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It’s All Fun and Games until It’s Not

Since the Covid 19 pandemic announced itself to the world, we as a society have been forced to adapt to these altered dynamics of our lives. It wouldn’t be too bold of a statement to say that a change of this scale hasn’t been collectively experienced by the world in over 100 years. Almost all the sectors have suffered some degree of damage, financially or in some other capacity. However, a share of this damage isn’t even directly caused by the global pandemic. It’s the by-products of the circumstances that have created more wreak-havoc than anything else. Some of these by-products were unavoidable, but on the other hand some were just a result of malicious intentions. An example of the latter would be cybersecurity catastrophe we have at our hands now. The threat actors around the world have taken advantage of everyone’s increased reliance on the digital realm, and result has been substantial losses which everyone might take years to recover from. This grim picture is very much apparent in the gaming industry as well.

As per a State of the Internet and Security report put-together by Akamai Technologies, the cyberattacks in gaming industry have gone up at an astronomical rate of 340% in 2020. This rate beats the frequency at which every other industry has faced cyberattacks during this period with a sizeable difference. If we dig a little deeper, the report also revealed that out of 6.3 billion cyberattacks that occurred across 2020, over 4 percent of them took place in the gaming industry. This 4 percent slice comprises of a whopping total of 240 million cyberattacks, a devastating number by all means.

The author of this report, Steve Ragan (Akamai’s Security Researcher) was quoted in the report saying:

“We’re observing a remarkable persistence in video game industry defenses being tested on a daily – and often hourly – basis by criminals probing for vulnerabilities through which to breach servers and expose information.”

There can be a number of potential reasons behind gaming industry being more or less a focal point of these attacks. The prime factor would be easy distribution of viruses like malware and ransomware as there is a sheer lack of security across gaming channels. Another potential reason could be driven by industry’s increasing valuation, thus offering more financially lucrative avenues to the hackers.

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