For gaming operators to have external consultants on cybersecurity is not an alternative to in-house experts, but can be an important element in keeping ahead of hackers, says James Maida, president and chief executive of industry compliance and advisory group Gaming Laboratories International LLC (GLI).
“You… certainly should be doing it in-house and have your own in-house experts, but I think it’s really important to make sure you’re getting an outside third-party perspective,” said Mr Maida (pictured).
He added: “I think there are many casino regulators, [other] regulators all over the world that are now insisting upon this because they just don’t want to be the next headline.”
The GLI boss was speaking to Frank Fantini, founder of Fantini Research, as part of its series of interviews with industry leaders, to coincide with this year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) industry trade show and conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States.
Cybersecurity within the industry has been much-discussed following a recent security breach at U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and one at Caesars Entertainment Inc.
After such events there were “big headlines,” and then “people dig in and try to fix it, but then the headlines fade away,” noted Mr Maida, emphasising that continuous vigilance and effort was required.
He stated: “People always wonder what we [GLI] think is most important” in terms of cybersecurity.
“Really, it’s not about what GLI thinks is most important. As we meet with regulators all over the globe… we hear what keeps them up at night, and then we take that back and we provide that to the [technology] suppliers,” he said.
A recent GLI discussion paper mentioned that while cashless gaming was likely to be the future of the industry, a strong security focus was needed, and cited a recent security breach in New South Wales, Australia.
Mr Maida referred in his own remarks, to the protective role of cybersecurity brand Bulletproof, part of the GLI group.
He stated that with Bulletproof, GLI does “thousands and thousands of [digital system] penetration tests a year”. The executive added: “We use Bulletproof to check our [own] cybersecurity.”
Mr Maida was also asked about the use and applications of emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the gaming industry. He said the technology’s capacity for gathering very large amounts of data made it potentially a “great tool” for predictive work, such as identifying underage gambling, or for guarding against money laundering.
But the GLI boss cautioned that “where I don’t think it’s a great tool,” was areas such as identifying which players might “gamble more”.
He stated in terms of AI use: “I would just tell the industry and tell anybody who listens, let’s stay clearly on the correct side of the line, because when we cross over the line, it might be more difficult” in terms of the industry’s relationship with governments and other bodies.
Regarding the evolution of GLI’s own business, Mr Maida said it had “slightly over” 1,600 employees currently, working from 27 offices, with the group “heading probably to 1,700” staff “by some time next year”.
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