Global Sportsbook Protects Odds IP and Maximizes Event Capacity

Category: Web Scraping
21/04/21

40%

Reduction in overall web requests

20%

Increase in website capacity

£3 million

Overall savings across infrastructure and fraud
Playing cards

Article Contents

    The Challenge

    A large global bookmaker was facing high levels of automated traffic on its website and recognized it had a problem with bots but wasn’t aware of the full scale of the issue.

    Bots were being used to scrape data and odds from the customer’s website and this large volume of unpredictable traffic was threatening website availability for everyday customers and increasing infrastructure costs across the business.

    This malicious activity increased in the lead up to and during peak sporting events. Worse yet, the scraped data was being used to exploit imbalances in the odds across multiple operators. Leveraging Arbitrage Betting in an automated manner, which significantly increased the chances of the risk-free betting. An already estimated £12 million per annum problem.

    Despite having a number of solutions in place such as WAF’s, Fraud and Security tools, the business lacked visibility of bot traffic on its website and was dependent on manual analysis to block and mitigate attacks, often leading to false positives whereby legitimate customers were inadvertently blocked. Negatively impacting on revenue.

    The Solution

    As part of its vendor selection process, the client ran a Proof-of-Value (POV) with Netacea, implementing the Smarter Bot Management solution in observation-only mode to identify how much of the website’s traffic was malicious bots.

    • Benefits of the implementation
    • Advanced mitigations prevent bots from re-tooling
    • Integration enhanced existing security measures
    • No additional latency added to the customer journey

    Through that identification process, recommendations from Netacea’s Smarter Bot Management were then sent to the internal SIEM solution as requested by the Sportsbook Operator. Depending on the risk of the threat & how aggressive the scraping was, the operator took automated actions of their choosing. These include requesting further verification, CAPTCHA, Blackhole or limiting account functionality.

    The Outcome

    During the POV, Netacea identified that over 30% of all website requests were made by bots. This became the foundation to a business case that would demonstrate a 5-month ROI on investment, consisting of infrastructure, fraud, operational and security savings.

    Now live, the Sportsbook operator has seen its traffic profile smooth significantly and they’re experiencing an 85% reduction in unwanted automated betting by bots, whilst managing authorized automated betting & associated software. All saving time that would otherwise be spent on the manual investigation.

    CPU usage has reduced by 7%, bandwidth by 5.2% and the number of requests by approximately 40%.

    Overall, Netacea is helping the operator deliver estimated savings of £3,000,000 per year and enabling greater capacity of real customers at critical times, such as major sporting events.

    Netacea has worked closely with us to help us understand the bot challenges we were previously unaware of, enabling us to significantly reduce infrastructure costs and fraud losses.

    Head of Operations

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