Question: What does a cosmetics company and a gaming platform have in common?
A few things, actually:
- Millions of customers
- A strong security posture
- An optimized digital experience
We live in a world that runs on apps. Whether it’s social media, streaming services, or how we order our coffee, people everywhere use apps to simplify their lives. In fact, according to the data.ai State of Mobile 2023 report, consumers worldwide spent 108 billion hours shopping on apps and spent over $150 billion in 2022.
With so much revenue at stake, it’s critical to make sure the digital experience is protected from advanced threats. The IBM 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report explains that the average cost of a breach was $4.35 million and that 60% of those who reported a breach would ultimately pass this cost on to their customers by raising prices.
As organizations expand their digital footprints to engage with wider audiences, they need to protect their systems from malicious threats. To better understand how their applications are running—and to optimize their user experience—organizations are turning to network detection and response (NDR) platforms to improve security, which in turn keeps their customers happy.
Ulta Beauty Scales to the Cloud
As the nation’s largest cosmetics retailer, Ulta Beauty has a reputation for delivering high-end products and exceptional customer service, both in person and online. When the company made the decision to migrate its e-commerce platform to the cloud, the migration necessitated a security posture that could scale with data centers and protect cloud workflows. "We are always working to wow our guests, and from our team's perspective, it's all about protecting those guests," says Diane Brown, VP of IT Risk Management. "As our network grew, we found we lacked the visibility we needed to detect and respond to breaches and attacks."
As Ulta deployed NDR, the retailer gained cloud-scale machine learning which gave networking and security teams the ability to spot and resolve performance issues. “We can quickly identify vulnerabilities and exploits and understand how our applications are performing in the cloud," explains John Kreis, Ulta Senior IT Engineer. "The technology is really helping us accelerate cloud adoption by ensuring our workloads are secure."
Having cloud-native NDR enabled Ulta to accelerate its cloud migration with peace of mind and confidence it was more secure from advanced threats. Brown also mentions that the insights from network data allows her team of engineers to “focus on the things that matter, like projects, strategic initiatives, and—most importantly—innovation.”
Wizards of the Coast Keeps on Playing
From dungeon crawling to deck building, Wizards of the Coast knows how to capture the imagination of its dedicated fanbase. When the gaming company’s development team made the leap from the tabletop to the desktop, it needed the freedom to create and design quickly—and without compromising on security.
"The developers want to put out quality games that are fun, that are exciting, and they don't want the friction because it's a distraction," explains Dan McDaniel, Chief Architect and Information Security Officer at Wizards of the Coast. "It slows them down, but most of all, it makes them justify what they're doing, which puts pretty much anybody on their heels."
The company built its online gaming platform on AWS and needed a cloud-native solution that could collect and analyze network traffic packets and handle global demand. With a growing list of online multiplayer games, a single incident could bring gameplay to a screeching halt. "What ExtraHop allows me to do is to provide security without validating the architecture of their games before they go live," McDaniel says. "It gives (developers) the freedom to create and go, but I still have visibility and transparency into my risk."
Protecting the Future of E-Commerce
Over the pandemic, the mobile marketplace cemented itself as a preferred way to shop for people all over the world. The State of Mobile report states that even as in-person shopping returned to a relative level of normalcy in 2022, apps remained an important part of daily life and offered consumers a way to save money.
Organizations will continue to embrace digital transformation, which means protecting critical revenue-generating processes from cyber attacks will become even more important. NDR allows businesses to keep their competitive edge with complete network visibility into hybrid and multicloud environments. These insights empower security teams to minimize the threat of disruption, which in turn allows the business to innovate and improve the customer experience.