“For every lock, there is someone out there trying to pick it or break in”
Over the last few years, this has become especially true for cyberspaces around the world. Cybercrime is expected to cost a collective $6 trillion. This number is staggering considering it is bigger than the total revenues that some industries generate. The gaming industry, for instance, is worth well over $150 billion and growing yet it dwarfs in comparison to the losses being incurred due to cybercrime.
The gaming industry is among the fastest-growing markets. Online and social gaming, in particular, has seen substantial investments in just the past couple of years. This cash in-flow has made the industry a lucrative target for hackers and other cybercriminals. In this article, we discuss some of the security challenges and how to deal with them.
Risks Gamers Face
Cybercrime, in general, has evolved considerably with experts acknowledging that attackers continue to stay a step ahead of their victims. Some of the biggest companies have come under threat and have lost millions of accounts with sensitive information to cybercrime. Since most cybercriminals are after financial gains, they are shifting their attention towards gaming now.
One of the most common risks that gamers face is in the form of DDoS attacks. Short for a Distributed Denial of Service attack, it involves directing a lot of traffic towards the system of a victim. During online gaming, even fellow players resort to these attacks to throw the other off the network and disrupt their game. So, the threat is both internal as well as external.
Additionally, while gamers are busy dueling it out on online platforms, there can be a lot going on behind the scenes. The internet connection is where most hackers find their way into a device. The gaming craze has taken over the generation so much that they’ll connect to any network, even a public one to begin a game, not knowing that these connections are hubs for cybercrimes.
Why the Gaming Industry?
Games like Fortnite and PUBG alone are raking in millions of dollars at the moment. Other game developers are channeling in equal amounts of money because the demand for new releases is soaring. Mobile gaming makes up 45% of the total $150 billion that the gaming market is worth. It is clear that there is a lot of money to be made here, both legally and illegally.
Twitch streamers like Ninja and PewDiePie have built huge Youtube channels, increasing their net worth to millions. A teenager recently won the Fortnite World Championships and his prize money was $3 million. All these factors come together and put the gaming industry on the radar of cybercriminals around the world.
Gaming Among the Most Security Ready Industries in the World
Despite the challenges, there is a consensus between game developers and industry experts that gaming is by far the most security ready field today. The reason behind this is that games face a threat from their own players before anyone else. The immature gamers are always looking for ways to install cheat codes or find loopholes in the games coding.
They do this to either make the game easier for themselves or to get famous by exposing a flaw in a game. In light of this, game developers are vigilant. They build fail-safe mechanisms within the games that lockout intruders or shut the program down completely. These contingency plans have been in place for a number of years whereas in other industries they are being implemented now.
What More, Needs to be Done?
Despite the confidence, there are still some aspects of the cybercrime that are left out. Social gaming is the reason games are becoming so popular and most of them require an active internet connection to play. Games may have backup plans in case they get hacked but there is no way that they secure the entire connection which is the gateway for most bugs.
What’s more, is that it is difficult to detect a virus within the system unless it’s too late. This means that you may be engaged in your game and someone may be stealing your personal information in the background. This is why gamers have to be extra careful and take some precautionary steps to avoid any potentially damaging accidents.
Essentials for Gamers
So, what are these things that gamers should do? Here are a few:
Have an antivirus installed: While an antivirus will disable some gaming functions because they interfere with its processes, gamers tend to switch off the program completely. This is not recommended. In fact, there are a number of anti-virus software that comes with a gaming mode now so that players can enjoy a safe experience at all times,
Conceal your identity as much as you can: Many gamers especially the ones who are new to this field use their original name and picture when creating a username or avatar for a game. This can leave clues which hackers can trace back to the real person which can put them at risk,
Remain vigilant: During online gameplay, cybercriminals can try to gain access to your system by sending random links, attachments or emails which contain the virus. Be wary of any such message coming from a suspicious person because it can cost you dearly even if you inadvertently click on it,
Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network helps protect you by making your data traffic completely anonymous. This means that you can enjoy your favorite games online with the peace of mind that no hackers will be able to pinpoint the location of your device and thereby search for other targets.
It is crucial that gamers remain on their toes at all times. If a credible VPN like Ivacy though, a large chunk of issues is simply left in the dust. Ivacy’s gaming VPN makes sure that any cybercriminal trying to breach your system has a particularly difficult time trying to get past the encryption protocols.
Published on September 16, 2019