Justin Cosnett: “When It Comes to Data and Security Needs, Continent 8 Technologies Is the Go-to Choice for Many Gaming Operators and Suppliers”

Creating a reliable product in the iGaming industry requires rigorous compliance and commitment to industry-leading technology. When it comes to data and security needs, Continent 8 Technologies is the go-to choice for many gaming operators and suppliers.

Continent 8 stands with its dedication to providing a compliant offering in each market the company sets foot in, providing operators with the power and security solutions to empower any brand’s launch.

The company is equipping customers in newly-regulated US markets with the tools they need to go online quickly and smoothly while bringing a Public Cloud service to Gibraltar, reacting to market changes and requirements.

Today, we will discuss how Continent 8’s expertise and technological know-how helps businesses get a strong start in any new iGaming market and address some of the common issues others face.

Q: We have seen some examples of bad connectivity costing operators and disrupting business. How is Continent 8 equipped to handle surges in traffic or malfunction in software?

We’ve always taken a high resilience, high availability approach to connectivity and this is the cornerstone to our global network which now spans more than 70 locations around the world.  We start by building an over-provisioned resilient network using diverse, highly available circuits, and layer an MPLS network and internet peering network on top. 

By growing in this way, we have ensured low latency and zero contention capacity for customers in reaching their endpoints across the internet whether a B2B partner or B2C consumer. 

At our core PoP locations, we peer with internet exchanges and tier-one peering providers, and at the edge, we peer with local ISPs to be able to deliver the best mix of global and local connectivity to meet regulatory and customer demands.

We overprovision because we have to scale not just for a core vertical in gaming and sports with significant bursts, but also to be able to consume and mitigate volumetric attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). 

But this means we can cope with surges in demand by design, and sometimes this can also assist customers who have accidentally denial of service attacked themselves either by code or configuration; which is a rare but significant issue.

Q: Can Cloud solutions address the problem with connectivity and allow businesses to continue scaling up without having to worry about technical hiccups?

Utilising cloud doesn’t immediately resolve or remove the potential for connectivity issues – after all, there have been some high profile hiccups where a cloud provider’s misconfiguration has removed or prevented connectivity. 

However, cloud solutions can be part of a resilient setup and configuration which can mitigate or minimize disruption. The power of hyperscale cloud is flexibility to scale on-demand, and many of these cloud services are built to enable auto-scaling so they require zero or limited administrative overhead.

This increased automation and reduced complexity can assist in mitigating the chance of human-error, a mean cause of a successful cyber attack.

We assist customers in utilizing resilient private AND public connections between infrastructure in colocation, in the regulated cloud, and in the hyperscale cloud. With new products and services, we partner with hyperscales to bring their automated or simplified services to the edge.

Q: Why is Gibraltar an important place for you to set up a Cloud service and what role does the jurisdiction play in iGaming in general?

Gibraltar has played a significant and ongoing part in iGaming; while initially this was with a sportsbook and UK focus, it has born a local service industry that today supports European and Global iGaming providers and operators.

We first opened our Gibraltar data center back in 2011 and have continued to invest in the jurisdiction ever since. Our highly secure and unique data center is actually located 500m deep within the Rock of Gibraltar – a space that used to be owned by the Ministry of Defence – where it connects to a private network spanning more than 70 locations worldwide.

As a significant location for highly regulated and well-respected iGaming infrastructure placement, it was important for Continent 8 that we set up a cloud that could deliver real benefits to our customers at a time they would be able to make use of its advantages.

Our newly launched Gibraltar Public Cloud can be used independently for full primary gaming, or as a hybrid extension to the customer’s existing infrastructure, or even as a backup or resiliency capability for ensuring data residency and high availability.

Q: What would be good examples that highlight how Continent 8’s expertise is a go-to option for many businesses that may not even realise it?

We’ve seen significant growth in the need to support customers in how best to connect their infrastructure to the hyperscale cloud providers such as AWS, Azure and Google.

While hyperscale cloud providers are often sold due to seemingly internet omnipotence, there are significant advantages to direct and resilient private connections between hyperscale infrastructure and on-premise or other cloud environments. This includes commercial, performance, and resilience.

We offer multipoint private MPLS cloud connectivity to one or even multiple hyperscale providers, meaning we can create a global private network between customer infrastructure and hyperscale providers which minimizes data transfer fees, the likelihood of DDoS attacks and ensures the lowest latency.

It’s also always worth reiterating, whilst we have a co-location origin it doesn’t mean we aren’t cloud-focused both on our own provision but also our partner capabilities.

For example, we are already a provider of multiple AWS Outpost implementations and are also working with other providers on similar offerings and have achieved accreditation as an independent supplier of several, including AWS Select Consulting Partner status.

In online gambling or iGaming, we take a market-focused service provider approach so that as the industry and regulation change, Continent 8 will ensure we have local and global relevant service capabilities.

Q: How do you plan on scaling up your technical offering in the next months and years, and why would you need to do so? Is it because of bigger demand from operators, anticipating new opportunities or improving existing services?

To be able to provide necessary internet connectivity and volumetric DDoS protection it’s taken as a given we will have to constantly grow and expand our network and security capabilities to continue to protect as well as cope with increased demand, especially for peaks such as sporting events.  But we are also adding services, which includes;

Managed security services such as threat detection and response, endpoint monitoring and protection, SOAR and managed SOC/SIEM, threat hunting and red team and regulatory and compliance expertise.

Connectivity services will expand with more hybrid or multiple cloud environment support privately, and we are also looking to productise the Continent 8 iGaming ecosystem into an exchange for improved B2B and partner connectivity and resilience.

This is being done at the same time as our existing push into hyperscale cloud, partnering with managed and professional services to grow and migrate customer workloads into suitable regulated environments or latest technological efficiencies.

Bigger demand from operators is definitely leading the current growth in the US of our state by state and national connectivity and locations. During the past 12 months we have focused heavily on the US and are now live in over 20 states with more to come.

In security, the rise in demand for our portfolio and DDoS protection is due to a marked increase in the environment as a result of more attackers and more motivations to attack and easier tools and capabilities to attack customer infrastructure.

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