Nevada Advises Gambling Businesses to Stay Vigilant of Ransomware

As casinos in the US become the victim of cyberattacks, regulators issue a warning to casinos to step up their game. 

Cybersecurity Back on Gambling Regulators’ Agenda 

Just when gambling businesses started coming out of the woods, another calamity befell them with a spate of hacking and ransomware attacks targeting prominent casino businesses in the US and causing harm ranging from leaked personal data to blocked operations.

In light of this, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) held a meeting on Wednesday and urged casinos to take the necessary precautions to avoid a similar scenario like the one experienced by casinos in Oklahoma last month. Something similar happened in Wisconsin. Russian hackers managed to affect hundreds of American companies along with over 1,000 entities globally. 

The Silver State did avoid the brunt of the attack, although Nevada’s casinos have known digital sieges in the past. The most recent spate of attacks targeted several tribal casinos and demanded ransomware to release what digital assets they have been able to cease, blocking operation and forcing the properties on shutdown.

These events have prompted NGCB chairman J. Brin Gibson to highlight the danger of such attacks and their immediate impact on people. Cash-heavy businesses are going to face serious new challenges brought on by hackers’ attacks, he believes. 

Bringing the Right People on the Job

The threat of cyber warfare and hacking attacks on businesses has proven a staying point with the commission. The appointment of John Robert Bollen as chief information officer for The Cosmopolitan, which the commission backed as a vital position within the company, signals a shift in attitudes towards such attacks. Bollen attended the meeting on Wednesday to brief the board on what he thought was the right course of action and what future problems lay ahead.

“Patching is a big deal with all the ransomware going on. That has to happen monthly. Certain systems and applications aren’t wholly modern architecture, so we have to be careful how we do those, as not to distress revenue or operations,” said Bollen letting it be known that the road ahead was going to be bumpy. 

One of the ways to address these issues, according to Bollen, is to find the right technological partners. Blackstone’s cybersecurity and information-technology teams have been vital partners in the fight against cybercrime as they have been able to highlight vulnerabilities in companies’ systems. Hedgehog Cyber Security has been another lodestar in the industry trying to stress the importance of having the right tech partners. 

While in the past, cybercrime was a new and almost unimportant occurrence, the severity of these attacks has intensified to the point where everyone is and should be taking them seriously. 

Hackers have been targeting small and big brands looking for a weakness and personal data such as social security numbers, credit data, and more. A survey last year found out that 77% of all cyber attacks online target gaming and gambling businesses, meaning that casinos in the US will have to ramp up their defenses.