Nothing is more detrimental to an online casino than a break of their security. Not least because their trustworthiness is their greatest asset when acquiring and retaining players.

Luckily, real money casinos go to great lengths to ensure they don’t experience digital breaks, malware, or any form of online attacks where their own or their players’ data are compromised or leaked.

Types of Threats Faced by Online Casinos

The types of threats online casinos can face are pretty much the same as any other company that offers an online service and collects personal data. Let’s learn more about some of the main threats:

DDoS Attacks

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is an attempt of a malicious nature to disrupt the service and server of an online website. What happens is that a large amount of traffic is sent to the website, overloading it to the point where it can no longer be accessed by its normal users. For online casinos, the repercussions can be many, including:

  • Disruption of their service: Legitimate users and players will no longer be able to access the site. If the site is unavailable for any length of time, it can and will impact the casino’s ability to retain its player base.
  • Loss of revenue: With players not being able to log in and use the casino’s website, they will suffer a loss of revenue and earnings. Depending on how large the casino’s operations are, this can lead to huge losses and may ultimately affect both players’ ability to withdraw funds and the casino’s ability to pay their employees.
  • Damage to reputation: The security of an online casino is one of the crucial aspects most players consider when choosing a casino to play at. Experiencing disruptions to the service and its security can greatly impact the casino’s ability to acquire new players and retain already registered ones.
  • Data security risk: Sometimes, a DDoS attack is carried out to distract the casino’s technical team, taking their attention away from other security risks. Some companies or persons who carry out DDoS attacks do this while they try to breach the casino’s other data security measures. Obviously, this places both the casino and its players at great risk.
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Phishing Attempts

Phishing attempts are some of the most common types of fraud and online security risks, for both companies and private individuals. The way a phishing attempt is done is by for example impersonating a trustworthy entity, such as a government authority, a service provider, or someone else that the target will have reason to trust.

Most often, this involves clicking a link or divulging confidential information, which can grant access to your or the casino’s systems. The repercussions involved can be daunting.

  • Compromised accounts: If a player falls for a phishing attempt and the attackers gain access to their player account, they can withdraw funds, and even gain access to the personal KYC documents a player may have submitted.
  • Identity theft: By gaining access to a player’s documents through the casino’s website, the player is vulnerable to having their identity stolen. After all, KYC documents contain all the information someone needs to for example open up an online bank account or a wallet with a payment service.
  • Regulatory problems: Keeping player data and information confidential and secure is always a regulatory requirement for a casino through their gambling licence. A breach of this security can lead to a casino losing its licence if an attacker gains access through the casino or any of their employees.
  • Legal consequences: If an unauthorised entity gains access to a player’s account or personal documents through the casino’s system or through a breach in their security, the casino can be held liable for any financial losses.

Ransomware Attacks

If an online casino is faced with a ransomware attack, it may be in big trouble. A ransomware attack is when malware finds its way into a website’s files, and encrypts them, rendering them useless to the company. In order to regain access to their data and files, they will have to pay the entity behind the attack. The cost of this can be astronomical.

The consequences of not paying what the attackers demand can be all of the risks that we’ve already outlined for DDoS attacks and phishing attempts. Basically, the attacker will have access to all the casino’s data, including all the data they hold on their players.

Security Measures at Online Casinos

As companies that are obligated to collect and save player information, the security at online casinos is generally among the best out there. They use encryptions that can be just as robust as any bank or government entity, so even though having your data out on the internet always has some theoretical risk, online casinos are about as safe as you can be.

Casino companies invest heavily in security, for multiple reasons. They do it to protect themselves, to comply with regulatory requirements, and to protect you as a player. For this, most have both in-house security and IT teams as well as retainer agreements with security companies.

Their software is also regularly tested and audited by third parties, to ensure security is maintained at all times.

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HOW YOU CAN SAFEGUARD OR ENHANCE YOUR SECURITY

As a player, you can enhance your security while playing at an online casino. Here are our top tips:

Use a strong unique password: The first thing you need to do is to create a strong and unique password for your player account. Avoid reusing old passwords, and never use your date of birth, name, or any other easily guessed password. If a 2-factor authentication is available for login at the casino, activate it.

Stay alert to phishing attempts: Never click links or attempt to log in to the casino through any other channels than directly from the casino’s website. If you engage with the casino on social channels, never divulge your password or any other personal details. Always check for misspelled website URLs and email addresses before engaging.

Keep your software updated: To protect yourself online, always keep your software updated. This includes your anti-virus software or service. Use reputable services, and make sure you regularly update the software on all the devices you use to play online.

Be cautious when signing up for new casinos: Before you sign up with a new online casino, make sure to do your due diligence. You should Google the casino and read reviews from other players or casino experts. Trustworthiness and reputation are key when choosing to play at a casino online.

CONCLUSION

The threats a safe online casino can possibly face are the same as any other company that holds personal information about its users. Anything from a DDoS attack to phishing attempts can greatly impact the casino and its users, not to speak of a ransomware attack.

All online casinos, and especially their IT security teams, are well aware of them being a potential target. This is why they work diligently to continuously improve and maintain their security, staying alert to any new online scams and malware. Casinos invest huge amounts of money in security, all to keep both you and themselves safe.

As a player, you should also take your own precautions, and do what you can to stay safe online. Casinos can protect you from their end, but you are the one holding the key to letting someone into the casino through your account.

Stay alert, keep your passwords safe, and keep yourself up to date on the latest trends in phishing and scams.

Eve Luneborg

Sub-editor & Casino Content Maestro

Eve Luneborg has been a dynamic presence in the online casino industry since 2014, starting at a burgeoning casino in Malta that has now become a leading gambling site. Initially a support agent, she progressed to handling payments and training new staff on processing withdrawals and KYC documents.

In 2016, Eve transitioned from casino operations to become a writer in the iGaming industry.

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