Data breaches have been one of the most problematic issues for online businesses in 2020. 160,000 Nintendo accounts were stolen by hackers. Hotel chain Marriott announced that the information about 5.2 million users was stolen. In other words, data breaches affected even the world’s largest businesses. Online casinos are also businesses and carry the same risk: hackers can target them too. So, what measures do online gambling businesses take to address this risk? How is your personal information protected at online casinos while you play poker online? Below we give answers to these questions.
What Causes Data Breach?
Like all cybersecurity risks, it is possible to list the reasons for a data breach in three basic categories:
- Weak Passwords. If attackers try hard enough with a method called “brute force”, they can crack weak passwords. System administrators should therefore use passwords that are long, complex and contain special symbols and characters. Otherwise, the attacker can gain admin rights and access all data.
- Social Engineering. In this technique, people are hacked, not computers. For example, an attacker could ask a secretary to upload a file to a computer by posing himself as admin on the phone. The uploaded file gives the attacker full access.
- Malware. It is transmitted from corrupted websites or phishing emails. Once installed on the computer, it opens a backdoor, and the attacker gains full access to the entire system.
Of course, this is a simplified list, but the reason for the vast majority of data breaches is one of the above. This list also shows what should be considered to prevent a data breach.
How to Prevent Data Breaches?
Online casinos are businesses, and like any business, they have a website. The service they offer may be casino games, but the websites they use are based on general software and platforms. In other words, online casinos are protected from data breaches like any other business: they don’t need to do anything special. In this regard, they take the following measures:
- They regularly update the software and platforms they use. Each update ensures that some security vulnerabilities are closed.
- Sensitive information is encrypted, and password information is stored on a different server. An example of this is the account passwords of users. Even if the attacker gets hold of usernames, they cannot see the account passwords because they are stored on another server.
- They use security software and VPN services. These are standard safeguards against all cybersecurity risks, and by using them, it is possible to get rid of most problems before they occur.
- They use two-factor authentication to access sources where sensitive data is stored. You know how this system works: when you want to log into your bank account, an SMS code is sent to your mobile phone, right? A similar system is used for personnel who can access the parts where user information is stored. This provides additional protection for sensitive data.
- They train their employees. This training can be the most effective measure against data breaches. All employees are particularly trained in social engineering techniques and learn what to look out for. In other words, cybersecurity ceases to be a situation that only concerns IT workers and starts to concern everyone.
Land-Based Casinos Are More Vulnerable
Data breach risk affects land-based casinos the most. There is no notable data breach for online casinos, even in 2020. Land-based casinos, on the other hand, have many embarrassing examples. MGM Resort reported that the information of its 10.6 million guests was stolen in 2019. The same happened to Hard Rock Casino in 2020. Hackers stole the user data of another unnamed casino by hacking the thermostat system in the aquarium. Land-based casinos have many physical security vulnerabilities that can be used for data breaching, and their software is often outdated. For this reason, they are more affected by attacks. Online casinos take advantage of the security measures of the server they are hosted on and use up-to-date software. For this reason, they are not affected by cyber-attacks. Moreover, they usually don’t store their users’ payment information themselves and use a payment processor. In other words, there is no information that attackers can obtain other than usernames and passwords. Land-based casinos, on the other hand, store credit card information and bank account information. This means that the attacker can gain more.
It is not possible to completely prevent data breaches because no digital service is 100% safe. However, it is possible to reduce this risk as much as possible by taking the necessary precautions, and online casinos have done this perfectly so far. Compared to other industries, your personal information is far less likely to be stolen from an online casino.