The online casino and gambling scene keeps on growing by leaps and bounds. In 2020 alone, the industry’s market value spiked to over $50 billion. It is no surprise that the industry is one of the targets of hackers and fraudsters looking to enrich themselves easily.
Although cybersecurity technology has advanced, hackers have also found ways to get around various security measures. In fact, security violations have gone up by 67% between 2014 and 2019. And according to a Forbes report, 30,000 new websites are hacked daily.
Cyberattacks happen against brick-and-mortar and online casinos alike in different parts of the world. In 2020, a cyberattack forced the Cache Creek Resort, It’se Ye-Ye Casino, and Clearwater Casino & Lodge to temporarily stop their operations. These three are tribal casinos that are based in the United States.
In April 2021, two of the four casinos in the Australian state of Tasmania had to be closed by the Australian casino operator Federal Group because of a ransomware attack. Hackers encrypted the casinos’ files — affecting the slot machines and booking systems — and demanded a ransom for restored access.
A report from cybersecurity solutions provider Nexusguard states that most of the cyberattacks that occurred in the third quarter of 2020 focused on online casinos. There are allegations that hackers supported by the Chinese government are targeting Internet-based casinos as part of China’s plan to eliminate illegal gambling sites.
It does not matter if these online casinos offer mahjong and other games originating from China. If they are illegal in the eyes of the Chinese government, they should be shut down.
Hackers have several different techniques at their disposal that they use to launch a cyberattack on an online gambling site. They include:
Cyberattacks against online casinos have more than just an economic impact. They can also affect an establishment’s reputation and reduce customer trust and loyalty. Therefore, keeping their systems and customer information safe and secure is one of the top priorities of online casinos.
By its very nature, an online casino deals with financial transactions continuously. In fact, these transactions total millions or even billions of dollars daily. To maintain security and protect customers’ information, the Internet gambling industry makes use of measures such as two-factor authentication and firewalls. In addition, online casinos also work with reputable payment solutions.
A protocol known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is also commonly used by online casinos for security purposes. Basically, an SSL system provides a secure connection between the customer, the web server, and the web browser. It safeguards sensitive information through digital encryption and other means, in effect hiding the information that customers of online casinos disclose before they start to play for real money.
Members and guests can usually check what security measures an online casino has in place; this information can be found in the site’s “Security,” “About Us,” or “FAQs” sections. Additionally, they can also ask the casino’s customer support service about the site’s security protocols.