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Mitigating risk in the gambling industry

When it comes to cybersecurity, no business wants to take a gamble. This is, ironically, particularly true when discussing the gambling industry. With so much transactional data and payment information at play, a data breach can be devastating for organisations in the gambling and lottery sector.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the risks gambling businesses face in today’s digital landscape – identifying what steps can be taken in order to mitigate these risks and safeguard the information of customers, supply chains, and workers alike.

The gambling industry, in numbers

According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK gambling sector is worth more than £14 billion, employing more than 46,000 people and contributing £2.3 billion towards the UK GDP.

This reflects the constant demand for gambling services from the UK population, with 32% of UK adults gambling weekly, and an average 36.6 million active users on web-based betting sites.

It is estimated that £4.7 billion of the overall gross gambling yield comes from online platforms, presenting a clear target for cybercriminals and an opportunity to steal both money and data.

Showing your hand: the risks facing gambling businesses

The DCMS 2020 Cyber Breaches survey reported that the majority of gambling businesses in the UK (55%) have suffered a cyber incident of some kind within the past twelve months. All of those affected reported hacking or attempted hacking, with malicious users trying to take down their website, applications, or online services. Second-most common were incidences of viruses, spyware, or malware, and staff receiving fraudulent emails.

Despite the prevalence of cybercrime within the industry, many gambling leaders – understandably – struggle to prioritise effective data protection over turning a profit.

One anonymous UK gambling provider told the NCSC:

“I’d rank [cybersecurity] a 2.5 [out of 5]. I’d say superficially speaking it’s a 5, it’s always a 5 […] until you start to tell [senior management] that it means you’re going to work on minimising risks as opposed to delivery on the product.”

Gambling and cybersecurity: don’t take a chance

The truth of cybersecurity in the gambling industry is the same as it is in any sector: effective data protection should boost your business, not inhibit it.

Ransomware, phishing, and DDoS attacks are among the most common in the gambling industry, risking the theft of sensitive data, the shutdown of systems, and the manipulation of gaming outcomes.

These risks are increased by the trend within the industry of large supply chains. Research by Ipsos MORI found that between 75-100% of gambling businesses said they use a large number of third parties in order to provide their services.

However, there are a range of mitigating strategies to manage risks, including risk assessment, implementing contracts, penetration testing, tracking corrective actions, third-party self-assessments, and performance/compliance reviews.

One of the main hurdles preventing business leaders from putting data protection steps in place is a lack of time. That’s where Hicomply comes in.

Hicomply makes compliance easy

With Hicomply’s simple and effective platform, it’s never been easier to obtain, maintain, and manage all your information security certifications in one place, including ISO 27001, PCI DSS, GDPR, and more.

Our ISMS software means 90% of the work is already done for you, with a powerful suite of data security features at your disposal. Say goodbye to complex spreadsheets, long email chains, and time-consuming internal processes. Hicomply saves you both time and effort, accelerating your route to certification with a 50% reduction in implementation and timescales and an average 5x Return on Investment.

Not currently using Hicomply? Ready to find out more about what the platform can do for you? Book a demo.

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