Esports is an ever-growing phenomenon that perfectly emphasizes the growth and influence of the digital world over our lives. While competitive gaming has existed for a while now in Asian countries like South Korea, in recent years, the demand for such a market has exploded with groundbreaking competitive games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Fortnite, and many more. Because some of these games do not need impressive hardware requirements, anyone can get into the world of gaming. The accessibility of online competition today makes it easier for some to play video games than practice traditional sports. While we have to find people in the general vicinity to play basketball games, video games have built-in matchmaking systems that connect people without the need for social interaction.
Of course, availability is not the only factor encouraging participation. With such a wide selection of choices, anyone can find a competitive online game to compete with others. If a video game developer manages to create an enjoyable and addictive product, the clientele can grow to hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Of course, when a player base expands to a certain point, with it comes the admiration of the world’s best players and the desire to see them perform.
While the acquired skills may drastically differ from traditional sports and even between the games themselves, the biggest games have their professional leagues and teams with players on contracts that rival even some basketball and football players.
Even though the top athletes perform on the stage during important events, covid-19 restrictions keep bringing esports back to where it all began – to our homes and personal computers. There is also an immense group of amateur players that constantly compete in online tournaments. In this article, our goal is to address the cybersecurity threats that may hinder their performance or eliminate the ability to play the game.
Because esports is a diverse market, the gaming industry is an attractive target for cybercriminals. Not every player is a professional – some choose to play games while broadcasting their experience on Livestream platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming but all parties suffer great losses due to DDoS attacks and other security threats.
In this article, we will discuss esports’ cybersecurity threats and potential solutions to these growing problems. Just like most internet privacy concerns, they can be resolved or mitigated by proxy servers. However, online video games are far more sensitive to cybersecurity problems – while average internet users can go on about their day, a connection to an intermediary server can visibly slow down the player’s internet speed and hinder or even ruin their performance. For example, getting a US proxy when you live nowhere near the United States can make your game unplayable. To solve these issues and get the best connection possible, you need to get an intermediary server from a reliable provider. Even if you live in the US, the location of a US proxy has to be in the same state and preferably in the general vicinity of your location. If you want to learn more about the applicability of proxy servers and their limitations, click here. For now, let’s focus on cybersecurity threats in the gaming industry, as well as possible solutions.
The growth of esports attracts trouble
If you look at the days of competitive gaming in its infancy, there weren’t many reasons to sabotage a player’s internet connection unless you wanted to take down the competition by cheating. Today, esports is a multi-billion dollar industry, with players receiving contracts that rival traditional sports competitors and a growing interest in betting on matches.
Of course, betting is one of the factors that attract cheating and cybersecurity breaches. To counteract that, the most popular games hold top-level competition events in rented facilities, where competitors play on a very local, well-protected LAN connection. Unfortunately, lesser events or tournaments that cannot be held live are more susceptible to cybersecurity attacks.
Experienced hackers can fix certain online matches without the involvement of players, by creating unplayable conditions for a certain team. While such peculiarities are quickly noted and resolved on games of higher importance, up-and-coming players that participate in online tournaments get hit with a harsh reality of match-fixing.
Fortunately, some solutions can help avoid DDoS attacks and other types of interruptions that can affect the outcome of a match. Proxy servers can protect the network identity of a player during online tournaments. Unlike VPNs, internet users can choose which data packets travel through an intermediary server.
For inexperienced web surfers, choosing the proxy server for the occasion is tricky. Residential proxies come from real devices supplied by internet service providers, which is great for web scraping and accessing geo-blocked websites, but their speed is lackluster. Some tasks require more speed pr, and that’s where datacenter proxies are usually faster than residential, allowing you to accomplish everything in a shorter period of time.
Security threats for an average gamer
Until now, we have only discussed potential security threats for professional gamers. While these attacks mess with their livelihood, hackers rarely receive personal data from these individuals. Still, the online gaming industry is centered around platforms, such as Battle.net or Steam, where gamers maintain personalized accounts with purchased games. To buy video games and in-game items, users disclose their personal information.
A lot of gamers do not treat their gaming platform account as they would and an essential social network account or an e-mail. One of the most common mistakes which create gaps for cybercriminals is the usage of identical passwords for multiple accounts. If one of the passwords gets leaked and matches the password on your gaming platform account, hackers will get their hands onto your credit card information. When using these platforms, think of unique passwords and use two-factor authentication.
The choice of creating identical passwords is a matter of convenience. If you ever had to restore your password, you know how much of a hassle it can be to remember the correct sign-up data for each account. To make passwords memorable, we usually use similar or identical accounts. Convenience remains the priority for most users.
Fortunately, you can create strong and unique passwords for each account without the need to remember them. You won’t have to write them on paper – use a password manager instead. When used properly, the tool automatically saves your username and unique password for each of your accounts and creates strong passwords for new registrations. You can pay for an advanced password manager with customizable features or test the tool and its functions for free.
Password managers and proxy servers are the most basic yet incredibly effective tools for avoiding cybersecurity threats in the gaming industry. When used correctly, they eliminate the danger of gaming as a sport and our favorite modern pastime. Video games have become an extremely popular form of entertainment, which brings a lot of attention to the video game market. To protect ourselves from security threats, both esports athletes and casual gamers should utilize proxy servers and password managers to mask their IP addresses and avoid dangerous duplicate passwords. The accounts on online platforms can have hundreds of purchased video games. Losing your account can result in a very serious financial loss. Be mindful of cybersecurity threats in the gaming industry to protect your accounts and support better conditions for up-and-coming esports athletes!