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Gibtelecom shuts the door on igaming cyberattacks

| By iGB Editorial Team | Reading Time: 5 minutes
The igaming industry has never been more vulnerable to the threat of cyberattacks. With incidents rising by a reported 1,000% annually, and each breach costing operators on average £3.1m, companies are suffering both financial and reputational damage. Danny Hook, Director of Enterprise services at leading telecommunications service provider Gibtelecom, believes his company has the answer to protecting both the operators and their players.
Gibtelecom security cloud technology

Gambling companies’ fight against cyberattacks

A 2022 report from cybersecurity firm Imperva showed 25% of all igaming sites suffered a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in June of that year alone, coinciding with major sporting events like Wimbledon and golf’s US Open. Unfortunately for operators, this isn’t uncommon with attacks regularly occurring during big sporting events with the hope of causing maximum damage.

In September 2022, PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world, was hit by a huge DDoS attack. Hackers flooded its server with requests, causing multiple sites to crash on a Sunday – its busiest day – resulting in the cancellation of several large poker tournaments.

This isn’t the only time a well-known gambling company has suffered at the hands of hackers. Between November 2022 and May 2023 there were three high-profile breaches, one of which involved US sport betting giant DraftKings. It reported a credential stuffing attack which involves hackers taking a set of login credentials and using them with another organisation. The breach was hugely successful for the hackers with an estimated 60,000 players affected.

Meanwhile in April, Holland Casino Online and French casino Houlgate were both subject to attacks resulting in the loss of online operations for several days in the case of the French firm.

What cyberattacks should operators watch out for?

Cyberattacks come in many different forms and guises, and the list of potential threats facing operators isn’t short. From the likes of DDoS attacks, which focus on overwhelming the network infrastructure, to more commonly known threats such as fraud and phishing attacks, the list is endless and the damage even more so.

While attempted attacks are increasing year-on-year, this isn’t a recent phenomenon. Going back as far as 2010 one of the biggest cyberattacks to hit the igaming industry occurred when Betfair had its exchange site breached. Details of more than three million accounts were stolen, about 90,000 of which contained bank details.

It’s clear that cyberattacks are a very real and worrying threat to operators, especially since the financial costs of data breaches are severe. So much so that Imperva’s report revealed that for a company generating £1b a year, data breaches can cost around £115,000 an hour.

Solving the cybersecurity dilemma

Gibtelecom, a leading telecommunications supplier for over 20 years, is tackling the big cyberattack problem head on. The Gibraltar-based company has a long history of providing operators with high-level security support with key players in the industry featuring on its client list.

“The igaming/egaming sector is faced with a whole host of security challenges and that’s why we built services that can combat this,” Hook explains. “Our network monitoring, traffic filtering and intelligent routing help identify and block malicious traffic, for example.

“We also have managed security operation centre (SOC) services for threat detection and response, penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities and managed firewall services for traffic filtering.”

Since the back end of 2022, Gibtelecom has offered 24/7 protection for operators’ websites. And following on from the company announcing a strategic partnership with Getronics, a global ICT and security integrator, Gibtelecom can now offer a strengthened security product that really hits the mark. This includes proactive detection of cybersecurity breaches and risks while running services on its secure private global network.

“Gibtelecom already had an extensive network and for many years has been a strategic technology partner to the gaming industry,” says Hook. “We were aware that cybersecurity is a prime concern for customers in this industry so a move into cybersecurity services seemed natural.”

Operators need support when it comes to storing the mounds of data that come with running a successful gaming business. Traditionally this would be stored in a physical server, but the inception of the cloud has given birth to new ways and means of holding it and round-the-clock security is essential.

“We have a robust network and offer network management systems across all our products. We can provide 24/7 protective monitoring and security log collection for our customers.

“By analysing these logs, we can give operators a more comprehensive view of suspicious behaviour and help reduce the amount of time and effort spent analysing and responding to cyberthreats. This proactive approach to security means better prevention and quicker response to any threats, which gives both operators and players peace of mind that transactions are secure.”

How does cyber protection work?

The first step to building any successful security system is to detect any pre-existing vulnerabilities. Gibtelecom does this with penetration testing (also known as pen testing), an exercise designed to identify weak spots.

“Penetration testing can help to detect and manage vulnerabilities and we work with gaming operators to understand the landscape in which they operate, understand their security, and look at ways in which we can support them. By simulating real-world attack scenarios, our expert teams can attempt to exploit weaknesses in infrastructure and uncover potential entry points for malicious attacks.”

As well as identifying weaknesses and plugging the gaps, firewalls are one of the most important defences when it comes to keeping cyberattacks at bay. They act as a barrier, preventing an unwanted company from finding its way into your operating system. Imagine being in charge of security at the Tower of London, tasked with protecting the Crown Jewels. The ravens (along with a state-of-the-art security system) are your firewall.

Outdated or configured systems leave the door open and elevate the risk, making operators vulnerable and more likely to be the victim of the likes of a DDoS attack.

“Firewall management can reduce your risks, help you stay on top of regulatory compliance, and meet the demands of a highly digitised world by ensuring rules are up to date and offering round-the-clock monitoring,” says Hook.

“We optimise the first lines of defence with firewall management, perimeter protection, domain name system protection and DDOS protection. Our team of security experts offer solutions that cover the administration, operation, monitoring and maintenance of your firewall, protecting critical infrastructure and leaving operators to focus on their core business.”

Adding value to operators with Gibtelecom

Not only does this level of protection offer peace of mind and protection to players, but it also helps to minimise the time operators spend analysing and responding to cyberthreats. By effectively giving operators back this time, it allows them to focus on other things such as attracting new players and the all-important player retention.

“All of our security solutions are supported round-the-clock by a SOC [security operations centre]. With a team of experts who use cutting edge toolsets that partner with a solution provider, we’re able to offer a secure and reliable solution.”

Gibtelecom: Paving the way for stronger security

Forecasts suggest the online gaming industry will continue to boom, with iGB’s principal data partner H2 projecting  the industry will grow 11.3% annually each year, hitting a gross win of $218.5bn (£172.8bn/€199.9bn) by 2028. Clearly, then, it’s more important than ever that operators have superior security measures in place to prevent malicious online threats.

With safe and secure platforms being the way to gain player loyalty and trust, Gibtelecom’s offering helps to solve the biggest security threats to our industry.

A customer focused and purpose driven leader, Danny is responsible for overseeing strategy and development of all products & services aimed at businesses for Gibtelecom. With over two decades as a leader in technology, operations and commercial roles during this time Danny has a track record of building strong teams that deliver innovative technologies motivated by customer needs.

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