Importance of Cybersecurity in the Online Gambling Industry

Importance of Cybersecurity in the Online Gambling Industry

In the murky waters of the virtual world, one is never too safe. Online predators, cybercriminals, and other shady characters wait patiently for a perfect opportunity to steal your data and commit fraud. Older people, children, and less tech-savvy users are especially vulnerable to these attacks. However, no one is really immune, and the technology scammers use keeps evolving and finding new and more creative ways of getting around firewalls, anti-viruses, and spyware/malware detectors. 

One particularly dangerous area is online gambling, especially following the rapid expansion of online casinos recently. The pandemic-hit industry found a way to attract gaming enthusiasts in need of an adrenaline boost and opened its virtual doors to welcome them. To better cater to their users’ security, online venues started implementing stricter measures and standards. Even so, punters have to be very careful when playing online games on such sites. We’ll walk you through all the risks you should be aware of when kicking off your gambling journey. 

  1. Hacking User Data

This is the thing online gamblers fret about the most; hacking and stealing someone’s data might lead to using it for account takeovers or selling personal information to third parties for criminal purposes. If scammers get a hold of your payment information, such as credit card details, you won’t need a bad run at the casino to clean out your bank account. To prevent this from happening, you should always research the gambling venues you visit. Make sure the casino has a license from a reputable gambling authority and has a solid privacy policy. If the casino operates in Europe, check if it is GDPR compliant to ensure it won’t misuse your data. Also, look for casinos using industry-standard encryption for scrambling all the traffic between you and their websites.

  1. Compromising Gameplay

Even if the casino uses advanced technology to protect your data and assets but fails to provide a provably fair gaming experience or preserve the integrity of the games, its reputation will quickly plummet. Players shouldn’t simply flick through the “Terms and Conditions” page but thoroughly research if the online casino uses RNG software for randomizing the games’ outcomes. Also, having a clearly displayed RTP percentage for each game signifies that the casino plays on the safe side and isn’t looking to cheat players. That’s why we recommend checking if the games are verified by reputable testing agencies such as eCogra (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation), Technical Systems Testing (TST), iTech Labs, or Verisign.

  1. DDoS and Ransomware Attacks

If you thought DDoS attacks were reserved for big companies, governments, and financial institutions, think again. Online gaming venues are often targets of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which halt access to their website or certain features on it for a time. There are also ransomware attacks, with hackers holding gamblers’ data and demanding a ransom for it. Keeping in mind that the US gambling industry generates annual revenue of $261 billion, we can only imagine the damage DDoS and ransomware attacks can inflict on the online gambling sector.

  1. Money Laundering 

Even though most casinos officially state that they follow anti-money laundering policies, some fail to do so. Casinos should be obliged to check the source of large deposits, but some bypass their legal obligations and end up fined or even closed down because of fraud. The process of combating money laundering has to include preventing deposits using stolen credit cards. 

  1. Phishing Attacks

Since registering with an online casino implies providing personal documents (due to the verification process), players-to-be need to submit their email address, among other data. Should the data remain vulnerable, the risk of phishing attacks increases. How do these work? Well, players get a fraudulent email containing a fake login page or a similar trick meant to either get user information or make them click on a dangerous link. If the phisher manages to trick the user into doing so, they’ll gain possession of the vital personal/payment data, which they can use to rob their victims blind.

  1. Loss Prevention

Finally, let’s take a look at the cybersecurity problem from the perspective of the casino itself. The biggest threat to every household is leaving the door unlocked; the most significant risk for virtual casinos is exposing the website to hackers. If there are security leaks due to inadequate protection mechanisms, cybercriminals would have a field day at the casino’s expense. It’s not just the reputation that goes out of the window if player accounts get hacked – the casino’s finances can become a target, too. Therefore, taking a proactive approach to security is all but mandatory these days.

Bottom Line

Even with industry-standard encryption, reputable licensing regulators, RNG software, compliance with all data protection laws, and top-notch testing agencies supervising it, a casino may still not be 100% safe to play on. Cybercriminals develop new ways of circumventing security measures faster than we could ever imagine.  In order to protect their assets and users, online venues have to join forces with financial and security institutions and keep developing new and innovative strategies for tackling the ever-changing security threats. As for players, we have to stay vigilant and be extra careful with whom we share our sensitive personal data and how.

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  1. […] year there is a noticeable increase in email-related security incidents. Just about everybody is affected. People’s personal emails are a target just as a company’s […]

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