The “relatively new and untested nature of cashless gaming systems” could be making them the object of unwanted attention from hackers, says a commentator from gaming technology compliance tester and consultancy Gaming Laboratories International LLC (GLI).
Rudy Stevenson, a government relations executive for GLI, made the observation in a discussion paper on GLI’s blog about the industry.
Mr Stevenson said there were clear benefits regulatory- and efficiency-wise for casinos to go cashless. They included making it easier for venues to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules in a “landscape of growing regulatory oversight”.
But he also observed that as cashless technologies “continue to evolve, hackers may identify and exploit vulnerabilities that developers have yet to address adequately”.
He further noted: “Additionally, the potential financial gains for cybercriminals in the gaming world can be substantial, making it an attractive target.”
He cited the news recently that New South Wales in Australia had suspended its trial of cashless technology for electronic gaming machines in that state, amid a reported security breach regarding data.
GLI’s Mr Stevenson said that to mitigate risk, developers and gaming companies must “prioritise security during the design and implementation phases”.
He added: “Rigorous testing, regular security audits, and continuous monitoring can help identify and fix vulnerabilities before malicious actors can exploit them.”
Further, gaming companies, financial institutions, and cybersecurity experts should share information about emerging threats and work collectively to strengthen defences.
Players should also be educated about best practices for securing their accounts, such as “using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and avoiding suspicious links or downloads,” stated Mr Stevenson.
“By fostering a security-conscious user base, the industry can reduce the success rate of social engineering tactics used by hackers,” observed the industry commentator.
Regulatory bodies could also play a “crucial role” in establishing cybersecurity standards for cashless gaming operators, said the GLI expert.
“Clear guidelines and compliance requirements can incentivise companies to prioritise security measures and make it more challenging for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses,” he stated.
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