18th June 2020, Kathmandu
Research suggests a rise in cyberattacks related to video games by more than 50% in April 2020. Kaspersky Lab reports that threat actors have tried to direct users to dangerous sites through video games have increased by 54% compared to January 2020. So, it is essential to address the importance of Cyber Security in Gaming.
The video gaming industry has been in the frontier of entertainment worldwide. PRNewswire suggests that the video game market might reach an estimated $179.1 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 6.4% from 2019 to 2024.
And yet, this industry remains the most targetted in case of security breaches. The gaming industry suffered 12 billion cyberattacks in 17 months (November 2017-March 2019).
The situation of Cyber Security in Gaming: Why is the Gaming Industry an Easy Target?
Hackers tend to look for the weakest link that is easier to crack. Meanwhile, industries with higher financial risk, such as banking and e-commerce, use hashing algorithms to store passwords. This makes their system challenging to break.
The easiest / fastest way to breach systems is credential stuffing attack. It is a type of cyberattack in which hackers use violated username/password pairs to gain access to user accounts.
According to a report by Akamai Technologies, 67% of credential stuffing attacks target organizations based in the US. A security researcher at Akamai hints towards the financial status of gaming platforms for it to be a tempting target for hackers. “Criminals can easily exchange in-game items for profit,”; the researcher said.
When a data breach occurs, the credentials of compromised users can be readily available on the internet and the dark web. When the bots used by cybercriminals gain access to an account, its logged.
Did You Know?
Google identified that 65% of users reuse the same password for multiple or all accounts.
So, the primary reason why gaming is prone to breaches is the use of low-friction authentication.
Simply because it could put the revenue in jeopardy if customers get fed up with increasing friction in the authentication.
Likewise, the use of less secure passwords is another reason for the flaw in cybersecurity in gaming. Customers don’t take the financial risks in gaming too seriously. The fact that a majority of video gamers are not adults could support this theory.
Also, game developers tend to avoid security factors by focusing on delivering products at a faster pace. This means there could be bugs and vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit.
Therefore, cybercrime in online games is especially at an increasing trend.
How to Play Video Games Safely?
In today’s world, each individual needs to be aware of the risks of cyberattacks. In doing so, they can remain vigilant and adopt the necessary security measures.
Whether you are a gamer yourself, or a parent who worries about the gaming habits of their children, you can ensure cybersecurity in gaming by taking a few precautions:
● Use Strong and Unique Credentials for Gaming
Using the same password for all online accounts is a bad cyber practice. This makes you an easy target for hackers through credential stuffing attacks.
Make sure to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your gaming accounts.
● Keep an eye out for Pirated Gaming Sources.
Obtain your games from verified sources as far as possible. Try resisting the urge to get games at lower prices through unauthorized means.
The attackers may bait you into downloading ransomware. Moreover, you could also be indulging in piracy by doing so.
● If you think the virtual world is better than reality, think again.
You can’t quickly put your faith in someone you came across a gaming platform. So, beware of any link or offers of obtaining coins or in-game money.
● Look out for Phishing Attacks
Scam emails from threat actors disguising as gaming companies is not a new trick. So, make sure you know how to detect scam emails.
Check if the company has an official website and never indulge in providing personal data through email.
● Use a security solution.
Trustable security solutions can help detect unlicensed programs and even block phishing attacks.
Make sure to enable your security solution while you play. Do not turn it off just so the game consumes fewer resources.
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