Cynance CEO: Coronavirus pandemic creating new cybersecurity challenges for gaming firms

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is affecting every walk of life.


Within the gaming sector, land-based casinos and retail betting outlets have seen the worst of it, having to close properties en masse as social distancing measures are implemented.

For online firms, however, even if online revenue is increasing for verticals such as casino, poker, virtual sports and esports, the effects of COVID-19 are far-reaching.

Indeed, according to Cynance CEO Stav Pischits, changing environments are creating new challenges for gaming firms from a cybersecurity perspective.

He tells Gambling Insider: “Environments are changing. If you previously had the majority of your company working on site and connecting to the corporate network in one way, you now have a completely different infrastructure.

“Companies that were established on much more distributed infrastructures, with people working from home, using a lot of contractors, it will be much easier for them to get accustomed to the new circumstances.

“But many companies are not there and were really based on-premise. So, for them a new way of doing business and engaging internally, and externally, starting something new presents new difficulties.”

Although these difficulties themselves are no different to the hurdles firms usually face, there are now added obstacles, according to Pischits.

Using the example of the CFO of a gaming firm making a payment to a major supplier, the Cynance CEO says everything done for the first time will inevitably endure teething problems.

“You still have the basics of cybersecurity, with the crown jewels of the company you need to protect,” he explains. “These crown jewels didn’t really change. But what changed is the way you operate and communicate, and the trust you need now to do the same things you did earlier.

“If I worked in the finance department of a gaming company and needed to approve a payment to a major supplier, I would just come to my CFO and ask him for my approval and get it sorted.

“But right now, you cannot shout to your colleague, raise a hand or do something easily. You need to do something differently, implementing procedures that were documented in company policy – but that no one really paid attention to before.

“Now, it comes into force and it can create new challenges. Everything you do the first time, there will be some things that will not always work as expected.”

The full interview with the Cynance CEO will be published in the May/June edition of Gambling Insider magazine.

Stav is a Cybersecurity Risk & Data Protection Architect, Researcher and Speaker. Trusted advisor in information security, cyber risk and data protection. Stav leads information security advisory engagements, providing clients with a full cyber-security silhouette by viewing organisations from an adversary’s perspective.

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