Within the last fifteen to twenty years, digital entertainment and activity have skyrocketed astronomically. Except for a few ventures like manufacturing that require physical factories, you can do almost anything on the internet. Online gaming, an enjoyable hobby for many, is one such activity that has become quite prevalent across the digital world.
The explosion of the iGaming industry has undoubtedly turned it into a global powerhouse in its own right. Yet, amidst the euphoria of this digital evolution, the security of a fully-serviced cyber gaming environment remains paramount. In this article, we embark on a journey into the very core of iGaming. We will unravel how technological innovations have contributed to improved confidence, ultimately making players feel safer in an age of unsuspecting cyber hazards.
Common Cyber Threats in the iGaming Industry
The online gaming industry was one of the first to embrace digital technology by providing access to casino-type entertainment within the digital realm. But of course, this advancement brought a whole set of new challenges, with online casino security topping the list.
One might ask, why exactly are online gaming platforms being targeted in the first place? Well simply put, money! Aside from the availability of personal user information that can be stolen, lots of financial transactions take place in iGaming.
Many different kinds of cyber threats exist, but our focus here will be on the most common of them.
1. Information Hacking
This is a very common form of cyber attack that involves spoofing any form of communication on the internet. Typically, a hacker (or organization) pretends to be a legitimate entity in an attempt to gain the confidence of players. This is most commonly done by sending an email with a link offering some kind of special bonus or promotional code.
Players who click on this link and subsequently input their personal information will unfortunately become victims of information hacking. By getting access to sensitive private information, cybercriminals can steal data, money or spread malware.
Spoof emails can also be used to target employees of iGaming platforms and trick them into revealing confidential information like work or network passwords.
Much like in email spoofing, ransomware attacks are carried out using a Trojan Horse Virus disguised as a file in an email. The difference here, however, is that users are tricked into downloading the email attachment instead of just clicking a link. What happens next is one of the biggest nightmares of any security administrator.
Once a Trojan is downloaded, it runs an encryption program and makes it impossible for users to access their files. The attacker then offers to help the victim regain access only if they are paid a ‘ransom’ in cryptocurrency. The specific kind of Trojan typically used in iGaming is known as the ‘Game-thief Trojan’, but there are other types such as:
- Backdoor/Remote access Trojan
- Banking Trojan
- Spy Trojan
- Instant Messaging (IM) Trojan
3. DDOS Attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks are one of the older types of cyber threats on the internet. This type of attack will typically target the operator of an iGaming platform in an attempt to overwhelm its servers. Players also face a severe risk of losing their deposited funds because crashing an online gaming platform makes it inaccessible. DDOS attacks are usually perpetrated by organized cyber criminals.
A Look at Some Impressive Cutting-Edge Tech for Player Protection
Rickard Vikström, iGaming industry expert – “The iGaming and online sports betting industry faces several significant cybersecurity challenges… To mitigate these challenges, the industry must employ robust cybersecurity measures, such as strong authentication protocols, encryption of sensitive data, regular security audits, employee training on cybersecurity best practices, and partnerships with trusted cybersecurity service providers.”
Key stakeholders in the iGaming industry have gone all out to improve security in fighting back against the threats of cyber attacks. As observed in igaming platforms in the Philippines, operators have taken a robust approach to online casino security in their operations. Players can fully enjoy themselves in secured online gaming environments that adhere to the best iGaming standards.
A 2023 report with critical insights into the threats faced by children in the gaming industry has also led to a renewed focus on the need for stricter safety guidelines. Through the use of technology, here are ways by which these threats are being neutralized:
1. State-of-the-art encryption
Encryption technologies have emerged as a sterling vehicle of user protection. It employs the use of algorithms to encode player data at the point of origin and decrypts it only at the endpoint.
This creates an impervious encrypted highway that remains inaccessible to potential threats.
2. Reliable payment channels
Payment gateways act as the digital custodians of funds between players and iGaming platforms. The process ensures that transactions are not only seamless but impenetrable to potential threats. Some key aspects of secure payment gateways that make them reliable include:
- Application of security protocols like SSL and TLS
- Two-factor authentication
1. Improved player verification
Player verification is serving as a worthy antidote to underage gaming, identity theft, and money laundering. By implementing these measures, iGaming operators can sieve out users with criminal intent and uphold high standards of transparency and accountability. The two major ways by which player verifications are done are:
- Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures
- Documents verification
2. Regulatory oversight
Regulatory compliance sits at the heart of all safety measures within the iGaming industry. Implementing organizational oversight on online gaming platforms forces operators to adhere to industry standards.
Regulations that form a comprehensive technological framework for iGaming activity are in place to ensure the security, fairness, and transparency of iGaming.