Gaming Industry Bolsters Cybersecurity Post MGM, Caesars Ransomware Attacks


Following the recent ransomware attacks on Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, fellow members of the casino industry are moving quickly to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. Facing a stark wake-up call, these operators are reinforcing their digital fortresses to protect against the ever-increasing digital threats. This rising wave of cybersecurity concerns comes hot on the heels of ransomware attacks targeting MGM slot machines and Caesars’ financial systems, forcing gaming companies to reassess their vulnerabilities.

Prompted by these cybersecurity breaches, many of these companies are turning to Waterfall Solutions, a leading force in industry-level cybersecurity established in 2007 with 14 patents to its name. Its CEO, Lior Frenkel, stressed that an increased number of gaming corporations from the United States to the Far East have reached out to them following the MGM and Caesars incidents.

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These ransomware attacks are proven to carry a significant financial impact. Rumor suggests that Caesars’ insurance carrier paid between $15 million to $30 million to pacify hackers. MGM’s ongoing data breach, which began on September 10, is reported to have cost upwards of $84 million in lost revenue. According to Moody’s Investors Service, reputational damage, direct remediation costs, investigation expenses, and any liabilities relating to compromised data also form part of MGM’s potential losses.

In response to these challenges, Frenkel underlines that gaming companies share many of the same vulnerabilities as other industries. Preventive actions include raising awareness of these vulnerabilities, reinforcing network segmentation, limiting access control, and enhancing strategies around updates, patching, and particularly remote access.

The gaming industry, though, has to grapple with unique cybersecurity threats. Managing vast volumes of sensitive customer information, casinos are prime targets for hackers. Moreover, the reliance of land-based casinos on the internet for everyday operations, such as elevator functions and HVAC operation, elevates the need for stronger cybersecurity. As the digital proficiency of cybercriminals increases, so does the demand for watertight defenses.

In closing, Frenkel adds that criminal groups now wield tools and techniques once the exclusive purview of nation-states, making their attacks more sophisticated and harder to contain. Such organizations don’t discriminate in their choice of targets – everyone with capital is fair game – fueling the urgency for comprehensive cybersecurity.