Friday, 24th May 2019
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Enhanced visibility and security for Sportingbet

Leading sports betting brand turns to wire data analytics to improve network and application performance; leverages proactive alerting to spot security threats.

Sportingbet, part of the GVC Group, is using the ExtraHop wire data analytics platform to gain visibility into complex IT applications and infrastructure while strengthening security monitoring and response procedures.

Sportingbet is a leading provider of online and mobile sports betting, casinos, games, and poker. Companies within the GVC Group hold licences in Denmark, Germany, South Africa, Malta, Philippines, Curacao, Ireland, and the UK as well as interim licenses in Greece and Romania. Each year the group’s various online and mobile products generate billions of pounds in revenues, making the performance, availability, and security of these customer-facing sites and the backend infrastructure that supports them fundamentally important to the success of the group.
From its headquarters in the UK, Sportingbet runs a dedicated IT department that manages operations spanning 50 different website brands processing millions of transactions worldwide each week. The IT department is tasked with managing and operating extensive systems and processes to ensure Sportingbet meets internal requirements and external regulatory compliance from agencies including the UK Gambling Commission.
In order to better manage this complexity, ensure compliance and security, and gain critical insight into quality of service and end-user experience, Sportingbet brought in ExtraHop.
ExtraHop plays an especially important role when it comes to security, helping the IT team spot potential anomalies within its infrastructure that could suggest a breach. As Lee Riches, Operational analyst for Sportingbet explains, “As a leading sports betting brand we are obviously a target and we run a dedicated team, all in house, to respond to any threats. As such, we generate huge amounts of data and ExtraHop allows us to correlate data from multiple different sources, in real time, to quickly spot any issues and react accordingly.”
Common attacks such as brute force attempts to break into accounts as well as “scrapers” that attempt to gather data from multiple websites can be detected through the ExtraHop platform’s real-time analysis of wire data, enabling the team at Sportingbet to subvert these attacks. Ability to monitor the environment over time and look back at previous activity also allows Sportingbet to set baselines, making it easier to reliably detect anomalies and threats in the future.
ExtraHop also provides Sportingbet with real-time insight into application and infrastructure performance, and helps the IT department drill down to understand the impact of a particular error across tiers. With this level of cross-tier insight, they can anticipate when an error is likely to impact one or more of their web properties, and with it, the company’s bottom line. Moreover, with insights from wire data, they have the prescriptive guidance they need to rapidly troubleshoot and remediate the problem, lessening the impact to customers and the business.
“With ExtraHop we don’t need to place any additional monitoring application on any of our servers which is a major consideration. It also has the ability to help us diagnose root causes of application issues by dissembling the complex relationship and data flows between different parts of an overall process,” says Riches. “ExtraHop is probably the tool we use most often for gaining insight into our infrastructure.
“The use of ExtraHop to meet the IT and business intelligence needs at Sportingbet is a great example of how powerful insights unearthed through real-time stream analytics can help meet multiple business objectives,” adds Colin Pittham, VP of EMEA Sales for ExtraHop, “The rapidly evolving nature of modern IT means that having a single platform that can quickly correlate meaning from the complex relationships between applications is helping customers like Sportingbet turn insights into actions that solve real world problems and negate threats.”
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