Hey! Where Are My Credits?

Gaming is big business. According to Newzoo, in Q3, 2019 alone, the top 10 public companies by gaming revenues generated $21.5 billion in business. In fact, Newzoo forecasts 2019 global games market to reach $148.8 billion at a healthy +7.2% growth from 2018.

With this amount of money at stake, it is obvious why gaming will be an attractive target for bad actors.

Source: Newzoo

If you have played Fortnight, you know about its success; Fortnight is a game that makes it easy for beginners and is free to play, with a staggering 65+% users who do in-game purchases with an average spend of over $85!

The Essentials: Responsiveness, Scalability & Security

For successful, massive online games such as Fortnight, the ease of use for first time users, simplicity of the plot itself — stay alive and if something moves, shoot! — and social aspects are coupled with key technical requirements, like very quick response time and scalability. 

[You may also like: Gaming Companies Beware: Cyber Criminals Are Coming For You, Too]

A player’s interaction with an object or another player requires an immediate response. Responsiveness is paramount and so are scalability and availability. Games occasionally go down for maintenance, but a two-day Fortnite outage in October 2019 created so much concern that Playstation (one of the platforms Fortnight supports) announced on Twitter that users’ digital money and inventory were safe.

Any outage of the game can very quickly affect hundreds of thousands of users. The responsiveness and user interactivity for a player should not be impacted as thousands of users join and leave the game at any given time.

Have Money – Will Take!

Security is also paramount since there is a big financial element at stake in online gaming  – both for the companies that offer these games, but also for the players who use real money to buy in-game money and merchandise.

Hackers are always looking for online accounts and digital currency.  As the hackers probe to gain access to sensitive data, prevention needs to be multi-pronged:

  • Prevent DDoS attacks to avoid service degradation and outage of online gaming applications;
  • Conduct routine vulnerability assessment scans on applications and institute code patches and deploy web application firewalls to prevent scraping attacks, malware and malicious access to user and application data for online gaming applications;
  • Prevent malicious bots from targeting applications and systems;
  • Prevent malicious access to gaming applications by validating users and instituting multi-factor authentication;
  • Prevent rogue application ports/applications from running;
  • Secure the data at rest and in motion;
  • Players should use stronger passwords – we recommend a pass phrase that you can remember that’s long enough to prevent brute force cracking;
  • Players: Do not reuse passwords across multiple gaming sites; and
  • Players: Avoid public Wi-Fi networks or use VPN

[You may also like: Bot Management Keeps Online Gamers & Businesses Happy]

The success of online games are completely dependent on the key elements that the players expect – ease of use, simple play elements that allow for personalization, and social interaction. It is a given that all the essential technology elements that make massive online interactions successful will be seamless – responsiveness, scalability, availability, security and reliability.

Download Radware’s “Hackers Almanac” to learn more.

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Prakash Sinha

Prakash Sinha is a technology executive and evangelist for Radware and brings over 29 years of experience in strategy, product management, product marketing and engineering. Prakash has been a part of executive teams of four software and network infrastructure startups, all of which were acquired. Before Radware, Prakash led product management for Citrix NetScaler and was instrumental in introducing multi-tenant and virtualized NetScaler product lines to market. Prior to Citrix, Prakash held leadership positions in architecture, engineering, and product management at leading technology companies such as Cisco, Informatica, and Tandem Computers. Prakash holds a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from BIT, Mesra and an MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

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