The fever of esports is taking over the world! From League of Legends to Counter Strike Global Offensive, there are many high budget tournaments for popular games all around the globe. Yet it is all fun and games until hackers make their move. Learn why cybersecurity for esports is essential.
Online gaming and esports industry has been growing rapidly in the last few years. In fact, its value is estimated to be well over 100 billion worldwide. As a result, this growing industry has turned into a glowing target for hackers and cyber criminals. Today, the wide majority of the video games are being delivered through online platforms like Steam, Battle.net and EA Origin where hundreds of millions of gamers keep their personal information like name, birth date, residential address and credit card details. It is no secret that these platforms are being attacked regularly. Yet the cyber threat against the gaming industry does not stop there: Giant e-sports conventions, tournaments and events are held and hackers are bold enough to target them. The heavy use of public WiFi alone makes such events delightful for cyber attackers.
In this article, we will discuss the imminent cyberthreats targeting esports industry and how you can protect yourself.
Why is gaming industry an attractive target?
There are many reasons why hackers drool over gaming industry. For the sake of brevity and clarity, we will focus on the 4 most important reasons below.
- Popularity of digital purchases. Today, we almost never buy the physical copy of a game. Instead, we use platforms like Steam, EA Origin and such to buy our games. As a result, we leave a digital footprint. Cybercriminals try their best to hack such platforms to get a hold of the credit card information of gamers. All in all, stealing payment information is significantly easier when the purchase is done online.
- Online games are more popular than ever. In the last decades, we used to play mostly offline games but this has changed dramatically. Now, online games are living their golden age since we really enjoy sharing the gaming experience with our friends. From MMORPGs to online co-op games, we just love being interconnected. As a result, our devices, networks and game clients are more vulnerable to attacks.
- The abundance of online platforms: Due to the increasing demand to and popularity of online games, there are hundreds of different digital platforms: Online shops, game clients and more. Even a casual gamer can count 4 to 5 of them. As a result, it is easier to find a vulnerable spot or a security hole in at least one of those platforms.
- Enormous gaming events: Since esports and online games are big, their events are big too! Tens of thousands people attend tournaments, conventions, launch parties and such events. In such events, there is almost always a public WiFi, ready to be exploited by cyber criminals.
Making gaming more secure
If you want to protect yourself and your organization from the cyber criminals targeting gaming industry, you need professional help. From the distribution of the game to maintaining the client, every aspect of the gaming experience must be secure. Pen testing, help from cybersecurity experts, tailormade solutions and many, many layers of security measures must be in place.
In addition to the protection granted by the companies, users must also take necessary precautions. Enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software updated, using a password manager and getting a VPN can be very useful.