Cybersecurity in Online Gaming

The global gaming industry has evolved considerably during the 21st century to date. Gone are the clunky, pixelated games of the 1980s and 1990s, and in their place are sleek gaming experiences that immerse players in incredible engaging worlds. Nor are gamers bound to home consoles or PCs, with gaming laptops, tablets, portable consoles, and smartphones opening up new levels of accessibility for gaming audiences. 

Playing games is now possible on a whole range of devices and, as if that wasn’t enough, audiences are spoilt for choice in terms of the type of games they can play. From sports simulation games to multiplayer online battle arena games and digital poker, the modern gaming industry is packed to the rafters with exciting and innovative genres.  

Unlike the gaming industry of the 20th century, most of today’s games are either played online or make use of internet technology, whether that involves automated updates or downloading new titles from a digital storefront. This increased reliance on connected tech brings with it a new set of cybersecurity concerns that digital gaming providers need to stay on top of.  

To paraphrase Arise Gaming’s Chief CX Innovation Office, Jonathan Shroyer, players depend on the trust and credibility of whatever platform, gaming service, or digital marketplace they’re accessing. The continued success of even the most popular premium titles depends on attracting a never-ending flow of loyal players, making cybersecurity vital to the survival of any modern gaming company. 

Industrywide measures  

Given how diverse the digital gaming landscape is, there are certain industrywide measures that players expect as a minimum.  

For instance, if a gamer is required to make financial transactions, whether that’s purchasing a game via a distribution service like Steam or making a deposit into a real money poker platform, they need to be sure that these transactions are carried out in the most secure digital environment possible.  

So, when playing at an iGaming platform like PokerStars UK, gamers expect the financial transactions they make on the platform to be secure and encrypted. PokerStars is one of a number of operators that accept several real money withdrawal and deposit options, from debit cards to eWallets, and need proven ways in which to hold player deposits. Making use of segregated accounts with reputable financial institutions is an effective way for providers of real money gaming to securely and efficiently hold player balances and transactions. 

But it’s not just the gaming platforms that have a responsibility to ensure airtight cybersecurity. Increasingly, data encryption and other security measures are being incorporated from the early stages of video game development. When a game is ready to go to market, publishers need to ensure that the servers which will host the game are configured correctly. Any and all game

servers should be protected by extensive firewalls, which only allow the necessary data to travel through the ports needed for a game to operate.

Gamers need to take precautions too  


Of course, the responsibility for keeping data safe and secure when playing online also lies with the gamer. It’s all too easy to think that the measures gaming platforms and operators implement are enough, but a savvy player knows that they, too, need to follow good practice. 

As a minimum, gamers should be: 

Using strong and unique passwords – one of the simplest ways to increase online security is to use strong and unique passwords across all gaming platforms. Players who spend a lot of time gaming online should also consider updating their passwords periodically to prevent stagnation.  

Keeping personal information private – aside from the essential details players need to provide when creating their gaming accounts, they should keep all personal information confidential when playing games online. This means not sharing any identifying factors in usernames or personal contact details like phone numbers and email addresses on gaming forums. 

Using a VPN – another effective cybersecurity method for online gaming is to use a reputable VPN from a provider like CyberGhost or Express VPN. Players can use the software to disguise their IP address, which can prevent hackers from gaining access to their devices.  

Downloading only from Reputable Platforms – the digital gaming market is oversaturated, and there are countless gaming platforms to choose from. However, players need to ensure that they’re only downloading content from reputable platforms or recognised marketplaces.