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3/7/2008
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Online Gaming Firm Bets on PCI

bwin Interactive Entertainment AG chose a Web-based risk management/PCI compliance solution that integrates with its existing apps

Online gaming firm bwin Interactive Entertainment AG found that the business process piece of deploying its Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant solution last year was tougher than the technical part.

The $2.2 billion Vienna, Austria-based company, which was one of the first to earn Visa’s PCI seal of approval, retooled its online transactions to meet Visa’s PCI standards. bwin Interactive offers online poker, sports betting, casino games, soft games, and skill games to its customers, who often use Visa credit and debit cards to pay for the services.

“Visa mandated that any company generating more than $6 million per transaction start moving to PCI in 2007,” says Oliver Eckel, head of corporate security at bwin Interactive, which has around 1,200 employees. PCI is designed to close up holes by establishing risk and compliance policies from the enterprise all the way through to its partners.

So, early last year, bwin Interactive set out in search of a PCI conformance solution. The company examined products from Agiliance, Archer Technologies, Modulo, and Siemens (CRAMM). The company selected Agiliance for three reasons: The Agiliance IT-GRC product is Web-based; it covers enterprise risk management as well as PCI compliance; and it can be easily integrated with bwin Interactive’s existing applications.

Eckel says the online gaming company purchased the solution last summer, and got the product up and running without trouble. “We could easily input data from our applications, but revamping our business processes proved to be much more challenging,” says Eckel, who wouldn’t divulge what the company spent on the product.

bwin Interactive had to integrate the PCI compliance system with its financial applications, as well as with its security tools, which include products from vendors such as Fortify Software. “Agiliance’s data connectors offer a lot of flexibility,” Eckel says. “Applications that have clean, standard XML interfaces are easy to connect while those with plug-ins are a bit more complicated to import.”

Ensuring that its business processes were PCI-compliant involved changing behavior as well as familiarizing employees with the software’s features. bwin Interactive had to retool its change management systems, which required developing new procedures, training employees, and then putting new mechanisms in place to ensure that the new policies were followed. Consequently, approximately 80 percent of its efforts for the deployment went to putting the new business processes in place, and 20% went into getting the software to run. The deployment was completed in September.

The company also plans to integrate the Agiliance IT-GRC system with its directory services, vulnerability scanners, incident management, and enterprise risk management systems. “One of the main benefits is eventually we will have one interface to all security data, which will make identifying and solving problems simpler,” Eckel says.

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  • Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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