11 March, 2021

Ever increasing need for more robust safeguarding measures

Stefano Sordini, CEO of NetShop Internet Services Ltd, examines the ever increasing need for more robust safeguarding measures as hosting services face greater challenges to data.

Can you provide a brief overview of NetShop? We started off with the traditional web hosting and server hosting services, and we entered the online gaming market in 2011, starting from Malta. Since then, we've expanded in more locations, where we facilitate online gaming for B2B and B2C clients. So online gaming is one of our main industries that we do hosting with.

How has the pandemic affected the company?

Throughout Covid, there has been an increased number of DoS attacks worldwide. So we, like many other companies, suffered from some downtime caused by them, not necessarily targeting NetShop ISP, but targeting whole countries. For example, Italy was heavily targeted, and Malta has a direct link with Italy, so one of our Malta data centres was affected.

What differentiates NetShop with the rest of our competitors is that in every country that we're located, we have data centres. This means that those clients who had redundancy with us, if one data centre was on under a DoS attack, our clients were able to remain up and running through the second data centre. And this was one of our main benefits that we could give to clients during these incidents. For example, we have an online gaming client regulated by the UKGC, and while the UK was under a heavy DoS attack, we managed to switch them to the Malta data centre within 15 minutes. So instead of being down for hours, they were down for just 15 minutes.

Going into 2021, are there plans for further expansion, or what are the main priorities? We have enhanced and we are still working internally towards further improving our 24/7 global coverage for technical support, to make sure that clients from any country are getting the best service when they need it for any technical matters. In the first quarter of 2021, we're going to release service-level agreements (SLA), where we'll be able to offer up to 20 minutes response time to specific SLA plans. Right now, all the technical support we offer is free of charge, and this is how it will remain. But with the announcement of our SLA plans, we'll be able to provide the same service with premium support to those who really need it. So companies that can't afford any downtime will be able to go to the premium SLA plan to get almost instant technical hands-on from our team at any time.

The second thing is the work at home bundle, which is a product suite that's been designed and developed as a relief for businesses for the Covid impact. This is going to be transformed into an IT services solution, where we'll be able to provide all the necessary IT services for companies, freelancers and small teams that don't have in-house IT people. Everything will be hosted in our private cloud infrastructure, in the location depending where the company is. For example for a Singapore law firm, we'll be able to host in Singapore. Or for a small online gaming translation team in the UK, we'll be able to offer the IT service in our UK data centre. These are the two main things that we'll announce in the first quarter of 2021.