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The ultimate guide on online casino security and protection

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July 20, 2023

Cybersecurity is an issue all kinds of businesses need to take seriously. Online casinos are especially at risk because a gambling platform is well-known for handling a lot of transactions. This is especially true now with the integration of digital assets, attracting bad actors in the crypto industry. 

Ensuring your online casino is secure from cyber threats requires a proactive approach. This guide from QWERTYLABS will give you an overview of cybersecurity in general and your options to protect your online casino and customers. 

Why should casinos prioritise website security to protect against hackers?

Online casino security means protecting sensitive information like customers’ anonymity and funds, making the operator responsible for any data breach. A successful hacking can compromise privacy and, more importantly, theft. These events can ultimately destroy a casino brand’s reputation resulting in a loss of credibility and revenue.

Where do casinos’ website security threats come from?

Threats can come from everywhere for online casinos because your services are accessible worldwide. You should always be prepared to defend your website from worldwide crime networks that will hack your systems and profit off the fruits of your labours and customers’ trust. Any website security issues can be exploited if neglected, even for an instant. 

Types of cyber attacks in online casinos

Hackers target betting sites primarily to steal money. They can exploit weaknesses in payment methods to intercept players’ deposits and withdrawals. Private information is also a common hacking target, so the damage is not immediately obvious, but it is still a concern for safety and security.

The best way to prepare against cyber attacks is to first set an expectation for what can be used against an online casino. You can learn from victims who have shared their stories online or are featured by various news outlets to warn gamblers. Here are some of the most common website security risks online casinos are vulnerable to.

DDoS attacks

Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) is a type of cyber attack where your casino is flooded with traffic from various sources, overloading your server. This can cause your website to crash or render it incapable of accepting new visitors. It cannot steal money or information, but it’s still a risk to casino cybersecurity because the perpetrator can ask for a ransom to stop what it’s doing. 

Ransom for DDoS attacks can also be preemptive. The hacker will send you a warning, and you have to pay outright, or they will cause your casino to crash. While the effects are temporary, this can inconvenience your customers, and they will lose their trust in your brand. 

SQL injection attacks

Structured query language (SQL) refers to the database a language module uses to respond to customers’ text prompts. It’s essential for casinos using artificial intelligence (AI) or bots to offer 24/7 customer support. However, hackers can inject scripts into your SQL that will issue a command to control parts of your platform. 

Such commands can compromise sensitive user information or cause deposits to be redirected. This can cause a worse problem: exposing vulnerabilities like bugs on your website. Thus, even the most safe and secure online casino can be breached using SQL injection attacks. 

Ransomware

DDoS attacks are primitive strategies when compared to ransomware. This malware can compress files in your server using an autonomous encryption method that makes them inaccessible. If it reaches your website’s server, it will disable your casino until you give the hacker ransom money in exchange for the decryption key. 

What makes ransomware even more dangerous is how it’s also possible to attack customers. These can replace some of your casino’s links with one that automatically downloads a .exe file which will immediately install the malware into their computer. The website’s responsible for maintaining a safe online casino, so scan your links regularly. 

Port scanning

Port scanning involves finding weaknesses in a server called ‘ports’ to gain root access to a website. If a hacker gets the chance, they will have full control over your website, including ransacking private information or withdrawing funds from users’ accounts. They can be prevented simply by maintaining the website’s proper configuration, like closing all ports.

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Social engineering

A perfectly secure online casino can deter the best hackers but not master manipulators. Social engineering is all about scamming people, like your staff or customers. This can be done by contacting the users through a phone call or by leaving a message baiting them to make a mistake. 

A common strategy is to impersonate customer service and try to ask for customers’ login credentials. Likewise, they can target an operator by giving them access to password-protected areas. These simple tailgating methods rely heavily on people’s trust and limited technical knowledge.

Phishing and spoofing

Tailgating can also be done in the form of phishing and spoofing. Phishing prompts gamblers or casino operators to provide personal information on a fake menu or webpage. Spoofing does the same, but it’s a person disguised as authorised personnel with a convincing email address and messaging app name.

This type of cybersecurity attack can also be targeted at high-level personnel like owners and executives. The strategy here is to disguise as the legitimate owner of an existing account and then request transferring funds to a bad actor’s account, which only the casino owner can authorise. This is called ‘whaling’, making the authorised personnel an accessory to theft. 

Cheating

Some of the people using your services can be cheaters or bad actors signing up as customers with no intention of following fair gaming policies. They can reverse-engineer game mechanics to find exploits or use a bot plugin to auto-play for them. These actors won’t breach inaccessible places in your casino to steal sensitive information, but they violate the terms of service. 

QWERTYLABS: How to secure your site

Maintaining a safe online gambling platform is difficult without the proper insight into website security best practices. That’s why you need help from experts like QWERTYLABS. They have deep knowledge in setting up countermeasures, ensuring a safe gaming experience for your customers. 

QWERTYLABS offers a wide variety of services. This includes advanced website security assessment and general harm prevention. Check out the other details on how to secure your site below that you can do or we can do for you:

Understanding the importance of stricter casinos and gambling regulations

Running a gambling website requires a deep understanding of laws and regulations. A safe and secure online casino needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Audited Random number generators (RNG) algorithms
  • Follows a know-your-customer (KYC) protocol
  • Features anti-money laundering (AML) measures
  • Malta Gaming Authority licences
  • Gambling Commission regulations

Regular software and plugin updates for casino websites

One of the key facts you need to know about running a successful casino is that you will need help from partners. These include software providers who make the games and plugins for third-party services like payment gateways or crypto exchanges. 

These elements update from time to time, and you need to keep your casino compatible with their latest versions. Keeping your platform outdated will expose vulnerabilities that will be exploited by hackers until you patch it.

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Implementing Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate

An SSL protects all information coming into the website from hackers through encryption. Thus, it’s a basic requirement because online casinos require customers to sign up to use its services. If your casino doesn’t have an SSL certificate, then the web address will not use HTTPs. 

Some browsers also have a feature that warns users if the website is not protected. This can urge them to leave your online casino for safety reasons. Search engines also rank SSL-certified websites higher, so your visibility goes up if you follow its protocol. For better security, you should also try Transport Layer Security (TLS) because it’s an upgrade from SSL. 

Deploying Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

Firewalls are the standard means of protection against software breaches. Deploying WAF is about setting up parameters of which attempts should be allowed or not and what kind of authority a visitor has. It’s a standard countermeasure against fraudulent actors, but the further implementation of IDS and IPS makes it a great security system with no performance issues.

Implementing strong authentication mechanisms

Providing your customers and staff with varying authentication options is one leap to countering bad actors. There is also multi-factor authentication (MFA) which can be provided by third-party services like Google Authenticator. 

Sign-up should also offer suggestions for structuring the customer’s password to strengthen their security. You can also offer plugin support to encourage them to make a unique code using a password generator.

For staff members, there should be a role-based access control (RBAC). This is important for distinguishing owners and C-level executives from employees and outsourced assistance. Passwords won’t be enough for this case. There should be biometrics (fingerprints and faces) for additional security.

Conducting regular security audits and penetration testing

Persistence is bad actors’ most troublesome trait, so your team should be equally determined to maintain online gambling safety. Have experts conduct security audits regularly, especially after an update on the web application. Simulate common penetration attempts and use findings to implement improvements to your casino needs.

Ensuring data backup and recovery

Social engineering is a real threat to a casino owner, but account recovery is a basic consumer right that must be respected. It can be avoided if manual methods that require an executive’s root access are kept as a last resort. Implement automatic backup data restoration options for the convenience of both the customer and your staff. 

Utilising data encryption and ensuring privacy

Personal data privacy is a serious concern for every customer, especially for financial matters. As a gambling service provider, it is your responsibility to protect it. Following standard regulations on information security can go a long way, and there are options to take safety a bit further. 

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Defending against DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks are primitive strategies that you can avoid rather easily. All you need is to subscribe to a content delivery network (CDN) like CloudFlare or set up a challenge-response test like CAPTCHA. No bots are complex enough to break past these barriers, allowing your web application to operate smoothly for real customers. 

Securing financial transactions on casino websites

Following the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is expected of all online services. These include guidelines for how to support safe payment gateways like banking for fiat or blockchain for cryptocurrencies. You can be creative with how to make payment more accessible for customers as long as it is allowed by PCI DSS. 

Training and raising awareness among casino staff

Social engineering scams can be avoided by training your casino personnel on how to identify and respond to them. This includes regular orientation on safety protocols on incident responses for various attempts. Regular updates on trends also help make everyone sensitive to these threats. 

Educating users about casino website security

Your brand can participate in helping various organisations outreach standard online gambling safety for your customers. This includes making guides with a list of the best practices for bolstering their account’s security. Likewise, your casino web app could simply include snippets of suggestions during sign-up and account management. 

Secure your website with QWERTYLABS to defend against hackers

You can consult QWERTYLABS regarding risk management in maintaining a safe and secure online casino. There are also services for reputation protection for casino brands. Contact us at any time for consultation and/or partnership plans. QWERTYLABS ensures that you will receive the best services possible for bolstering online casino security. 

FAQs

Here are several examples of frequently asked questions about online casino security:

What are the most common security threats faced by casino websites?

The most common threats casino websites face are primitive strategies like DDoS attacks and cheating. However, more sophisticated attempts like SQL injection, social engineering, and phishing/spoofing are more common against up-and-coming casino brands. 

Should I outsource website security to a specialised company?

Yes. Companies like QWERTYLABS can handle an entire department’s work that your online casino needs. This allows you to allocate time and resources to logistics and other matters which would otherwise be limited if you have to maintain a permanent cybersecurity team. 

How to make your website secure?

The best ways to make your website secure is to follow standard regulations like PCI DSS or use services like CAPTCHA and CloudFlare. Consulting with a specialist company like QWERTYLABS can also give you insights on further strengthening your casino security measures. 

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