Hackers love trying to target the iGaming industry. In rare cases, they’ve succeeded. In 2016, for instance, hackers successfully managed to infiltrate Hard Rock Hotel & Casino not once, but twice. River Cree announced it was also a victim of hacking crimes that same year. And there are other examples.
News like this reverberates throughout the industry. That’s because when it comes to iGaming, cybersecurity is particularly important. Here’s why (and what they do about it).
When someone shares their personal details with a company, it’s based on a whole load of trust. People need to know their information is safe, especially when it comes to their financial details. If a casino loses that trust through a data breach, it’s unlikely that the customers will ever go back. The integrity of the industry must be protected to ensure players feel comfortable with spending their earnings playing their favorite table games or slots.
It Is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Big money draws criminals. It’s an irrefutable part of life. Online casinos are big business, representing millions of dollars of transactions every single day. Predictions point to the iGaming industry reaching a value of $84.75 billion by 2024. Considering the United States is steadily lowering restrictions and allowing casinos to operate online, this number will undoubtedly be higher.
iGaming Has Gone Global
Unlike their bricks & mortar counterparts, online casinos occupy web space that can be accessed from just about anywhere in the world. Whether you’re in the United Kingdom, the EU, Australia, New Zealand, or simply looking to place a cheeky wager from India, there are options aplenty. Thanks to the large amounts of money that gets to change hands at these establishments, they present a very attractive proposition for more nefarious types. Thankfully, however, this industry is at the forefront of dealing with cyber criminals and often has some of the most stringent safety measures in place for that reason.
Perhaps the most important reason that cybersecurity is relevant to the iGaming industry is the wealth of financial information that is used on a daily basis. If a casino suffers a data breach, it’s not just an email or a date of birth that is at risk. While this is not ideal, it’s something you can overcome. With online casinos, however, players all over the world use their credit cards to deposit significant amounts of money.
How the iGaming Industry Combats Security Threats
It’s clear that cybercriminals pose a real threat to any company operating online. There’s no getting around it. Considering the importance of security in the iGaming industry in particular, companies take serious measures.
The legitimate companies in the industry ensure they pass independent stress tests run by third parties. In addition to ensuring games are fair and wins are randomly generated, these tests will also guarantee that customer data (including financial) are secure.
Random Number Generator (RNG)
Casinos use what’s called RNG technology to ensure that games such as slots are fully randomized. This means that hackers are not able to predict or tweak the results of any individual game. It not only guarantees fairness for players, but added security for casinos as well.
Casinos have different ways of finding repeat offenders, or those that continue to (unsuccessfully) attempt to hack their way to the relevant private information. This is done through IP tracing, for example.
The iGaming industry works closely with financial companies to ensure transactions are legitimate. If the anti-fraud system detects unusual behavior, the transaction will be blocked. In addition, more and more consumers have their own safety measures in place, such as having to approve transactions via an app or a text message.
When data are sent without encryption between the customer and website, it means that it is unsecured. If hackers can intercept this data, they’ve won the jackpot. They can use what they’ve intercepted for their own means (just think what they’d do with credit card details!), or they can even manipulate the data being exchanged. Encryption ensures this information is not viewable in these scenarios; the data has been encrypted, and it requires a secure corresponding key. Look for companies and sites that use SSL and HTTPS to ensure your data are encrypted and secure.
Not all cybersecurity solutions are technical in nature. Casinos also have measures in place to educate customers and ensure they know how to protect themselves online. It’s about helping players be proactive about protecting their data and financial information, rather than purely relying on third parties.
Customers aren’t the only ones who need to be watchful. The iGaming industry has the reputation of having well-trained staff members who are capable of identifying suspicious behavior. They are experts at fraud detection, dealing with fake accounts, stolen credit card details, and more. If ‘fake’ players arrive and try to use stolen card details, it is unlikely that they will get away with it.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Hackers will continue to pose a risk to iGaming, no matter how good the cybersecurity solutions are today. It’s an unfortunate truth when it comes to companies that are profitable, operate primarily online, and have a large user base. The iGaming industry isn’t unique in this regard.
The trick to guaranteeing security for customers? Staying ahead of the game. iGaming companies that wish to survive in this competitive environment need to ensure they invest adequately in the right people, and third-party solutions. Security shouldn’t be an afterthought or a bolt-on, but a front and center priority.