Malta: Cyber Security: Protecting Your Crown Jewels

Last Updated: 15 March 2017
Article by Eric Muscat and Milda Petraityte

The infamous Sony breach was dubbed the 'hack of the century' for a reason. The intruders stole and dumped all Sony's confidential information to public file sharing sites, exposing a large amount of sensitive data about customers, employees and the organisation itself. They also wiped out half of Sony's global network, driving the company to the regressed usage of fax machines, communication through postal messages and the cumbersome payment, with paper cheques, to several thousand employees. The hack repairs cost the company €14 million in addition to lost revenues and reputational damage.

Every year there are large scale cyber security breaches and events reported in the media. Cyber attacks against online giants such as Ebay, LinkedIn, Sony and Yahoo! have made global headlines in the past few years. In addition to the multimillion euro financial losses that these companies have incurred, they also suffered reputational damage which has significantly harmed their brands. Once customer confidence is broken, it can take a long time to regain that trust.

The gaming industry thrives online. Its size is expected to rise to €53 billion in 2018 from €24 billion in 2009 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/270728/market-volume-of-online-gaming-worldwide/). The online presence of video games, competitions, virtual reality games and large international and sports events attracts both customers and criminals from around the globe. From script kiddies, who see breaking into a system as a game in itself, to lone wolves, activists, organised crime and national governments - their main aim is to make financial gain. The average annual damage to organisations caused by global cyber-crime in August 2016 reached €10 million in the global technology sector and €15 million in the global financial services sector (https://www.statista.com/statistics/474928/average-annual-costs-caused-by-cyber-crime-worldwide/).

Some gaming companies still choose to believe that the chance of a breach is fairly low, yet it takes one cyber attack to cause a significant business disruption. Others put their faith in expensive technology, hoping that it will solve their cyber security problems. In fact, adequate technology could prevent a number of external threats, however, a single click on a rogue link in a phishing email by an employee from within the organisation could breach its external security perimeter. Breaking into an organisation from outside requires effort and resources for cyber criminals, yet phishing campaigns continue to grow due to the simplicity and the effectiveness of its business model. Cyber underground even offers platforms for Phishing-as-a-Service (PHaaS), Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Ransomware-as-a-Service (Raas) - a three month subscription which could cost as little as €6.

Employees are often the weakest link in many gaming companies. A relaxed atmosphere helps to be innovative and creative, but it increases the risk of cyber security breaches that could be avoided with the implementation of comprehensive policies and awareness training. Appropriate identity and access management controls help to prevent fraud, money laundering and insider trading within the company, yet it could also stop the spread of ransomware across the internal network and save a company from a potential disaster.

An employee is not the only insider that poses a threat to a gaming organisation, since significant risk could also reside within the supply chain due to a high number of affiliates and outsourced services. The telecom giants T-Mobile US and TalkTalk, experienced large scale information security breaches due to insecure technologies of third parties. As a result, these companies suffered exorbitant fines, a heavy financial impact, irrevocable reputational damage and loss of customers. Being the controllers of that data they have a legal responsibility to secure the information about their customers. Strong supply chain management could have prevented significant reputational damage and lost business opportunities.

Gaming companies try to meet the legal and regulatory requirements related to cyber security, but because of its complexity and multifaceted nature, it is often approached as a tick-box exercise. Yet new legislation is meant to make organisations rethink the way their business operate and to make the necessary improvements. The new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) which comes into effect on 25 May 2018, is an example of such legislation. GDPR sets out strict requirements for data controllers and data processors, and has stringent fines for non-compliance. Offending companies can face fines of up to €20 million or 4 per cent of company's global revenue, whichever is higher.

Compliance with GDPR will be hard for those gaming companies that do not have a comprehensive register of the data they hold, where that data is stored or what it is used for. However, the implementation of industry standard records management practices and data mapping would go a long way to enable compliance with GDPR. It would also provide for a better understanding of the data flows within the organisation, the systems it resides on and which individuals have access to that data. As a result, organisations would achieve a significant reduction of risks related to data processing as well as potential costs associated with the implementation of controls to protect that data. Increased confidence and transparency in data processing practices could have a positive effect on customer retention and growth.

The number of cyber threats that organisations are exposed to every day could seem daunting. KPMG offers professional help through its knowledge, skills and expertise to tackle the complex cyber security problems. Our global reach and broad experience in the field brings value-adding insights as we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients to address their business needs for cyber security.

Innovative gaming companies can achieve a successful security posture with an appropriate strategy, understanding of the adversary and knowledge of the weakest links within the organisation. Combined with effective performance monitoring of implemented controls it could be turned into a rewarding business improvement process and new opportunities.

In the world of cyber security, an understanding of the risks that businesses are exposed to and building a plan of action to address those risks helps to defend the business from cyber threats. Effectively managed, Cyber Security can give organisations a competitive advantage against their peers, because customer confidence and trust is an important driver for successful online businesses.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Eric Muscat
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.