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Cyber Security & The Gaming Industry

secure video game console

Safety and cyber security considerations have long been at the forefront of software development. Indeed, apps and operating systems are updated constantly to ensure reliability and efficiency for their use in business and daily life. But there is one area of software security that is often overlooked.

Over the last 15 years or so the video game industry has grown rapidly, with hundreds of millions of online players creating a new behemoth in the entertainment market. Alongside it, security measures have had to constantly change and adapt. The rare issue, such as the Playstation/Sony hack of 2011, has proved why these measures are so essential. So today, we take a look at cyber security’s role in making the gaming industry the success that it is.


What are the cyber security issues facing developers?

When programming code for a new game, there are always security considerations that need to be prioritised. This is because when that game launched, especially if it’s online, there are threats that can severely harm the experiences of gamers, as well as the finances of the developers themselves.

If a video game isn’t secure, cyber-attacks on gamers can become a major issue. Moreover, exploitation of severs and breaking game code can severely hit the quality of a product, which in turn can negatively affect a developer’s reputation and sales numbers. Companies in this market also have to frequently deal with cases of payment card fraud and, occasionally, piracy. 


Security risks for players

There are some well-known security risks for gamers playing online. When comes to young gamers, notable issues to contend with include cyber-bullying, predator accounts, and the ease of in-game purchases. However, cyber security problems such as loose privacy settings, console infection and account hacks, are also threats that video game system companies have to minimise. 

In addition, a surprisingly common security weakness that can leave gamers vulnerable is found in the second-hand use of consoles. Many individuals will leave their accounts active on other people’s systems and forget to logout, which can leave private data more exposed to cyber-attacks.


Why IT security is vital 

So much data is now accessible to games consoles, with more and more people playing online and adding their payment information for digital releases. Gamers also utilise their system for multi-media purposes that go beyond video games (think streaming services, social media sites, etc.). 

Thus, companies providing consoles and developers of gaming software have to consider IT security at every stage of the gamer’s experience. Information theft needs to be limited at every opportunity, and measures designed to prevent data breaches and hacks need to be updated regularly, both for games and the consoles themselves. Whatever area of the video game industry you look at, IT security has to be a priority, and it will continue to be imperative to the market’s success.


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