MGM Cyber-Attack: A conversation with casino expert Giada Benazzi


The recent wave of cyber-attacks, including the devastating one suffered by MGM Resorts International, has highlighted the vulnerability of these entertainment giants and the need for increasingly sophisticated and impregnable defense strategies.

To analyze this current topic and better understand the challenges, strategies, and preventive measures adopted in the casino sector, we spoke with Giada Benazzi, a recognized expert in the field and editor for Gaming Report. With her deep understanding of the industry and a clear grasp of the implications of cybersecurity, Benazzi guides us through the complexities of this subject, emphasizing the importance of relentless vigilance, technological adaptation, and staff training as essential bulwarks against increasingly advanced and insidious cyber threats.

What is your general perception of cybersecurity in this sector?

Cybersecurity in casinos is a highly relevant topic. Despite the efforts and advanced technologies employed, recent attacks show that no system is impenetrable. It’s a continuous fight, where companies must always stay one step ahead of new threats.

Discussing the MGM attack, we can see that, although no banking data was stolen, the personal information pilfered could still have serious repercussions. What’s the risk in this case?

Absolutely, the theft of personal data is extremely serious. Information such as driver’s license numbers, contacts, or social security numbers can be used for identity theft or other criminal activities. Even if there are no signs of scams yet, the long-term risks are high.

Online casinos use a range of security tools, such as Firewalls, IDS/IPS, and encryption systems. Do you believe these measures are sufficient to protect user data?

These tools are crucial and form the foundation of cybersecurity. However, the real challenge is their continuous implementation and management. Attackers are always looking for vulnerabilities, so it’s essential that casinos conduct regular penetration tests, software updates, and staff training to reduce human errors.

Speaking of human errors, how important is staff training in preventing cyber-attacks?

It’s crucial. Many attacks originate from human errors, such as clicking on malicious links or using weak credentials. Ongoing training helps to establish a strong first line of defense, making staff aware of potential dangers and how to avoid risky behaviors.

Finally, after the attacks suffered by MGM and Caesars Entertainment, in your opinion, what should be the next steps for casinos, both online and physical, to ensure greater security?

First, casinos should invest even more in advanced technologies and security experts. Second, a proactive approach is necessary, with ready response plans to incidents and regular attack simulations. Third, closer collaboration with authorities and other businesses for an exchange of information on threats. And lastly, greater transparency with customers regarding risks and the protective measures adopted.


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