The hack of Words with Friends in 2019 was high-profile, but today’s columnist, Yuval Elddad of CYE, says CISOs at all gaming companies have to take a closer look at the growing threats to online gaming platforms. drukelly CreativeCommons CC BY-ND 2.0

Online gaming has become a huge business, and growing quickly, with gaming companies adding millions of users a year - and tens of millions of dollars in revenue - while competing with one another to build the best, most immersive experiences for their users. 

However, there’s a cost that comes along with this rapid growth. With its high-volume stream of data flowing between gamers and game servers, along with the real-time immediacy of gameplay, gaming has also become especially attractive to hackers. According to an Akamai report, gaming has become a large, unregulated market of in-game purchases and rare items, with gamers focused on hormone-fueled excitement that elicits instantaneous and often emotional responses from players. Players spend substantial amounts of money on everything from in-app purchases, subscriptions, cosmetic enhancements and even gambling. Fueled by COVID-19 lockdowns, gaming platforms have grown user numbers almost 40% over the last year, with the overall industry now worth more than $159 billion, and expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023. 

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