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An online casino's success, credibility, and prestige are directly proportionate to the security of the site. These websites host immense amounts of financial transactions, and users will only trust those that are conscious about providing their clients with a safe space to play digital versions of traditional casino games. There are many inherent threats to the integrity of an online casino website and entities must take advantage of the most up-to-date technologies to combat them. Cheaters, hackers, and financial criminals are constantly evolving their strategies to get away with illegal activities. It is this reason that online casino websites employ sophisticated software to quell cybercrimes, protect customer information, prevent cheating, and improve the profitability of the website.
The Direct Threats
Online casinos represent a prime opportunity for cyber criminals to launder money. They disguise themselves behind high volumes of financial transactions using intangible currencies. Launderers cycle misappropriated monies through an online casino to receive clean money in the form of gambling winnings. Online casinos offer money launderers the perfect cover to commit their cyber-crimes. Online gambling was coined in a response to gambling jurisdictions, hence, most casino websites offer users the choice to be completely anonymous. Presently, there are so many options available to credit an account without having personal information attached through online gaming sites including player to player transfers, prepaid cards, and cryptocurrencies. Digital currencies can flow across the world and through multiple entities in the blink of an eye, leaving no money trails. This makes using cryptocurrencies and online casinos a viable option for those trying to launder money. Additionally, more and more online casinos keep popping up every day. The sheer number of available avenues for laundering money paired with no money trails and complete anonymity presents a difficult landscape for regulators to control and quell cyber money laundering.
Another major concern for any casino regardless of whether that land-based casino is one of the many on the Las Vegas strip or operates entirely on the Internet is cheating. Cheating can cost a casino millions in potential revenue and unfortunately, cyber-criminals are continuously creating inventive ways to cheat the system and steal money from online casinos and their users. Some choose to create counterfeit chips or coins, which allows the cheater to win money without risking losing any of their own. Another method favored by cheaters is to hack into the database that stores past hand data and execute statistical analysis programs to analyze opponent patterns. Cyber criminals also automate the aforementioned cheating tactics with bots to play on their behalf. Bots can handle multiple accounts and leverage player statistics in real time to give an unfair advantage to the hacker. A final security risk for online casinos comes in the form of unscrupulous employees using administrative information obtained as part of their job to siphon money, harvest consumer information for reselling, and other duplicitous actions that can cause serious problems for the casinos and the players who trust their information is safe.
Safeguarding Your Online Casino
An article published by ibj.com, which expands on a report by MacAfee, a security software manufacturer, establishes that hacking causes the global economy upwards to $575 billion. With the amount of money passing through online casino games, these sites are prime targets for malicious attacks from hackers to obtain pertinent financial data. A strong firewall can be a deterrent for some hackers, but this will not be enough to keep the most determined hackers out of your site.
Online casinos are a data warehouse for a plethora of financial information including clients bank accounts, routing numbers, debit/credit card numbers, and account balances that puts operators and users at risk if not properly secure. Rendering payment information unreadable by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) data encryption protocols so only authorized recipients can receive the information is the industry standard. SSL encryption is security technology for the exchange of sensitive information from a client browser to a web server.
One of the ways to safeguard an online casino is to employ countermeasures similar to those used by cheaters looking to hack the system. Many will use bots as a way to automate the search for vulnerabilities. Therefore, the online casino must be prepared to counter this through tactics intended to slow down the attacks by limiting the number of failed logins and other methods that trip up bots. These tactics stall the potential hackers and bot attacks, but do not stop tricksters who use bots to place bets on multiple accounts or those using counterfeit chips. Instead, it is vital that the online casino have built in safeguards that flag unusual betting activity, verify the identity of the account owner, and monitoring whether there is a difference between the payment account and the cash-out account.
Online casino operators have an intrinsic obligation to put forth an effort to halt financial crimes. Using money laundering detection software can help entities identify illicit financial activities. Employing an automated system for risk assessment will be beneficial. Analysis of financial transactions including large and repetitious deposits will be flagged for review. Additionally, patterns in smurfing, or transactions kept under amounts of detection, will also be reviewed and analyzed juxtaposed player statistics to create a risk assessment. This software will help websites block accounts and IP addresses that are high risks and may be using the site for illegal purposes.
Internally, online casinos can implement fraud detection software that requires appropriate credentials to execute specific actions including transferring chips from one account to another and accessing customer information. Such software flags suspicious behavior, allowing companies to catch the perpetrator in the act by recording subsequent action during the same period or by the same user, further safeguarding consumer's privacy.
As a final note, although regulations and licensing requirements vary dependent on location, many agencies require proof that you have taken appropriate action to protect your online casino games from internal and external threats. Beyond the licensing perspective, ensuring you have a safe, reliable online casino improves the odds that customers will continue to spend real money playing your online casino games.
Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, application development, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.