Customer Story

IG Group Gains Complete Network Visibility and Reduces MTTR with ExtraHop

Complete visibility provided a comprehensive view of all network activity

Discovered previously unseen performance issues

Log4j detections demonstrated additional value to SecOps team

Executive Summary

Established in 1974, IG Group is an innovative global fintech company that delivers dynamic online trading platforms, a robust educational ecosystem, and access to approximately 19,000 financial markets around the world. Headquartered in London, IG continues to innovate its offering for a new generation of investors through its, tastytrade, IG Prime, Spectrum, and DailyFX brands.

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The benefit is clear—the ability to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of the problem ten times faster with ExtraHop allows us to quickly demonstrate its value back to the business.

Steve Bamford
Senior Network Engineer, IG Group

The Beginning

The Challenge

For nearly five decades, IG Group has continuously evolved its technology, risk management, financial products, content, and platforms to meet the needs of its retail and institutional clients. In doing so, they also needed a way to scale and troubleshoot network performance testing without compromising on security.

For Senior Network Engineer Steve Bamford, the big push came from the GameStop market events two years ago. At the time, individual investors drove up the price of GameStop stock by buying up its shares. The unexpected and drastic increase in online trading affected companies across the industry. “The industry-wide trading surge allowed us to make a case for improving our network visibility and using real-time wire data to enable faster analysis and response times,” Bamford says.

The Transformation

Complete Network Visibility Improves MTTR

When considering different network performance management products, Bamford’s team sought a solution that provided greater insight into network traffic. “The lack of visibility of wire data was becoming one of the biggest bottlenecks in troubleshooting,” he explains. “Because we didn't have the level of granularity that a network monitoring tool would give us, we needed something that would reduce our mean time to resolution (MTTR) and get to the root of the problem quicker.”

After evaluating a few platforms, IG Group determined that ExtraHop Reveal(x) was the right fit for the company. Bamford appreciated the fast installation time. “Between Christmas and New Years, I managed to have Reveal(x) up and running and generating value,” he says. “Within three days, we had all the dashboards configured for our front-end applications and other core applications that we wanted to monitor.”

With Reveal(x) in place, Bamford’s team was able to see performance issues more clearly. “Reveal(x) greatly enhanced our visibility,” he says. “By bringing in ExtraHop and monitoring that whole north-south flow through the platform, we’re now able to accurately measure performance at different parts of the application flow across certain core infrastructure, such as firewalls and load balancers.”

MTTR has also improved dramatically. In one instance of running analysis to find the root of a firewall issue, Bamford explains, “I was able to get it down to two specific devices within a few hours, reducing MTTR by over 80%.”

The Outcome

Showcasing the Benefits for Improving Security

While IG Group’s initial reason for deploying Reveal(x) was to locate and correct performance issues, the company also gained visibility into known vulnerabilities in their network. “We still see Log4j coming across our front end,” Bamford says. “It's always out there but having those detections and demonstrating it to the security engineering team, they could see the value.”

Now that they’ve seen the potential of network detection and response (NDR), it won’t be long until the security team at IG Group will be taking full advantage of Reveal(x). “We’re in the process of onboarding our security operations team,” Bamford comments. “They’ll soon be able to see the benefits of automated detections and having this additional visibility.”

To stay competitive in the online trading and investment market, IG Group aims to offer its customers stability and peace of mind. In summarizing his experience, Bamford feels confident that his team will be able to work around volatile market events in the future. “The benefit is clear—the ability to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of the problem ten times faster with ExtraHop allows us to quickly demonstrate its value back to the business.”