Our Chief Data Officer Anthony Abou-Jaoude features in the latest edition of iNTERGAMINGi, discussing why Continent 8 is in a unique position when it comes to data.
Data was the foundation for the Gaming Exchange. Continent 8 has been serving the global online gaming industry for more than two decades and that puts us in a unique position when it comes to the data that we host, manage and secure on behalf of our customers.
The industry is made up of hundreds of operators, suppliers and partners, a lot of which are talking to each other daily in terms of traffic and data. But customers wouldn’t have visibility of the traffic flows from a B2B or partner perspective, and that is why we launched our innovative Gaming Exchange and Premium Portal.
It is a powerful private internet and exclusive community exchange for iGaming businesses. It allows them to connect faster and more securely than via the standard internet, with no need for additional configuration. It means Continent 8 customers can connect directly to other Continent 8 customers via an MPLS Layer 3 VPN across our private backbone network rather than route over the public internet. It offers the lowest latency and the highest levels of performance guaranteed with both local and remote reachability. What’s more, it is private and reliable with public IPv4 addressing and an uptime rate in excess of 99.9%.
Our customer portal is one of our unique selling points as it provides our customers with access to all the key metrics, stats and data for the services that we are providing to them. The Premium Portal is an extension of this, available to all customers who join the Gaming Exchange. It is an analytical dashboard that allows users to view and monitor traffic flows within and outside of Continent 8 to other gaming partners. This includes a dynamic map overview for all connectivity between sites and data flows and direction of traffic.
This information can support customers in identifying better or more efficient connectivity service use or even identifying unexpected data flows to unknown destinations. Examples would be moving from public internet traffic use to private Cloud Connect or MPLS services dedicated to connecting customers to partners or hyperscale cloud implementations.
Ultimately, we develop innovations such as this to ensure that we not only meet but exceed customer expectations and that is why we are the leading provider of managed hosting, connectivity, cloud and security solutions to iGaming businesses around the world.
Our data transformation started with us trying to solve our own challenges with the rapid growth that we have been experiencing in recent years. A year ago, we formed a data analytics team, designed to better manage our capacity management, monitoring and problem detection.
Furthermore, we enabled data democratisation which made it possible for data to be shared across the organisation rather than being held within individual business units. As a result, more people across the organisation can use data to improve their work. They can work faster and be more productive, and they don’t need to check in with other staff to get their work done.
In solving our own problems, we realised that this transformation could benefit our customers greatly, so we are also in the early phases of implementing a fully-fledged API to provide our customers with more access to data via an industry-standard way of accessing it.
Data hosting is the provision of hardware, systems, software and infrastructure required to store and access management of data. There are different types of data hosting from managed to co-location and cloud. Each business (and market you operate in) has its own unique requirements when it comes to data hosting, and we work closely with our customers to build bespoke solutions that meet their specific needs. In recent years, we have seen a shift towards companies using the cloud to host their data, allowing them to unlock the tremendous benefits it offers.
Take our Public Cloud solution as an example, available in multiple iGaming markets such as Atlantic City, Isle of Man, Colombia, and Gibraltar to name a few. Customers have the ability to scale bandwidth up and down in line with demand. Another significant upside to the cloud is that it eliminates the need for ongoing hardware investment, providing flexibility to pay for resources as required. Continent 8 fully manages the Cloud environment by up to and including the Hypervisor, whilst enabling customers to have complete control and management of their internal systems and data. This removes the need for customers to maintain and support the infrastructure and instead focus on running their business.
We have more than 20 years of experience protecting data in the online gaming space. Our knowledge tells us that organisations, in terms of data security, should take a layered approach.
There is a range of solutions this should include: DDoS, WAAP, Endpoint Protection and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). We recently enhanced our Secure offering with Managed Threat Detection & Response solutions. This is a complete end-to-end proactive threat solution combining advanced SIEM/EDR/SOAR/ML technologies with proven 24/7 SOC resources. This gives businesses and organisations unprecedented visibility and response capabilities against known and unknown threats at a time when cybercriminals are really upping the ante. This in turn allows our operator customers to reassure their players that their data is being stored to the highest possible standards.
Regulation is hugely complex, but it is vital that we understand the requirements in each of the markets we offer our products and solutions. We also have a first-to-market approach, so we have to make sure that we are part of the discussions from day one and use our experience and expertise to help regulators when it comes to creating their frameworks and specifically in relation to infrastructure, hosting, connectivity and security. By working hand in hand with policymakers, Continent 8 has emerged as the provider of choice for some of the biggest gambling operators in the world and in fast-growth markets such as the US, Latin America and Canada. This approach also ensures we remain ahead of our rivals.
Take our Atlantic City data centre as an example. Launched in 2019 and housed within the landmark Atlantic City Convention Centre, it is the only data site in the state that has been purpose-built for the online gambling industry. It is fully compliant with DGE regulations and is the only independent, licensed facility that can house gaming infrastructure outside of a licensed casino. We are completing stage three expansion of the site, adding 30% capacity. We also recently became the first provider to launch a regulated Gaming Cloud in the state of Pennsylvania.
Data and ‘big data’, and the ability to effectively analyse the huge volumes of information that iGaming businesses generate, are key success factors for any operator or supplier. Data allows companies to make decisions based on facts, whether that be for personalisation and demographic profiling, game development, tailored marketing, or responsible gaming programs.
But to do that they need to be able to collect, store and effectively analyse the information in front of them. They also need to be able to do this securely. Continent 8 has been at the cutting-edge of big data in the iGaming industry for more than 20 years now, and that puts us in a unique position and is why we are the partner of choice for some of the biggest businesses in the sector.
Source: iNTERGAMINGi – Issue 4
Security specialist Continent 8 blocked 178 DDoS attacks in Q2 2022. Craig Lusher from our Secure team reviews the latest company data, as well as recent global attacks and trends.
Our latest statistics show the number of DDoS attacks almost doubled from Q1 2022 to Q2 2022, up from 106 events in the last quarter to 178.
The stats for the period 1 April to 30 June 2022, relate to more than 20 of our customers based in different locations around the world. Key highlights include:
The location subject to the largest number of attacks during the period was Taiwan – this is an emerging trend.
Craig Lusher, Senior Product Specialist – Secure, at Continent 8 Technologies, said: “Even during this relatively quiet period, we continue to see significant DDoS attacks on our customers. While most attacks remain relatively small, it is now commonplace to see attacks peak at over 1Tbps; we have blocked these large scale attacks every quarter during 2021 and 2022 to date.
“DDoS attacks, and the sophistication of these, will only increase, so it’s never been a more important time to protect your business and brand.”
What used to be minor nuisances by rookie attackers, have become major and targeted attacks by sophisticated cyber criminals. We continue to see DDoS attacks hitting the news – recently cybercriminals targeted the US Congress website. And back in March the Israeli government was temporarily knocked offline.
In fact, DDoS attacks are now everyday occurrences, with no business vertical immune to being the target. The cost of an attack to your brand is higher than ever, with the average cost of a data breach jumping to $4.24 million as of 2021 (+10% from 2020).
Customers and businesses should be asking themselves, ‘are you protected?’.
Recently named a key player in the DDoS attack solution market (source: Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack Solution Market Industry Development 2022 – 2028), we have been protecting the world’s most valuable information for over two decades. Our comprehensive cybersecurity solutions include effective and scalable protection against DDoS attacks.
Our mitigation service provides an effective defence against multi-vector volumetric attacks. Key features include:
Our solution continues to evolve and in recent months we have amplified our scrubbing capacity to 2.0+Tbps, as well as increased our scrubbing centres geographically deployed across multiple continents. Locations now include: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.
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 or contact Craig via firstname.lastname@example.org
Our third Leaders and Legends panel took place at the recent KPMG Gibraltar eSummit.
The session featured some of the most well-known and respected names in the industry:
The insightful topics discussed included:
The session is now available to watch on demand
Thank you to all our superb panellists and to Micky for moderating a fascinating debate.
Click here to watch our first Leaders and Legends panel.
Click here to watch our second Leaders and Legends webinar.
Our team will be attending the event being held at Meadowlands Exposition Centre, New Jersey, 12 – 14 July.
Continent 8 will be at booth #221 and is also the sponsor of the popular Networking Party at Meadowlands Racing on Wednesday 13 July.
With a connected network of over 85+ locations globally, including 24 US states, Continent 8 is the trusted infrastructure partner to the fast-growing US iGaming industry, offering market-leading Connect, Manage and Secure solutions. We’re very proud to be the trusted infrastructure partner to over 80% of North America’s biggest operators and iGaming businesses.
Find out more about how our business can support your growth in North America and further afield; set up a meeting with our dedicated team by emailing email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you soon at this event. To learn more about the conference visit SBC Events
Latin America is a huge region and one that is incredibly exciting for the global online gambling industry with lots of opportunities on the table. Continent 8 has been growing its presence significantly in LatAm over the past few years, initially launching in Colombia in 2020 and with further rollouts in countries such as Puerto Rico and Peru.
Due to the scale and scope of the region, a one size fits all approach simply does not work. Although there are similarities in markets across LatAm, each has its own culture and way of doing things, so a localized approach is required. This covers technology, distance to customers, regulation, infrastructure needs and more.
Puerto Rico is a good example here. As a country that is linked to the US, it has different rules and requirements than other LatAm markets such as Colombia and Argentina, so we adapted and expanded our network and infrastructure to ensure compliance with the regulations. This means that no matter where a customer is connected, they receive the same market-leading quality of service and have access to a network that now spans 80+ locations globally.
Regarding Chile, Continent 8 has plans to deploy infrastructure on the ground or to provide our services to customers in the market from a neighboring country depending on what the regulations ultimately look like. We believe Chile is a key market for the region, so we are pleased to see that the country is making progress when it comes to regulating online gambling.
Our current roadmap will see us expand into Argentina and Brazil next, but should Chile get the green light over the next few months then we would likely adjust course. We have a first to market approach and given the significance of the Chilean market, we would do what was necessary to ensure that our customers were in the position to go live from day one.
This is only possible because we are an agile company with the resources at hand and the processes in place to be able to quickly and easily adapt to the ever-changing nature of the regulatory landscape, not only in LatAm but also in North America and Europe.
The stability of the market is important, but so too are other factors such as population, propensity to gamble, internet coverage, smartphone penetration and more. Chile is roughly a third of the size of Colombia and Argentina when it comes to population, but it has a good net income per capita and gambling is a popular activity in the country. The stability in Chile compensates for its smaller population size so when all factors are considered it has the potential to be a very strong online gambling market indeed.
Continent 8 is the go-to provider for managed hosting, connectivity and security solutions. We have a global connected network spanning 80+ locations across four continents. Our solutions include public cloud, hyperscale connectivity, cybersecurity (for example DDoS and SOC/SIEM) and much more.
For cybersecurity, operators and suppliers should be focusing on this and the threat that cybercrime poses to the industry, which is one of the most attacked sectors. Continent 8 has more than 15 years of experience protecting industry data, and preventing and mitigating attacks.
Chile already has certified data centers that are compliant with local and international regulations, so it would make sense for us to join forces to create a market-leading solution for iGaming companies active in the market. Chile has very good global connectivity, so we can leverage this to deliver international connectivity via submarine cables that run through the Pacific Ocean and to the Atlantic through Argentina and the Caribbean.
I believe there are more opportunities than challenges as infrastructure and networks in the country are well developed in terms of suppliers and the quality of the product and service offered. Of course, Chile is a seismic zone so it will be important for companies to have off-site backup and/or a contingency site.
Absolutely! In fact, we are already speaking with and supporting policymakers as we have done in other markets around the world. Continent 8 is no stranger to regulation, and we are more than happy to share our experience and knowledge with iGaming regulators across the globe and also work with them to ensure that our solutions are fully compliant.
This partnership results in them taking 60% of the overall land-based casino market in Chile, and this will certainly allow them to use their brand image to empower online activity once the market opens up.
However, there are other international iGaming companies that players in Chile are already engaged with so despite this I expect the market to be one of healthy competition between local operators and global brands. As always, there will also be opportunities for smaller operators to identify a niche and claim their share of what looks set to be a sizeable market.
This article features in G3 May 2022 edition on page 48.
The Continent 8 journey began in 1998. For more than 20 years we have been serving the global gambling industry, providing our customers with secure, high availability global managed hosting, connectivity, and security solutions. Over this time our products and services have evolved to reflect the ever-changing technology landscape.
We take great pride in being a leading service provider to the industry and at a time when demand for our solutions is increasing significantly. Despite this rapid growth, we are committed to offering quality, flexibility, and outstanding customer service via our global team while at the same time providing a local, bespoke approach to each partner.
Our reach is global, but our focus and customer service is very much local. We have an interconnected global network of more than 80 locations across four continents – Europe, Asia, North America and South America. We are launching new sites every month, particularly in the US where we are committed to being first to market in regulated states as soon as they open their doors to legal online gambling.
Take our Atlantic City data centre in New Jersey as an example. Launched in 2019 and housed within the landmark Atlantic City Convention Centre, it is the only data site in the state that has been purpose-built for the online gambling industry. It is fully compliant with DGE regulations and is the only independent, licensed facility that can house gaming infrastructure outside of a licensed casino. We are currently completing stage three expansion of the site with a modular addition approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, adding 30% capacity.
Regulation is incredibly complex and one of the biggest challenges we face. This is certainly the case when it comes to data security and compliance and especially in the US market where regulations differ from state to state. This is why we focus on developing relationships and working closely with regulators in each state – and in other global markets – to understand their requirements so that we can establish the right infrastructure to support our customers while also ensuring compliance.
Regulation may be complex, but it is nothing new and our 20+ years of experience in the industry means we are well placed to work with regulators, understand requirements and build the best-in-class infrastructure to deliver our solutions within the guidelines set.
Continent 8 is here to support its customers in each of the markets they wish to target. While entering new markets is not without its challenges, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to keep expanding globally and to be assisting our customers with their own expansion plans. Today we are live in 80+ locations around the world and are on target to increase that number to more than 90 by the end of the year.
Our expansion plans are truly global. Of course, the US market is a key focus right now and we are already live in 24 states with many more set to come online including Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio and South Dakota.
In Europe, we have recently opened sites in Latvia (Riga) and Romania (Bucharest).
We have also been busy in Latin America, a region where we believe the gambling industry will enjoy incredible growth over the next two to five years. We now offer our full suite of solutions in Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico with Argentina and Brazil set to follow. What’s more, we have recently acquired sub-sea cable capacity from Portugal to Brazil to reduce latency from Europe to Latin America, providing further support to European customers entering the region.
Demand is of course a factor in defining our international expansion strategy. Right now, we know the American market is booming – with operators looking to quickly enter regulated states. As a customer-centric business, we have a clear understanding of the markets our customers are prioritising and adjust our own roadmap to ensure we are able to support their expansion plans.
We have been providing our services and solutions to the global gambling industry for the past 20 years and this puts us in a unique position of having unrivalled insight and experience in what it takes to assist our customers in successfully entering new markets.
As the US market develops and matures, companies will have to adhere to standards-based operations which means the challenge for operators will be to avoid becoming inundated with service provider contracts. At Continent 8, we’re able to offer a single contract across the US under one master services agreement with service-level agreements sitting underneath that – this makes it much easier for our customers.
The rise in the number of cyber-attacks and in particular DDoS and Ransomware is incredibly alarming. 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. Worryingly, we are not only seeing a rise in the number of attacks but also the size, which in Q4 breached 1Tbps for the second quarter running. The largest attack size registered during Q4 was 1.9Tbps – a record for us.
That is why it is vital that organisations strengthen their defences today if they are to give themselves the best opportunity to successfully defend against an attack. An attack that is more likely a case of when and not if.
We are growing incredibly quickly, especially in the US where we have a first to market strategy to ensure our customers have that all-important competitive advantage. We are also enhancing and strengthening our security products and solutions to meet the rising threat and prevalence of cyber-attacks that we have seen over the past 12 months.
This article features in iNTERGAMINGi Issue 2 2022 on Page 59.
Our team will be attending iGaming NEXT New York City, 12 – 13 May in Manhattan.
Continent 8 is proud to be supporting the event as main stage sponsor, which will play host to many world class speakers across the 2 days. 🗽
With a connected network of over 80+ locations globally, including 24 US states, Continent 8 is the trusted infrastructure partner to the fast-growing US iGaming industry, offering market-leading Connect, Manage and Secure solutions.
Find out more about how our business can support your growth in North America and further afield; set up a meeting with our dedicated team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you soon at this exciting new event. To learn more about iGaming NEXT New York City visit: NYC22 – iGaming NEXT
A number of our team will be attending ICE London in April including Aidan Rees-Williams, Caroline Moran, Graeme Price and Graham Foster from our Sales team.
With a connected network of over 80+ locations globally, Continent 8 is the trusted infrastructure partner to the iGaming industry, offering market-leading Connect, Manage and Secure solutions.
Find out more about how our business can support your growth globally; set up a meeting with our dedicated team by emailing email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you soon at the largest global iGaming gathering.
To learn more about ICE London and register, visit: https://www.icelondon.uk.com/
According to independent analysis company Canalys, global cloud services spend exceeded $50 billion in Q4 2021, bringing the industry total for the year to $178 billion!
With increased demand for cloud infrastructure services, Continent 8 (C8) has positioned itself as the multi-cloud provider for the global online gambling (real money gaming) industry, and we have achieved some phenomenal growth in our Cloud capabilities.
In this article, Justin Cosnett covers what multi-cloud means in C8, the differences, what a regulated or community Cloud is, and future developments we are working on.
Choosing the right Cloud solution for your business is crucial; here’s a quick overview of the various Cloud solutions available, and the pros and cons associated with these.
A community Cloud is a Public Cloud which is oriented towards a specific community or vertical or industry. It may have specific properties or capabilities which are directed towards achieving the goals of a specific community of users. The C8 regulated Cloud is therefore a community Cloud – it’s a Public Cloud environment which is multi-tenanted but designed to specifically provide an iGaming community with a Cloud which meets the complex regulatory requirements for the industry.
C8 operates a regulatory compliant Cloud environment in Atlantic City, Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Kahnawake – as well as community or Public Clouds in Colombia, Dublin, and Taiwan.
As C8 expands we can deploy network edge Clouds which can be grown to provide community or regulatory Cloud functions, as well as hybrid or network edge functionality to customer infrastructure, aligning with C8’s multi-cloud vision:
Providing a dedicated customer environment for customers matching their specific requirements, a Private Cloud is a tailored solution which minimises infrastructure management. C8 manages, monitors, and supports the entire infrastructure beneath the customers Cloud environment.
C8 can even provision customers Private Cloud environments in a Public Cloud for preparation activity, and migrate when the Private Cloud is available, enabling customers to have an accelerated project plan for new deployments.
During the requirements gathering and design stage, C8 will establish which infrastructure architecture will best support the customers immediate and long-term needs:
This is combined with ensuring the right level of storage IOPS and CPU contention as well as any backup requirements, for example an attached Veeam environment.
We already deliver significant managed connectivity to all the hyperscale providers, enabling customers to exchange data securely and privately between their Hyperscale and Public or Private Cloud environments.
C8 has been growing its partnership accreditation and capability to support a professional and managed services capability:
In summary, C8 is well-equipped to assist customers in adoption, migration, and best practice use of the right Cloud for the right workload, per the C8 Cloud vision!
Contact our experts today to find out more about which Cloud is right for you via firstname.lastname@example.org
David Brace, Senior Solutions Architect at Continent 8 Technologies explains that there has been a significant rise in DDoS events in the last year, and highlights the steps businesses can take to successfully fight them off.
The so-called ‘new normal’ of remote interactions has resulted in an estimated 30% increase in global internet traffic and a corresponding rise in cyber security incidents.
Throughout 2020 the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks detected globally was doubling quarter on quarter, peaking in September before levelling off in Q4.
This trend looks set to continue in 2021 with attacks of varying size and sophistication targeting organisations of all types, from global internet giants to local governmental departments.
Worryingly, a second wave of ransom DDoS attacks retargeting companies previously hit in the summer of 2020 was recorded, with analysis of the ransom notes suggesting the same threat actors are behind this latest wave of attacks.
With the number of attacks being launched set to increase in volume and complexity, businesses on the Island must ensure they take the necessary steps to ensure they are as protected as can be.
Before looking at the products, systems and protocols businesses must have in place to fight off DDoS attacks, first we will look at what these attacks are, how they work and who is behind them.
A Distributed Denial of Service attack is when a website or application is inundated with so many requests – this can be thousands per second – that ultimately the service is rendered unusable.
DDoS attacks have the potential to take a business entirely offline, causing disruptions to products, services, revenues and reputations.
It is not uncommon for attackers to issue ransom notices to organisations prior to an attack, and if they don’t receive payment, they unleash the bots used to inundate the website with requests and take it offline.
It is a simple, effective way of doing incredible damage to a business.
One of the most difficult things about falling victim to a successful DDoS attack is that you are unlikely to ever know who is behind it. But in our experience, they tend to fall into the below groups:
Motivations for launching attacks can and do differ, but the most common are for financial gain, to take down a competitor or to cause reputational damage or embarrassment to an organisation.
A successful DDoS attack can be absolutely devastating for a business. It can take a service such as an online casino or ecommerce site entirely offline.
For other businesses, it can see their customer databases raided and stolen, or sensitive data breached and published online for the world to see.
This has many bad side effects for governments and businesses, from a bad customer experience to major damage to your reputation and a loss of revenue.
They can also hit internal processes hard and lead to a significant reduction in productivity and, most concerningly, risk incurring potential compliance breaches.
While any organisation can fall victim to a DDoS attack, Malta’s reliance on subsea infrastructure to deliver internet services, coupled with requirements around data sovereignty and residency, mean organisations on the Island can be more vulnerable to DDoS attacks.
Moving to a cloud-based solution undoubtedly helps limit the risks related to an attack, but it doesn’t remove the threat entirely, as any device, service or application that is connected to the internet can be the target of an attack.
With 96% of all IT functions operating outside of the cloud and a finite amount of bandwidth available between Malta and the rest of the internet, it could only take one well targeted attack to cause severe impact to your organisation.
During a recent webinar organised by Continent 8, John Coleman, CEO of Microgaming, used the analogy which is helpful to anyone who is not an IT specialist: “You can no longer rely on high walls to protect your house. It’s now essential to have bright lights, security patrols, bars on the windows, motion sensors, security patrols, alarms, and guard dogs.”
Whilst that may sound extreme, it is a good way to illustrate the heightened level of cybersecurity solutions required to protect your critical data and systems.
Businesses need a layered approach for protection, covering cloud-based services and those running on physical infrastructure: Web Application Firewall (WAF) services, Network level DDoS detection, and Network level DDoS protection all play a part in protecting your organisation and its services.
Continent 8s DDoS defence service is a mature, proven platform, built and developed over 16 years, using an optimised combination of technologies and our customised development layer.
This experience enables our team to design bespoke protection services tailored to fit any organisation’s needs. Local engineers, backed by a global team, work in partnership with our customers to evolve these services to meet the everchanging threat landscape.
With a resilient global network spanning 4 continents and over 60 connected locations, Continent 8 connects Malta to the global internet via 3 separate subsea cable systems using a blended approach to ensure our service is not reliant on any one provider.
All traffic entering the network is inspected and profiled at the point of ingress, this ensures any malicious traffic is stopped at the network edge and legitimate traffic can be delivered to the end destination with minimal disruption.
Continent 8 has a long-standing presence in Malta providing technical services to local and global organisations. The team has recently expanded with the addition of Melissa Lamb as Sales Account Director. Working from Continent 8’s offices in Ta’ Xbiex as part of the worldwide sales team, Melissa is tasked with expanding our customer base in Malta and beyond, providing a personalised, bespoke offering to current and prospective clients.
Get in touch with Melissa to learn more about Continent 8’s Secure offering, email@example.com
This article featured in the Sunday Times of Malta on 28 March 2021.