Malta: Cyber Security: Protecting Your Crown Jewels

Last Updated: 15 March 2017
Article by Eric Muscat

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”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions