Les Ambassadeurs is instantly recognisable as one of London’s most prestigious casinos.
Leopold de Rothschild’s library and artworks appeal to historians, while movie buffs know it as the place where a tuxedoed Sean Connery first uttered the immortal words, ‘Bond. James Bond,’ in Dr No.
Today, this venue is synonymous with opulence and high stakes: it owns more than half of the London casino market alone. With turnover as high as client expectations, reputation is paramount and only the best will do.
For their cyber security, Les Ambassadeurs partnered with ITHQ.
When we started, we didn’t know our cyber security improvement project was going to be a journey.
We’ve worked with several companies over the years but never been 100 per cent satisfied. Working with ITHQ has been completely different. We have formed a very productive partnership where they help us to realise goals we want to achieve.
A typical day of attacks and defence
We experience over 20,000 attempted attacks every day from around 3,000 unique IP addresses. Attacks are highly targeted, including impersonations. 60% of blocked emails we receive are phishing or spear phishing attempts.
We have very robust data, security and privacy policies protecting all our staff and systems. We are also tightly governed by financial and gambling laws, so all our systems must be secure, compliant and auditable.
The first thing we learned was that it’s important to be open-minded about the kind of threats we’re facing and how they change almost daily. Just because we’ve never had a serious breach doesn’t mean we should be complacent. The second is that there is an overlap between solving one challenge and identifying another.
Initially, we had around 2000 network ports, plus many wireless devices, 300 PCs and 300 iOS devices, in addition to our servers, peripherals and IoT devices. We have many more than that today.
ITHQ helped us implement an open source platform that gave us full visibility of our networks. This highlighted blind spots and vulnerabilities we had not foreseen.
Data correlation highlighted a worrying number of devices, the origin and purpose of which couldn’t be immediately identified.
ITHQ helped us to integrate this platform with the segregated firewall at the core of our multiple networks. This requires a lot of planning and experience of working in highly segregated environments, to avoid any security compromise.
Together with improved threat detection and response, we were as resilient as possible before going ahead with other projects we now realised were necessary.
We will always be looking for new threats and new technology. ITHQ’s innovative solutions and excellent service are part of that journey.
Transformation is not just about technology; it’s also about processes and people. New challenges arise as a result of implementing a solution, exposing new questions. ITHQ is absolutely right to address transformation as a journey: it is the only realistic approach.
They are a highly innovative team as well. Some third-party systems needed technical interactions, for example, which were being done manually. ITHQ wrote some API calls for non-technical staff that simplified certain processes. This also allowed quick resolution in a 24-hour environment, when skilled technicians were not immediately available.
They also built proprietary systems for device and firewall management to help our support team, and to help us verify third-party integrations on our intrusion detection system.
Our systems are quite secure and resilient but the journey to perfection is continuous. We will always be looking for new threats and new technology. ITHQ’s innovative solutions and excellent service continue to be part of that journey.