The Importance of Cybersecurity for Gaming Companies

Over the years, gaming has seriously gone mainstream and it’s no longer limited to a certain audience. Today, people from all ages indulge in various games and in different devices. Gaming is not just restricted to the PC anymore.

Online gaming has slowly morphed into one of the biggest and most profitable areas for game developers. In fact, this industry is expected to generate revenues of up to $230 billion in the upcoming years. The exponential growth has also meant that, at times, cybersecurity measures have failed to keep pace with the needs of the users.

Given this fact, it’s only natural that hackers and malware target the gaming industry. Cybersecurity is important for gaming companies because of the following reasons.

In App-Purchase Threats
Most games require players to make an ID. They also offer features such as in-game purchases with real money. That is where the security concerns start to crop up. A breach in the database could expose a lot of sensitive information relating to the players.

For mobile gaming, this is a huge flaw, which has had serious repercussions in the past. In 2012, Apple suffered a huge loss when hackers successfully targeted a vulnerable area in their in-app purchasing system. Nearly 115 app store games were affected which caused a loss of $8.3 to $8.4 million before it was corrected.

It’s not Apple’s fault though. The result was found to be due to poor coding on the developer’s part.

The more popular a game is, the more likely it is for the players to be targeted

The Social Side of Gaming
The most popular ones are open world, roleplaying games – RPG or massive multi-player roleplaying games – MMORPG. Games like Minecraft, League of Legends, Clash of Clans, and more allow different users to interact with others on a shared server.

In 2018, League of Legends suffered one of the worst hacking attacks when hackers created various spam accounts. They then posed as friends and shared links to get free assets or other in-game items that are needed by the players. The link then takes them to a site where their login details are needed and their account is hacked.

Oddly, the more popular a game is, the more likely it is for the players to be targeted. Apart from League of Legends, Fortnite players have also been susceptible to hacking issues. Sadly, a younger target market (18 to 24) means that they’re less likely to notice when their account has been hacked or the data has been compromised.

A Need to Focus on Cybersecurity
Most game developers usually push security measures to the end of the game development process because game development takes a long time. It can be years before a finished game is ready for release. This is why game houses that churn out games every month or every year need to focus more on the cybersecurity aspect.

Even outsourcing the security bit will be more feasible than releasing a patchy game that can be manipulated by hackers. Similarly, cybersecurity with gaming is a concern that falls largely on the developers shoulders. They have to provide their users with a secure platform. All popularity aside, once users learn that the game leaves them vulnerable to hackers, they are going to move away to a better one.

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