10 Mar Top 3 cybersecurity threats experienced by the iGaming industry.
Top 3 ever-increasing cyber threats in the iGaming Industry.
iGaming has experienced rapid growth over the last decade, with more punters turning to online gambling for their entertainment. This did not go unnoticed by cyber criminals. A sharp increase in cyber threats was seen, causing serious consequences for both players and operators.
Following are the top three ever-increasing cyber threats in the iGaming industry.
The current landscape
New games, products and platforms are being launched daily. Mobile gaming has expanded radically, fulfilling players’ need for flexibility and mobility. More games are being played on more devices. The digital surface has grown rapidly, even more during the COVID-19 pandemic months. All this has led to more and more cyber threats. Together with the financial services industry, this is the industry registering the highest number of attacks.
The social engineering tactic which is most widely-used by cyber criminals is Email Phishing. Attackers create and send emails seemingly from reputable online casinos or sportsbook platforms requesting account information, personal information, and payments. At times fake websites or landing pages are created, looking very similar to legitimate iGaming websites. Players are asked to enter login credentials or other sensitive data. This information is then used to steal funds or carry out other types of fraudulent activities.
Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A common threat in the iGaming sector is frequent DDoS attacks. These cyber attacks flood online assets, such as online casinos, with high traffic to collapse the servers (where the website is hosted) and cause downtime. These attacks are maliciously timed in crucial times, such as during and before a high-profile sporting event, when sportsbooks would be extremely busy. This kind of cyberattack disrupts operations in such a way that reputation is tampered with negatively. In certain cases, attackers look to extort funds from the website’s operator.
Malware to gain access to a players’ devices
Cyber criminals use a multitude of channels to distribute malware including email attachments, malicious sites and as of late social media pages and profiles. Malware is subsequently utilised to steal sensitive information or lead players to a fraudulent activity. This is a serious threat in the online gambling industry.
“Cyber security threats and attacks in the online gaming industry are at an all time high.” - Francesco Mifsud
To mitigate these threats, iGaming operators should invest in robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls (WAFs), intrusion detection and prevention systems, and antivirus software. They should also regularly conduct vulnerability assessments, pen tests and provide cybersecurity awareness training for all their employees.
Players should also take steps to protect themselves, such as using strong passwords, Multi-factor authentication, avoiding suspicious websites or emails, and keeping their software (including operating systems) up-to-date.
A final word
The overall attitude towards cybersecurity should be on an ongoing basis “a crucial function” within the organisation. Cyber security or lack of can lead to disruption of operations, lower customer trust and confidence, therefore negatively impacting reputation. Cyber security should be an integral part of the organisation’s operations to contribute to the overall success of the casino, affiliate or sportsbook.
A common misconception is that cybersecurity is an IT function – in real terms it is a company-wide function, that should be embedded in the modus operandi of the organisation.
The most prevalent threats faced by iGaming companies, in a nutshell, are DDoS attacks, phishing, ransomware and other malware. An organisation needs to invest in its ability to identify and defend against possible attacks. Procedures on how to tackle remedial work are also paramount.
Awareness and education help reduce targeted exploits that take advantage of human errors and fears, especially with more employees working from home.
Strengthen your defences and stay vigilant against potential cyber threats. Get on a strategy call with one of our experts today.