Jeremie Kanter, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Continent 8 Technologies
The global gambling industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. Government policies and ever-evolving stringent regulations continue to shape the undulating landscape for operators. Responsible gambling is not limited to the protection of vulnerable gamblers. With so much money and sensitive personal information being exchanged online, gambling sites have become a hot target for bad actors; therefore, it is essential that the industry takes cybersecurity seriously.
As quickly as technology advances, so do methods of hacking and scamming. Online gambling companies need to have many layers of defence to protect themselves and their customers. Cybersecurity, backed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the gaming environment from a multitude of threats whilst protecting players and transactions and strengthening operators’ responsible gambling obligations. Cybersecurity measures ensure online sports betting platforms effectively enhance the integrity of their platform and demonstrate their commitment to fair play, transparency, and player safety.
One of the most critical aspects of cybersecurity in the online sports betting industry is protecting sensitive information. Cybersecurity solutions shield customer data from breaches with advanced encryption techniques and intrusion detection systems. AI-driven security systems can identify and mitigate potential threats in real time, ensuring a robust defence against data breaches and cyber attacks. This not only secures player information but also safeguards gambling operators’ trustworthiness and brand integrity.
Another essential consideration for operators is preventing fraud and taking anti-money laundering (AML) measures. The gambling industry is particularly susceptible to fraud, with hackers constantly devising new scams to exploit vulnerabilities. Robust cybersecurity measures underpinned by machine learning algorithms analyse vast amounts of information, including transaction records, customer information, and other financial data, to identify suspicious activity, enabling operators to intervene promptly. By employing effective cybersecurity measures, operators can protect their players from these types of illegal activities whilst minimising reputational damage.
Regulatory compliance is not just a legal requirement but also a means of building trust with players and regulatory authorities. By prioritising cybersecurity, iGaming operators can ensure they are not only following regulatory requirements, but they proactively avoid any potential legal or financial risks. Robust cybersecurity measures and AI systems help operators manage compliance by automating reporting, monitoring transactions, and ensuring adherence to data protection laws.
Part of an operator’s responsible gambling obligations include safeguarding players from addiction. How can the deployment of cybersecurity and AI-driven technology help in this regard? AI and machine learning algorithms can analyse player activity patterns and behaviours, identifying early signs and markers of harm. It can also track time spent gambling and prompt players to take a break. This information can be used to intervene and offer support to players who may be at risk. AI-driven chatbots provide real-time assistance to players seeking information and resources on responsible gambling. These chatbots can provide guidance and support and direct players to relevant resources when they exhibit risky or erratic behaviour. Offering immediate interaction with customers in need reinforces the industry’s commitment to responsible gaming and player wellbeing.
The gambling industry faces unique cybersecurity challenges that require a comprehensive and proactive approach. Responsible gambling is not just a legal requirement but a compass and an ethical obligation of the gambling industry. The importance of cybersecurity in the online sports betting industry cannot be overstated. Embracing a security-first mindset is essential for the gambling industry to thrive in an increasingly digital and interconnected world where the stakes are high.
Continent 8 can play a pivotal role in helping online gaming operators promote responsible gambling. By implementing advanced cybersecurity measures powered by AI-driven interventions, we can add significant value to operators, ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment while fostering responsible gambling practices. This not only benefits players but also enhances the reputation and trustworthiness of the operator.
Craig Lusher from our product team reviews the latest attack data with the intensity of attacks peaking in July and with one customer being hit 98 times over the three-month period
The third quarter of 2023 saw a significant reduction in DDoS attacks launched against Continent 8 customers.
The total number of attacks hit 359 during the period, down from 1,106 in Q2 where there was a continuation of the tumultuous adverse events that marked December 2022 with a well-orchestrated campaign that coincided with the World Cup and the festive holidays.
This saw Continent 8 defend 3,367 separate DDoS in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone.
In the third quarter of 2023, the intensity of attacks peaked in July with 195 separate incidents recorded. This was followed by August with 112 and September with 52. Over the three months, 24 unique customers were attacked making it a widespread issue rather than being isolated to a few customers.
On average, each customer faced 15 attacks in Q3, but one customer was subject to 98 attacks indicating a targeted effort and underscoring the need for all organisations to have specialised protective measures in place.
When it comes to the characteristics of attacks, there was great cause for concern with the largest attack hitting a staggering 149.7Gbps which could potentially cripple the most robust networks. The average size of attack was 2.27Gbps – manageable but not negligible.
The highest Peak Packets Per Second (PPS) recorded was 14.6 Mpps, and while this was substantially down on the 317 Mpps recorded in May 2023, it still indicates the scale of some of the attacks launched against Continent 8 customers during the quarter.
This highlights the importance of considering not just the throughput but also the volume of Packets Per Second because even low throughput attacks could involve millions of packets per second, threatening network equipment rather than just internet bandwidth.
This is why it’s vital to take a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity so that systems, networks and data are properly protected from different types of attack at a time when the volume and length of attacks remain high.
One customer was subject to an attack lasting more than 20 hours – so close to a full day. This shows the persistence of attackers. That said, the average attack duration during Q3 was 0.76 hours which comes to about 45 minutes.
This suggests most attacks were aiming for quick disruptions rather than prolonged engagement. Again, this is different to the previous quarter where the longest attack lasted an astounding 800 hours.
Interestingly, there were no attacks exceeding 1 Tbps, but there were four attacks exceeding 100 Gbps and four more in the range of 10-100Gbps. The majority of attacks – 350 altogether – were under 10 Gbps. This compares to a peak attack size of 560 Gbps in Q2.
When it comes to repeat attacks, 10 customers were hit for a second time in a 24-hour period – interestingly, in Q2 there were no instances of customers suffering repeat attacks within 24 hours – so this marks the return of attackers going after the same target multiple times.
The stats for the period from 1 July 2023 to 30 September 2023 relate to our customers based in different locations around the world. Key highlights include:
This quarter’s results show that attack tactics have changed once again with attack size reducing but with significant Packets Per Second being delivered via attacks.
This means that the threat has changed somewhat from earlier in the year – ensuring internet bandwidth is always vital but now more than ever organisations need to protect their network equipment and systems.
There has been a lot of discussion around the changing cyber threat landscape, but this quarter’s stats show that action is crucial if organisations are to ensure resilience and mitigate an attack which is now a case of when and not if.
Our solution continues to evolve and in recent months we have amplified our scrubbing capacity to 2.5+Tbps, as well as increased our scrubbing centres geographically deployed across multiple continents. Locations 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 email@example.com
At the beginning of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, data hosting and security specialist Continent 8 Technologies issues a wake-up call to the online and land-based gaming sectors
Global technology and data solutions company Continent 8 Technologies, a provider of specialised infrastructure and cybersecurity services to the world’s biggest betting and gaming companies, says that the industry is facing an unprecedented threat from a rising tide of cyber attacks.
The stark warning comes at the start of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which marks its 20th year in October 2023, and as the global land-based and online industry once again gathers in Nevada for the annual G2E Las Vegas exhibition and conference.
Founded in 1998 and celebrating 25 years of business in 2023, Continent 8 has 100 data centre locations across four continents, delivering a wide range of technology infrastructure and connectivity solutions to the biggest organisations in the industry, via a single interconnected network.
Michael Tobin, Founder and CEO of Continent 8 Technologies, said: “In the 25 years since Continent 8 was founded, the threat to the data, infrastructure and digital security of companies in the betting and gaming industry has never been higher.
“The scale and sophistication of these attacks is increasing year on year, so it’s critically important that organisations take a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity, protecting themselves from the mix of complex threats facing businesses in today’s world. What’s also important is ensuring your business is compliant, meeting stringent regulatory requirements across different markets.”
Patrick Gardner, Managing Partner of C8 Secure, a Continent 8 company, added: “With the average cost of a data breach reaching well into millions, and the gaming industry being a prime target, it’s crucial now more than ever for companies to bolster their cybersecurity measures. Both the online and land-based sectors must remain vigilant and proactive, ensuring protection of their data and infrastructure against increasingly evolving threats.”
Continent 8 will be on stand #4235 at G2E Las Vegas, which takes place at The Venetian Expo from 9-12 October, marking the beginning of Cybersecurity Awareness Month with an event-wide campaign highlighting the rising threat against the global betting and gaming sector.
Set up a meeting with the team in Vegas here