AngusD switched from pro chess to poker two decades ago and has been professionally involved in the game on numerous levels since the very beginning of online poker, including playing as a poker ambassador both online and at major festivals around the globe. He has written much about the game over the years, and brings to YPD a wealth of experience in all aspects of the poker industry. Meanwhile, his many years on the pro chess circuit (he’s an International Master and prolific author) afford him an interesting perspective on the psychology of poker.

· Published 13.04.2022 · last updated 13.04.2022

Fortunately, while anything that involves the internet is potentially vulnerable to attacks and threats from all manner of sources, security measures are sufficiently robust that we nevertheless tend to be able to avail ourselves of the wonders of technology.
With the poker world having changed so much thanks to the worldwide web, we can be thankful that online poker rooms and gambling companies provide a safe environment in which to enjoy the game to the full.

Of course, the modern experience is so good that it’s easy to take it all for granted but, behind the scenes, a great deal of work is being done, constantly, in the quest to keep the level of security as high as possible.

In order to address the matter within the industry yet further, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has formed a new group. This will include experts in the field of cyber security, and the group will make it easier for information regarding cyber threats and attacks to be shared among EGBA members.

Furthermore, as well as putting into place the latest cyber security best practices, the aim is to identify and subsequently deal with vulnerabilities.

Because the team has been created by bringing together cyber security experts from EGBA members, a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed that facilitates data sharing between the various operators within EGBA.
Such collaboration promises to be all the more effective given it is so far-reaching in its scale. Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary General: “Cyber criminals are increasingly determined and sophisticated in their efforts to try to hack into gambling websites to steal customer data and money. Cyber threats tend to be cross-border in nature, affect operators in the same ways, and are a common threat to the industry…”

It does indeed help the collective whole if companies address a crucial issue with not only a shared goal but shared efforts and resources. Haijer: “… it is crucially important that operators work closer together to strengthen cyber security protocols and procedures, find common solutions to the latest threats and security vulnerabilities, and implement the highest security standards.”

Given the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, it follows that measures to protect operators and their customers need to be appropriately powerful and effective. Problems such as Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoSs) attacks – where a website’s services are disrupted and essentially hijacked by artificial traffic – can be a serious source of problems for provider and player alike. Account takeovers (ATO), meanwhile, see “bots” accessing player accounts through mimicking login activity, thus gaining access to key sensitive and ultimately exploitable information.

In addition to bring used in credit card fraud, bots can also aid in deriving an unfair advantage by ‘scraping’ odds/prices from multiple websites, or can be used for mass creation of accounts in order to exploit promotions and offers.
By engineering a multi-operator proverbial moat, with a single drawbridge as opposed to many, EGBA can help companies look to the future with more confidence, Haijer pointing out that the expert group will “… encourage and establish a much-needed platform for cross-industry cooperation on cybersecurity issues…”

It remains to be seen if this collective approach to cyber security will become more common. On the meantime, not only are all EGBA members able to join the cause, but those companies outwith the association who demonstrate the same principles may also take part.

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