The gaming industry is projected to grow to $235 billion by the end of 2022. To put that number in perspective, the global film industry is worth $136 billion.
Gaming has always been a big business. But with the rise of mobile gaming, eSports, and other trends, it’s truly become a behemoth. Unfortunately, the industry is under a huge swarm of threats.
Data branches have resulted in over 10 billion credential stuffing attacks in the past year alone. And that doesn’t even include DDoS, spoofing, and other risks.
Across the board, security is the biggest challenge to the industry. Here’s what gamers, developers, investors, and everybody else needs to know.
Why Is Gaming Such a Security Black Hole?
The vast majority of gaming is powered via the internet. This, in itself, is problematic. But if you compare to other industries like eCommerce and FinTech that are similarly fueled by connectivity, gaming has ludicrously lax security.
Advanced algorithms, hashing, encryption, and other tools are commonplace in most other digital avenues other than gaming. It makes absolutely no sense.
As a result, fraudsters naturally turn to gamers to take advantage of credential stuffing attacks. In these threats, hackers take advantage of data breaches and leak information to gain access to passwords.
Since almost 60% of online users reuse passwords, it is only a matter of time to take a gamer account—especially since User IDs displayed publicly are often the same credential to log in.
Once hackers identify accounts, they can target one of two things. They may take over the account directly and loot connected information like email addresses, credit card data, and even in-game inventory. Or they might just sell the data on the dark web.
Either way, it poses a serious risk to gamers who are often unaware that anything has even happened until it’s too late.
DDoS Attacks, Cyber-Bullying, Identity Theft and More
This only scratches the surface of all the other risks out there. Let’s take one of the fastest-growing threats—social engineering. Fraudsters will create fake emails that seem to come from real platforms or games. In reality, these are scams that result in players inputting their login information onto a malicious portal or downloading malware.
Concurrently DDoS attacks are becoming even more frequent. This is a favourite technique for hackers who want to exploit data and wreak a little havoc in the process.
And this is just the beginning. We haven’t even divided into ransomware attacks, cyber-bullying, and other risks out there to everybody in the gaming niche.
What Does the Industry Need to Do?
Video game developers and platforms need to be models of cybersecurity best practices and take the opportunity now to educate their players. These are your customers, so it would benefit you if your games don’t end up in them getting hacked.
Above all, account security must be a top priority. The easiest way to stop a credential spoofing attack is by having unique, lengthy, and complex passwords for all accounts. And this is actually very straightforward to achieve.
Players can take advantage of Windows Password Managers to securely store their passwords. The advantage here is two-fold. It lowers exposure to threats by creating individual passwords for each account. The second is that should one password get leaked, it doesn’t put someone’s remaining accounts in jeopardy.
Combined with 2FA and biometrics, password managers virtually guarantee that most account takeover attempts are failed. They are also so easy to use and make it easier for people to log in to their accounts. That’s why they are just a no brainer for gamers of all ages.
Simultaneously, gamers need to learn how to spot suspicious activity, so they don’t inadvertently click on a scammer’s email.
Finally, everybody can benefit from better network security. This is one of the biggest reasons that VPNs have grown so popular in gaming in recent years. Besides unlocking regional content and performance enhancements, VPNs are a highly effective method of deterring DDoS attacks.
Security in Gaming: Solving a Major Issue
It’s time the gaming industry grew up and took a little responsibility. Since so many of their players are young, it’s on developers and companies to educate their players and teach them how to be safe.
It’s really a win-win too. By providing these essential tips, this not only prevents your hackers from hurting your customer’s wallets but also builds your reputation as a brand they can trust. What could be better than that?