It is gaming night and you can’t wait. It is time to banish the marauding demon back to wherever it came from. You have been working on some tactics that you’re sure will get you ahead of the competition.
But wait, do you know that the biggest threat you should be fighting is not on the screen. There are other demons working behind the scenes who can hit you hard. And, the worst part is that you will not see it coming.
They operate in stealth mode using the latest technologies to get access to your systems. Their sophistication level is so high that their methods of attack confound some of the greatest minds.
By now you should be wondering who we are talking about? Cybercriminals, that’s who.
Our article explores cybersecurity awareness in gaming in 2021. There is a lot you need to know, so please read on.
Gaming and Cybersecurity
Why would cybercriminals be interested in the gaming industry? Perhaps a better question would be why they would not be interested. After all, the gaming industry is very lucrative, if industry trends are anything to go by. A cyber security program can help you learn skills to protect your systems and data from malicious cyber attacks.
A 2021 report shows that the industry is currently worth more than $300 billion. Yes, you read that right, $300 billion! The figure surpasses what you would get if you combine the music and movie industries.
Mobile gaming has a big role to play in the explosion. Within the last 3 years, there have been 500 million players hopping on board. That means there are over 2.7 billion people currently consuming gaming products.
For the gaming industry, this is money hitting the bank every single minute. And, for cybercriminals, it is a chance to access tons of data for their nefarious purposes.
There are steps gamers can take to stay safe online. One good idea is to beef up on online security. Installing security measures such as anti-malware, anti-ransomware and antivirus can provide some protection.
Another excellent option is by using a residential proxy. Internet traffic passes through an intermediary server via an alternative IP address. The IP comes from the Internet service provider (ISP) and not a data center as is the case with other proxies.
ISPs tie the residential proxy address to a physical location and device. The devices then become the intermediary for any connections. Gamers get privacy and anonymity while online, keeping them safe from hackers.
Implementing the steps above is no longer an option. Take a walk in dark web forums, and you will see the number of gaming accounts up for sale.
The hackers are selling credentials of gaming company employees. You could also buy client facing resources, admin panels and developer environments.
And here is where it gets more interesting. The criminals are not even charging high amounts for the information. Passwords and usernames can be yours for prices ranging from $16 to $25.
No One Is Safe
The sad truth is no one is safe on the online platform. Parents need to be especially watchful. The gaming industry is becoming a gateway for sexual predators, drugs and online pornography.
Hackers are using the pirated versions of some popular games to introduce malware into your systems. One minute, you could have money in your bank account. The next, like a horror story, it could be empty. In-app purchases are a favorite hunting ground for cybercriminals.
The activities of cybercriminals have far-reaching effects. For the gamer, loss of personal information can have profound effects, as we have already highlighted above. For the gaming companies, there is the risk of reputational and financial damages.
Regulators are requiring more stringent measures from those in the Industries to protect the customers. They must for example comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It aims at keeping any credit card information secure.
Non-compliant organizations will face penalties under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act. The companies may also undergo auditing to ensure that they are complying with the regulations.
But that’s not all. Gaming companies must invest in additional security measures to keep gamers safe. Such include multi-factor authentication to help avoid identity theft.
Data handling and confidentiality must also take priority. There should be no part of the developmental cycle that does not focus on security features.
How to Stay Safe Online
Gaming companies have a big role to play in cybersecurity. But, as a gamer, you also have a big role to play. We have already talked about installing security measures and using proxy servers. But there are other things you need to do including:
- Avoid downloading any unnecessary programs such as cheat codes. Such may contain spyware or viruses that may place gamers at risk.
- Be watchful about sharing too much personal information
- Avoid pirated games because they do not have any security updates.
- Parents must enable parental control. It also pays to be watchful about the sites and content your children are interacting with. Installing a proxy server can help with monitoring or tracking their online activities.
- Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to make it harder for hackers to get excess
- Run updates so that you enjoy the latest security updates and patches
- Wipe out any personal information from gaming consoles, computers or devices if no longer in use. The same applies if you decide to sell or dispose of them in any way.
You want to enjoy your game without stressing about cybercriminals. But, you cannot pretend that the threat does not exist. You must learn all there is to know about cyber-security and the gaming industry.
Our article is an excellent starting point. But, there is a lot more to know. Gaming companies must do their part to ensure the safety of their customers.
Complying with industry regulations is critical. Ensuring that security features are a part of every step of the development cycle is another.
For online gamers, cybersecurity awareness is critical. We have highlighted some things you can do to stay safe. Such include using a residential proxy for online anonymity.
Installing anti-malware, antivirus, and enabling firewalls can also keep you safe. Most importantly avoid pirated versions or in-app purchases that can increase your vulnerability while online.