Cybersecurity in the Online Betting Platforms



It is no longer news that online betting is the biggest trend of the gambling industry and one of the fastest-growing markets globally. According to PR Newswire, the global online sports betting market as of last year was estimated at a market value of $67 billion and projected to reach a whopping $93 billion in 2023 – some staggering figures to say the least. The major drivers behind this spontaneous growth include surging digitalization and technology advancement. With the widespread availability of tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and a high-speed internet connection, people now find it extremely easy, safe, and secure to place wagers on their favorite games, even from the comfort of their homes.

India is the number two country with the most prominent online market globally – coming second only after China. According to Statista, the number of Indian internet users in 2021 was estimated at around 560 million and is expected to reach 650 million in 2023. Many Indians leverage this wide internet access to place wagers and earn a reasonable income using mobile devices. Though India is known for its love for various kinds of sports, cricket retains the number one spot in the country. The sport is often referred to as a national obsession due to the massive following it enjoys in the country.

As expected, the sport’s wagering market is the biggest in India – drawing more than 80% of the total sports wagers. Even amidst India’s confusing laws regarding the legality of sports betting, many of her citizens still get rewarded for their passion for sports by placing wagers on offshore bookies. For instance, Indians can easily wager on their favorite cricket teams and players using various offshore cricket betting apps, which can’t be termed illegal.

In simple terms, cybersecurity means the act of protecting electronic systems, data, and networks from unauthorized access or usage, otherwise known as cyberattacks or cyberthreats. Since the online betting market keeps growing tremendously and yielding huge revenues, it is not surprising that it is a major target for cybercriminals. Unlike land-based betting houses where important entities are kept safe under lock and key, valuable data and huge amounts of money pass through sportsbooks nearly every minute. Thus, several scammers, fraudsters, and hackers are always looking for ways to use this opportunity to commit cybercrimes.

These attacks can be very severe such as a bettor losing colossal amounts of money from their sports wallets or even real bank accounts. They may also result in the loss of precious data, which can cause an online sportsbook to shut down forever. Therefore, cybersecurity is a top priority in the online wagering world to protect the interest of both bookies and bettors. It is important to note that the online wagering sector is one of those fighting cybercrimes the most, and most licensed bookies are doing all they can to protect their businesses and customers. However, one can never be too careful since cyber attackers constantly devise more sophisticated techniques to commit their crimes.

In this article, we will explore potential security threats facing online wagering platforms and how they are being tackled.

DDoS or ransomware threats

DDoS, known as distributed denial-of-service, is a type of attack in which cybercriminals obstruct the operation of an online betting platform. These attackers send a flood of crappy internet traffic from multiple sources into the betting website or app – jamming up the system and disturbing smooth gameplay by legit users or even crashing the platform. After a successful DDoS attack, the attackers threaten the betting platform and request huge amounts of money to restore regular service – hence the name ransomware.

This attack can also be in the form of stolen data and information. It has made many online bookies lose their reputation and numerous customers. Online sportsbooks can prevent ransomware or DDoS attacks by ensuring that every network traffic coming in is 100% secure. This can be achieved by using a top-notch infrastructure protection service.



Account takeovers

Aside from targeting an online wagering platform as a whole body and disrupting its services, cybercriminals can also access a bettor’s account via hacking, phishing, or other illegal means. This is highly dangerous as these attackers can perform a wide range of harmful operations once they take control over an account, ranging from making withdrawals from the sports wallet or placing wagers without the account owner’s permission. It gets even more dangerous as the attacker can steal valuable data about the user’s primary bank account and cart away huge sums of money.

While online bookies are responsible for protecting their customer’s accounts, a significant part of this responsibility also rests on punters securing their accounts. Ensure you enable two-step verification on your account and avoid sharing vital data such as passwords with third parties.

SQL injection

This is a common cyberattack in the online wagering world. It involves cyber attackers introducing malicious SQL into a system to access its database. When this attack is successful, attackers can access and modify valuable data such as personal information, card details, addresses, account balances, betting history, etc. This attack can cost a bettor a huge loss of money and data and spell doom for any online sportsbook.

Licensed online wagering platforms generally have a security measure known as SSL encryption. SSL encryption ensures the cyber security of a site by transforming the users’ valuable data on it into a string of indecipherable codes. This helps prevent SQL injection.

Overall, you must check for the trustworthiness, transparency, and security of an online wagering platform before signing up. Since online sports betting has grown vastly popular, several bookies keep springing up almost every day, some of which are unlicensed and do not take utmost cybersecurity measures to protect their customers. Before placing a wager on any bookie, ensure you do thorough research on them and read up reviews from past and present users. Ensure they have SSL encryption, strong firewalls, and secure payment methods.

One of the most secure platforms where you can place your wager is Parimatch – an online betting platform with more than 28 years of top-quality customer service. With Parimatch, you have access to secure and convenient payment systems. Also, you can rest assured that your data is 100% safe from malware attacks by cybercriminals.

Conclusion

So far, the online wagering sector has done great in defending its systems from cybercriminals. However, these attackers keep developing refined techniques to perpetrate their crimes; therefore, online bookies and punters must always be on guard to keep cyberattacks at bay. It is also imperative that online wagering platforms need to stay at the edge of future-based cybersecurity trends to always protect their users against even the most sophisticated cybercriminal methods. Don’t forget to visit Parimatch for a safe and secured online betting experience.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.