requirements and is certified to provide IaaS and PaaS environments; this is key to expanding our offering. Continent 8 will offer the guardrails to protect its customers and allow them to take advantage of hyperscale cloud.

As you can see there’s plenty of product development when it comes to the Continent 8 cloud offering; it’s an incredibly exciting time for the team and I.

 Continent 8 sent Justin Cosnett (Chief Product Officer), Leon Allen (Cybersecurity Director) and Craig Lusher (Senior Product Specialist – Secure) from its UK-based team to the International Cyber Expo 2022 at Olympia London, co-located with the International Security Expo.

Described as the perfect meeting place for CISOs, CTOs, MDs, business owners, cybersecurity specialists and end-users, the event showcased exhibitors promoting their latest cyber products as well as an education programme discussing the latest technology and services that protect the digital and physical future of businesses.

Reflecting on the jam-packed event, Justin (JC), Craig (CL) and Leon (LA) share their key learnings and takeaways.

What did you enjoy most about the show?

LA: It was great to see the International Cyber Expo co-located with the International Security Expo. This meant attendees could discover the latest physical security solutions for end users and government, as well as have the opportunity to learn about the newest innovations within cybersecurity. This made for a fascinating event, with a clear focus.

JC: It was a brilliant opportunity to speak to partners, vendors and competitors and see how they are positioning their cybersecurity offering. It was also great to understand what they are emphasising to the customer and what they think are the hot topics now and in the future.

It was a fun show, especially seeing physical security such as drone defence systems, etc. in action.

Who was your favourite speaker and why?

LA: Prof Victoria Baines, IT Livery Company Professor of IT at Gresham College, gave an engaging and very relevant talk titled ‘Cybersecurity’s Image Problem [and what we can all do about it]’.

Professor Baines explained that purveyors of ransomware, IT vendors and internal IT teams all present cyber issues in the same way i.e., with “amplification” and “urgency”. A simple Google image search for cybersecurity all shows the same iconography: i.e., blue, binary, padlocks and the anonymous figure.

Instead of using this, we need to empower people with the information they need and let them make their own decisions on what products to use to protect themselves.

CL: I liked the ‘Attack Tree Analysis: Identifying and ranking cyberattack paths’ session by Martin Watford, a Technical Consultant at Isograph.

It was an interesting talk that described how risk and probabilities are assigned to individual components in a cyberattack and how the sum of these creates a probability or likelihood that an exploit will happen. It can also predict the path of least resistance the would-be attacker is likely to take.

An outdated component, for example, may not be risky on its own, but coupled with an exploited access mechanism will increase the risk and probability of an attack. An initiating event, such as a hacker gaining access to a network, coupled with multiple vulnerabilities, will make the risk and probability higher.

What one thing did you learn that will most influence how you or the business view cybersecurity going forward? 

CL: I learnt that accepting risk, and understanding what risk is being accepted, is as much about cyber security as it is the services that protect systems. Not everything can be 100% protected and cyber security is about balancing risk vs cost of protection.

JC: It was evident at the show that there are some differences between vendors and what they offer vs what they can deliver. To me, a supplier with a broad catalogue of products to meet several or most requirements has an overall advantage.

What cybersecurity innovation or game-changing product are you most excited about?

CL: While not a game-changer, vulnerability reporting as a product is something that Continent 8 could consider adding to its multi-layered Secure solution.

JC: For me, it was hearing about proactive threat hunting within backups – it sounds so simple and intuitive and yet when it comes to ransomware and hacking, it’s a logical place to look for variation and uniqueness and be able to quarantine and respond. The coordination of that capability in a SIEM/SOC would be incredibly powerful.

Protecting sensitive information and mission-critical applications is an essential and ongoing effort. At Continent 8 we employ a defensive, in-depth approach to security with safeguards that encompass all of our people, processes and technologies.

Learn more about Continent 8’s Secure offering here: www.continent8.com/solutions/secure

Some of our Canada-based team attended the recent Collision Conference in Toronto. Referred to as “America’s fastest-growing tech conference”, the event certainly didn’t disappoint. Bringing together inspiring speakers, tech’s leading companies, and top media, the team enjoyed making new connections and learning about the latest tech developments.

Below Jordan Holmes, HR Manager (JH), Adrien Labelle, Software Development Manager (AL) and Pawel Blazeiewicz (PB), Senior Cloud and Infrastructure Architect, share their highlights and learnings from the global conference.

What did you enjoy most about the event? 

JH: Collision certainly lived up to its billing as “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference.” The production value was incredible. Everything from Boston Dynamics’ mobile robots roving the halls to keynote addresses from the likes of Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google.

AL: The variety of companies present at the event was very impressive.

PB: For me Collision was an opportunity to investigate the start-up markets and ideas that they are trying to push as well as where the digital industry and currencies are going. The scale of the conference was mind-blowing. I did speak to a lot of vendors and listened to some very good interviews about current and future trends.

What tech brand stood out to you? 

JH: There were several exciting offerings but from my corner of the world, a Canadian tech talent recruitment platform called Vanhack seems very promising.

AL: Brands that try to address and automate traditional business issues like Float and Jeeves (paperless automated expense systems) stood out to me.

Who was your favourite speaker, and why? 

JH: Garry Kasparov delivered a sobering but highly insightful talk about the conflict in Ukraine and the impacts on global cybersecurity.

AL: Andy Yen (founder and CEO of Proton – the world’s largest secure email provider) about online privacy issues. He provided a very insightful explanation on what needs to be fixed and how to do it.

PB: A significant element of Collision 2022 was cryptocurrencies and all that comes with this. I managed to listen to two interesting interviews. First was with Kathleen Breitman (Co-founder and CEO of Tezos) and Kyle Samani (Co-founder and Managing Partner of Multicoin Capital) who spoke about the next challenge for the crypto market as it moves towards global adoption.

The second one was with blockchain.com CEO, Nicolas Cary, who has been a pioneer in this market for the last 10 years. It was a fantastic occasion to see the leaders of this community describe how blockchain could shape our future!

What one thing did you learn that will most influence how you do business going forward?

JH: It can be a bit of a tired refrain in the tech industry, but we need to automate. From a human resources perspective, I want to maximise our greatest asset – our people. The best way to do that is to automate as many time-consuming, administratively burdensome processes as possible to free our people to create, innovate and grow.

AL: The focus needs to be put on data: how we use it and how we can automate it.

PB: I am very interested in seeing where part of our world is going, and how far it will digitalise. At this moment in time, you can put on a set of VR goggles, and you can see and immerse into a virtual office working from anywhere in the world! Will it adopt? Maybe 😊

What technological innovation are you most excited about? 

JH: Certainly not the robot dogs! That is not a paradigm in need of disruption.

AL: AI assisted automation in general, it will help identify areas of business where manual work is redundant and data underutilised.

PB: The pace of change and innovation in tech is accelerating A LOT. With automation, we will be doing things so much faster. This will of course be a positive for Continent 8, and there are plenty of examples whereby automation can support us.

Let’s take our Public Cloud setup as an example. We are currently in the process of automating the installation phase, which will significantly speed up deployments.

I look forward to seeing what innovation we will witness next and what we can do with the current products that we offer.

Anthony Abou-Jaoude, Chief Data Officer at Continent 8, added: “There was a lot to take from the Collision conference, and a fantastic experience for myself and members of the team. What was particularly rewarding or me, was that I got confirmation that our digital transformation at Continent 8 is on the right track, especially when it comes to APIs, and how we must start thinking more about an API first model, to enable more data to be shared with our customers.”

Learn more about the Collision Conference here

Meet Jo, our PMO Portfolio Manager. In our latest Cultiv8 interview, Continent 8’s HR Manager Jordan Holmes chats to Jo about her busy role, examples of projects undertaken by the team, and how they successfully manage the company’s aggressive global expansion plans.

Can you tell us a little more about your role as PMO Portfolio Manager at Continent 8 technologies?

My key responsibility is the execution and delivery of the overall Continent 8 project portfolio. The PMO brings structure to all projects and creates a level of coordination and consistency that is difficult to achieve on an ad-hoc programme or project management basis.

Can you outline some of the different projects that you and your team work on?

We work on a wide range of projects both within Continent 8 and for our customers, and we do this in markets around the world. This includes the installation of new customer services and the building of new, and expanding of existing, data centres owned by Continent 8. For example, we are currently expanding our Atlantic City site with a Modular Data Centre, increasing capacity by 30%. We do the same with our co-location partners and also manage the implementation of and upgrades to internal systems. We oversee the deployment of Public Cloud environments at our 85+ sites and locations and manage network upgrades for both capacity and hardware. With Continent 8 working to such an aggressive expansion plan, the PMO team is kept incredibly busy.

How did you become PMO at Continent 8? How has the role changed since you joined?

I joined Continent 8 in 2018 within a team of four PMs. The team has grown significantly over the last four years and is now a team of ten. Due to this growth and expansion, it soon became apparent that there was a strong need to establish a PMO to centralise, ensure consistent delivery and provide transparency on the Project Portfolio across the organisation. This has brought improvements in collaboration across the team, sharing knowledge and lessons learnt.

PMOs have different stages of maturity as they become more efficient and transition from being reactive to proactive. Now Continent 8’s PMO is established, we need to continually assess our maturity and the level of services we offer to the business, as well as identify gaps and implement these PMO services as required.

Can you talk through some of the challenges faced when launching a new site?

One of our key challenges is we sometimes need to deliver to aggressive timelines which can be driven by customers, legislation changes or key sporting events. Also, as most tech companies are experiencing at the moment, globally there are issues with the hardware supply chain which can make milestones difficult to achieve. That being said, we have built our reputation on our first-to-market approach and ability to deliver projects on time; this is what makes us the managed hosting, connectivity, cloud and security partner of choice for businesses working in the global online gambling industry.

Do the challenges differ from region to region (US, EU, LatAm, etc)? How does the PMO team overcome these challenges? Can you share any examples?

We have been through a massive period of growth during a time when everyone had to pull together and adapt to a completely different way of working and we have continued to successfully deliver a number of significant programs of work during this time.

Being a global team, we cover implementations across the world. This presents many different challenges, from different time zones, different languages and varying lead times which all need to be factored into the schedule. Sometimes we need to think outside of the box and find creative solutions to these challenges.

The commissioning of the Phase 2 build of our Data Centre in Atlantic City is a great example of this. We were scheduled to complete testing and commissioning in March 2020 where normally several staff members would attend the site to undertake this work. Instead, we went into global lockdown and contingency plans had to be put in place.

These involved setting up several cameras around the data centre where all work undertaken could be closely monitored remotely alongside a continual video call for a week in local time with additional controls and checkpoints to mitigate the risks involved.

We have recently deployed at a site in Lima, Peru, where our approach was to fly an engineer to site to undertake the implementation. By having a team member on the ground, we could more easily address any challenges or issues that arose and dealt with them without delay. This helped significantly to ensure the project was completed ahead of the customer go live date.

Continent 8 has made clear its ambitious plans for the US market. What role are you and your team playing in this?

Our team plays a significant part in deploying these plans. Initially, the PMO needs to understand the business strategy and associated target dates and priorities. We then work with the delivery teams on the programmes and projects to prioritise and allocate resources. The PMO team is then responsible for managing and tracking the delivery with the cross-functional delivery team(s). Continent 8 is already live in 24 US states with many more to come online throughout the year, so the US market is a key focus for us right now.

Any final thoughts?

Whilst my role can be demanding and challenging at times – it is extremely rewarding, full of variety and I really enjoy working with a great team at Continent 8.

Leon Allen, our Cybersecurity Director, assesses the NCSC report on UK gambling industry cyber threats.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently published a rare but important study into cybersecurity practices within the UK gambling and lottery sector.

Conducted by Ipsos MORI, it takes a close look at the attitudes towards cybersecurity, the key threats organisations are up against, the level of preparedness and the increased risk of falling victim to an attack faced by those that rely heavily on third parties

Below, I pick out some key takeaways from each section of the report and share my thoughts on what it means for those operating in the UK gambling and lottery industry, as well as further afield.

Attitudes towards cybersecurity:

The report noted that the majority of stakeholders saw cybersecurity as a “very important function” within their organisation because it could directly impact customer trust and confidence in the products and services they offer. They further noted that cybersecurity was a “high priority” within the organisation but that it was a “competing priority” and that it was seen more as part of the IT function than as being integral to the overall success of the business.

It is good to see that the wider industry is taking cybersecurity seriously and that it is considered a high priority by most organisations in the sector. As it should be, given the seriousness of being subjected to a cybersecurity attack as shown by the average cost of a data breach in 2021 being $4.2m according to IBM.

Cybersecurity is nothing new to Continent 8, which has been protecting operators’, suppliers’ and industry data for more than 20 years. Over that time, we have continued to enhance and augment our Secure suite of solutions to meet the ever-changing demands of the sector. This includes the addition of our Endpoint Protection and SOC/SIEM solutions to address the ever-growing concern around ransomware.

In addition, it has become increasingly important – no, essential – to educate and train staff at all levels about the cybersecurity threats being faced and what needs to be done to mitigate them.

Given cybersecurity is, however, still seen as a “competing priority” it lends further weight to ensuring cybersecurity experts are given a voice at the most senior levels of a business, to guarantee they are advised regarding the latest threats, and to ensure they have planned their response to a cybersecurity attack before it actually happens.

The types of threat being faced:

The NCSC report identified four of the most prevalent threats being faced by organisations in the gambling and lottery sector. It’s no surprise that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks made the list, but the most prevalent threat identified was credential stuffing (i.e. using previously stolen credentials).

Other threats highlighted include phishing and ransomware, which was identified as the “most severe threat” both in terms of an organisation’s ability to defend against a possible attack and in terms of the impact it could have.

When it comes to DDoS, the report noted a rise in the number of attacks during 2020 and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic where the shift to work from home presented more vulnerabilities that “bored” and “opportunistic” cyber criminals were keen to exploit.

Our own data shows that the volume and size of DDoS attacks have continued to rise despite life returning to normal. In 4Q21 we blocked 641 DDoS attacks against our customers, up from 546 in the previous quarter. It is worth noting that the Q3 number was more than double that recorded in the second quarter.

This demonstrates the importance of taking a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity in order to protect against the various attack methods used by hackers and criminals. Protection should cover the data, endpoints, applications and network layers of your business to safeguard against the different types of threats. The defences, such as a private network, DDoS, WAAP, SIEM/SOC and EDR/MDR, operate together to protect an organisation.

Levels of preparedness:

Those interviewed for the report said they felt they were “well prepared to deal with cyber attacks” but many noted challenges when it came to ensuring that cybersecurity was taken into “consideration at every step of the product development” and ensuring better ownership of risks.

Employee awareness was also considered to be good, but this can only be achieved by continued training through a mix of mandatory courses as well as fictitious attacks (such as phishing campaigns) to test and improve the resilience of the wider workforce

Third-party and supply chain management:

One of the most interesting findings to come out of the NCSC report was the reliance on third parties, and in particular game studios and content providers, and the impact this has on security.

All of the organisations interviewed for the report used a large number of third-party providers, ranging from between 75 and 10,000.

The report highlighted a number of risks of using third parties to such a great extent, including the confidentiality of user data as well as the increased risk of cyber attacks against their own systems and networks if a third-party provider were to become compromised.

If you use third-party providers, my advice would be to treat them with the same level of diligence as if they were directly part of your business. Request to see their security strategy and ensure it meets the same standards as your core business.

Crucially, what is essential here is a complete understanding of the unique nature of the iGaming industry, especially given it is one of the most attacked of all market sectors

Having served the global gambling industry for more than two decades, Continent 8 not only understands the importance of a safe player experience but how to provide this by ensuring data is effectively protected.

AWS Outpost Server, the 1U and 2U form factor capability announced by AWS at Re:Invent at the end of 2021, is imminently available from Continent 8 (C8) globally.

In this post Justin Cosnett provides an overview of the C8 service and capability to support our customers in using AWS Outpost Servers to deploy an AWS service capability into any of C8’s 80+ (and growing) locations.

AWS Outpost for Real Money Gaming (iGaming)

As per our most recent AWS press release – C8 has been rapidly enhancing its multi-cloud portfolio through its partnership with AWS.  This culminated in achieving Advanced Tier partner status in December 2021 and enables C8 to be a Solution Partner provider with core competencies to support our customers in Real Money Gaming (iGaming) wishing to utilise AWS services in the highly regulated and specialist environment.

In attaining this partnership level, C8 has successfully supported the order and deployment of over 40 AWS Outpost Racks, in 8 states and connecting over 100Gbps via Direct Connect to AWS Regions, demonstrating significant customer success and referenceability.

As shown in our reference case studies for Fanduel and Esports Entertainment group – C8 has been able to provide managed connectivity and network edge for AWS Outpost Racks.

AWS Outpost Server (1U and 2U Form Factor)

Enabling a range of AWS Services to customers via 1U and 2U form factor Servers, AWS creates an Outpost Family which now brings a smaller footprint into an existing co-located environment in a standard industry colocation Rack:

This low footprint entry allows customers to deploy into existing or new environments separate network infrastructure to achieve interconnectivity and scale and resilience.  This is because each Server is a standalone node, with no clustering capability currently or shared storage.

C8’s AWS Outpost Server package – all in one solution

Similar to an AWS Outpost Rack, the Outpost Server is expected to be deployed with an existing or full local area network infrastructure environment.  With Real Money Gaming (iGaming) – C8 has been able to enable “greenfield” deployment of AWS Outposts for customers with no existing infrastructure through network edge cloud capabilities.

C8 is continuing and indeed expanding this with a simple package for customers to deploy AWS Outpost Servers into a C8 location in a “pay for what you use” fashion, with inclusive:

  1. Server Installation and AWS enablement configuration
  2. Co-Location and Power starting at a minimum 1U
  3. Network Edge functions with customer portal for managing:
    1. Firewalling
    2. Load Balancing
    3. Routing and Switching
  4. Managed Connectivity:
    1. Internet Connection including DDoS protection
    2. AWS Direct Connect private connection to AZ
    3. C8 iGaming Exchange access with premium portal analytics

C8 is packaging this as a simple monthly recurring fee, with connectivity by default all charged at a single rate on usage depending upon location, and the ability to add more Servers at a simple fee per U.

With an option for further MPLS onward connectivity to other remote installations or implementations of infrastructure – as demonstrated in the overview diagram, C8 is able to deliver this simple package and network edge capability by utilising a Network Edge cloud using VMWare NSX-T, and can even provide a managed option for customers who either lack or do not want to perform network administrative functions.

Along with a Network Edge cloud, C8 can leverage an existing co-location footprint to consolidate and multi-tenant customers into a secured Rack, which C8 monitors and manages to ensure full industry best practice environment delivery.

Further posts and articles on C8’s growing AWS and multi-cloud capability, and more details on our iGaming (Real Money Gaming) exchange will be announced in the near future.

Our Solution Architects will be happy to discuss any potential AWS Outpost Rack or Server requirements with customers via your Account Director.

In the period 1 October – 31 December 2021, we blocked a record 641 attacks on customers.

Our latest statistics show a significant increase in the number of attacks and attack size in 4Q21 compared to the previous quarter. Our expert security team has been closely monitoring the threats and have analysed the data for the period.

The stats relate to our customers based in different locations around the world. Key highlights include:

December saw the highest number of attacks (406 in total), while the location subject to the largest number of attacks in the 3-month period was Kahnawake.

Our latest statistics align with wider trends that show a steep rise in the number of cyberattacks being launched against business and organisations around the world, with DDoS and Ransomware the most prevalent methods of attack.

Craig Lusher, Senior Product Specialist – Secure, at Continent 8 Technologies, said: “We continue to see the number and scale of attacks rise each quarter. December was a particularly busy month for us, as expected due to the festive holidays, with hackers seeing this as a peak opportunity to launch cyber attacks.

“This year, quarter on quarter, we have seen record breaking DDoS attack numbers. In 1Q21 we saw 228 attacks, in the final quarter it’s up to 641, almost triple the amount. It’s evident that DDoS attacks are a huge threat to businesses of all sizes. Now is the time for organisations to establish efficient cybersecurity strategies, to defend themselves from this growing threat.”

The graphs below show the quarterly breakdown of DDoS attacks on Continent 8 customers for 2021.

DDoS attacks increased each quarter, and there was a sharp rise in the number of DDoS attacks for the second half of the year.

3Q21 saw the longest sustained attack ever at Continent 8 at 22.1 hours.

Finally, the largest attack per quarter increased substantially from 1Q21 to 4Q21, to a staggering 1,900Gbps.

In today’s world, adequate DDoS protection is a must for any online business. Learn more about our comprehensive DDoS solutions here

In our second blog in our Cultiv8 Employee Series; our HR Manager Jordan Holmes sat down with Anthony Abou-Jaoude to discuss his recent appointment of Chief Data Officer and the value of data to Continent 8 and its customers.

You re-joined Continent 8 in 2020 having spent several years exploring other opportunities. What made you re-join the business?

Continent 8 was my first job after graduating from university and I was actually the first software engineer the company hired when I joined in 2008. I’d had various jobs to pay my way through university, but this was my first full time role, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I left in 2013 to explore an opportunity that I simply couldn’t say no to, but I left with a very heavy heart. Michael Tobin, Continent 8’s CEO, was very supportive of my decision and encouraged me to stay in touch with him and the wider team, who had become a second family to me. And I did exactly that.

Seven years later, I am very happy and blessed to be back at Continent 8 and try to give back some of the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout the years and continue this journey together, as well as continue learning and collaborating with my previous colleagues and friends and work alongside new ones.

Following your recent promotion to Chief Data Officer, can you tell us more about your new role?

I oversee all aspects of data within the Continent 8 organisation. I built a lot of the initial tools that are still being used today. These tools, married with the knowledge and experience of big data that I gained during my time outside of the company, has allowed us to revolutionise how we use our data and add to the products and services we offer to our customers.

I have also been looking at ways we can automate processes and tools relating to our data and processes and how best to integrate all our systems. In addition, we have taken steps to bring all enterprise systems, development, and internal IT under one division which will benefit both our employees internally and customers externally. This is allowing us to drive incredible efficiencies.

Why has Continent 8 streamlined its enterprise systems, software development and internet IT functions into a single division?

The business has been enjoying exponential growth and to maintain this, we know we need to keep investing in more automation and integration within our systems. Today, we have data centres and strategic points of presence in more than 80 connected locations spanning Europe, the Americas and Asia, and we are continuing to expand rapidly.

This means we need to invest and improve if we are to keep up with the best-in-class service we have built our reputation on, but to also ensure that our employees are as productive as they can be. Bringing everything under one division means that we are working in unison, and this in turn means that we can be more agile, make quicker decisions and deliver much faster than before.

Since your return you have made a significant impact on how Continent 8 visualises, uses and extracts value from its data. Can you tell us more about this?

Continent 8 is one of the few companies in the sector that has been around for 20+ years. This means we have a lot of data to look at, data that has been gathered over more than two decades. As data enthusiasts, this is incredibly exciting, and we can look at this data to see how our company and the wider industry has changed and grown over the years.

The biggest breakthrough and ‘aha’ moment was when we were able to prove the long-time theory that our customers are indeed talking with each other. We were able to achieve that by tapping into our own traffic data and clearly visualise and prove the customer traffic leaving one of our data centres is coming back to another customer in our data centres. Having this information at our fingertips and our customers fingertips is invaluable and enables us to provide better services, decisions, and for our customers to know what is going on with their traffic.

This has enabled us to build and deliver a truly game-changing product and service, the Gaming Exchange, which will be launched this year and will allow our customers to exchange traffic with each other and themselves in various sites in a more secure, reliable, and faster manner, so stay tuned for that as it will be a game changer.

What future developments in this area (automation, AI, machine learning, etc) are in the pipeline? How will they help Continent 8 and its partners?

As mentioned above, our Gaming Exchange is a major breakthrough that will provide incredible upsides for our customers. On learning that they were talking to each other over the public internet, we have created a private network for them to send and receive data and information. It is secure, reliable and much faster than the public internet.

We are also experimenting with machine learning algorithms to predict future growth and usage. One use for this forecasting is that it will allow us to assist our customers as well as our own future capacity needs based on historical trends and data so we become more proactive rather than reactive with the unprecedented growth and needs of the industry.

In November, we launched a new version of our customer portal. In addition to a better user interface, we are now providing customers with access to more data and in real time. We plan to increase the scale and scope of the data we make available to our customers over the coming months.

What key trends do businesses need to be mindful of in 2022?

Data will continue to be crucially important for all businesses and we will see more undertake data transformation initiatives. More businesses and people now understand the power of data and I believe data awareness will only increase. Continent 8 is here to support our customers in better understanding data and undertaking data transformations through both the infrastructure we provide but also our unrivalled expertise.

Companies also need to be mindful of changes to virtual desktop infrastructure as the industry settles into new ways of working with employees based from home as well as the office. I believe we will see changes in how we deploy laptops and devices to the workforce.

How has the industry and the Continent 8 organisation changed since you first joined as a software engineer back in 2008?

The industry and Continent 8 have been through a period of massive growth, which is great to see. It has aligned with my own personal growth that I have enjoyed since leaving Continent 8 and then making my return. The company has also grown both in terms of the products and services that it offers, but also headcount. That being said, the culture remains the same in the sense that employees are made to feel like part of a family.

This really is important to me and my colleagues, and no more so than during the pandemic when everyone really had to pull together to support one another. This really is a great organisation!

Good luck with your new role, Anthony! This is the second interview in our Cultiv8 series. Read the first with our Cybersecurity Director Leon Allen here

We blocked 546 DDoS attacks in Q3 more than double the 240 blocked in the previous quarter.

Our latest statistics show the number of DDoS attacks more than doubled in 3Q21 compared to the previous quarter. Our expert security team has been closely monitoring the threats and have analysed the data for the period 1 July – 30 September 2021.

The stats relate to 25 of our customers based in different locations around the world. Key highlights include:

We recorded the highest number of attacks in August (371 in total). In July, a total of 94 attacks were recorded with a further 81 observed in September. The location subject to the largest number of attacks during the period was Taiwan – this is an emerging trend.

Our latest statistics align with wider trends that show a steep rise in the number of cyberattacks being launched against business and organisations around the world, with DDoS and Ransomware the most prevalent methods of attack.

Craig Lusher, Senior Product Specialist – Secure, at Continent 8 Technologies, said: “During the third quarter of 2021, Continent 8 has blocked a record number of DDoS attacks and the increase in frequency, size and sophistication is clear to see.

“For the first time, most attacks were more than 10Gbps in size opposed to under 10Gbps for every other period on record. The increase in attacks and repeat attacks, which we define as multiple attacks occurring against the same customer within 24-hours, align with wider global trends.

“Interestingly, the most popular attack vector was UDP floods. In addition, most attacks encountered were attacks where the received PPS (packets per second) for UDP traffic exceeded the threshold for a /32 address range.

“Thresholds were also breached multiple times for received TCP PPS against a /32 and the high ratio of SYN packets compared to other.”

Globally there has been a significant rise in the number of cyberattacks over the past 12 to 18 months. No business is immune and companies and organisations of all shapes and sizes are being hit by increasing sophisticated and sinister attacks.

In fact, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86m. This is a staggering figure and one that should prompt you to ask the question – is your business protected?

We have more than 20 years’ experience in protecting the world’s most valuable information, making us the leading provider of cybersecurity solutions to the iGaming industry. This includes effective and scalable protection against DDoS attacks.

Our mitigation service provides an effective defence against multi-vector volumetric attacks. Key features include:

Our proven platform is one you can rely on with a capacity only matched by the largest DDoS providers on the planet. Learn more about our DDoS solutions here

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