Company Background

Founded in 2005, NetRefer provides performance marketing software to its affiliate programs. Using NetRefer’s Unified Performance Marketing Platform, companies can automate their entire affiliate life cycle, from enrollment through CRM management, tracking, finance and rewards management, payments, and more. It’s a comprehensive system that streamlines the work and reduces the price of affiliate program management. In just 12 years, NetRefer’s software has become the most trusted affiliate marketing software in the gaming, foreign exchange, finance, and option trading markets.

The Business & Technical Challenge

As the company has grown, NetRefer’s affiliate marketing platforms supporting 80 gaming operators have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks. While NetRefer had DDoS protection from its hosting environment, it was extremely limited in its ability to scrub traffic, and it lacked a web application firewall (WAF). It also didn’t provide the kind of cross-platform visibility that NetRefer’s IT team needed to see and fix problems early on.

Transitioning to a cloud-based service was also a challenge. Key to NetRefer’s success was finding a secure, always-on system that was easy to use and kept downtime to a minimum. Service disruptions could seriously impact revenue, causing customers to find another, more reliable platform.

“Being able to identify threats and block them on the fly is critical,” said Christian Cutajar, IT manager for NetRefer. “By strengthening our security, we can show our clients that their data is safe.”

Visibility was a vital component of any application that NetRefer considered. It was one of the features its current system was lacking, and without it, they had no idea whether any of its various environments was at risk. Other important features NetRefer needed included a scalable system, fast and reliable content delivery, and a level of customer support that was second to none.

They found all this, and more, with the Imperva Incapsula solution.

The Solution

Once the IT team at NetRefer identified the issues they needed to address, they began searching online. A report by a leading market research team on Web Application Firewalls provided much of the information the IT team needed. They also sought recommendations from hosting providers and had conversations with several well-known providers.

NetRefer discovered that most of the products they researched were more expensive and didn’t offer many of the features they found in Incapsula. The IT team decided to go with Incapsula Web Application Firewall.

According to Cutajar, “Securing our core services and avoiding system hijacking is absolutely critical. Investing in a solution that gives you and your customers peace of mind is a must. And, we’ve found that with Incapsula.”

Since deploying Incapsula, NetRefer can route traffic at the DNS level instead of dealing with multiple devices. This allows them to focus on moving towards a PaaS solution long term.

More important, the always-on DDoS mitigation service keeps their systems safe and secure. It also provides the increased visibility they need to find and deal with potential security threats and malicious activity before they become serious problems.

Results and Benefits

Increased visibility
NetRefer now has a granular view of events and traffic across all environments. Leveraging advanced cached bandwidth capabilities allowed us to increase site performance by 50 percent.

Cloud-based mitigation of network level DDoS attacks
Mitigates high-volume network level attacks through a global network of multi-gigabyte scrubbing centers

24/7 DDoS mitigation
Incapsula significantly improved security and reduced downtime by fending off attacks.

Threat alerts
NetRefer admins now know when there are illegal attempts to access protected resources on its website, such as SQL injection requests on NetRefer’s clients’ front-end systems and XSS on specific page parameters.

Great support
More comprehensive reports provide insight into all aspects of NetRefer’s systems. NetRefer also reduced its annual expenditure, and now have access to a team of professionals for consultation and security advice.