EGBA addresses cyber-security threats with new expert group

Taking note of a range of cyber security threats to the betting and gaming industry, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has created a new expert group.

The group will facilitate information sharing among EGBA members relating to cyber threats and attacks, as well as cooperation on tracking and resolving incidents. 

Additional responsibilities will include the identification of vulnerabilities and finding ways to address these problems, whilst also implementing “latest best practices” in cyber security.

The group will consist of cyber security experts recruited from EGBA member operators, with a Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon to allow for data sharing between different companies.

“We have launched this expert group to encourage and establish a much-needed platform for cross-industry cooperation on cybersecurity issues,” said 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. 

“That’s why 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.”

In particular, EGBA has pointed to several major cybersecurity challenges faced by the contemporary betting and gaming industry in Europe, which it aims to counter using the newly established group

These threats notably include Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoSs) attacks – in which artificial traffic is used to “flood” a website and slow its services – and account takeovers (ATO), where “bad bots” mimic legitimate login activity go gain access to player accounts, and therefore personal information and funds. 

Additional risks are Odds/price scraping, where bots “scrape” odds from multiple websites in order to inform their betting decisions; promotion abuse, where bots are used for large-scale account creation to take advantage of a particular promotional offer; and lastly credit card fraud. 

EGBA further detailed that these cyber security threats are particularly common during major sporting events, with a 96% year-on-year increase in attacks recorded during the UEFA 2020 Euro last year, mainly targeting UK and German sites.

Participation in the group is open to all EGBA members, whilst firms which are not part of the continental trade association can join provided they comply with principles relating to cyber security and data protection.

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