Akamai Diversity

Akamai Security Intelligence
& Threat Research

State of the Internet/ Security: You Can't Solo Security

We all know that security touches virtually every vertical and impacts our daily lives. But the topic of games, and the gaming industry, is near and dear to the SOTI team's hearts.

Many on our team are gamers, and this year, the gaming world has been more than just a place to pass time and build worlds - it's been a way to keep the feeling of community alive.

For this issue of the State of the Internet / Security report, we partnered with digital event company DreamHack to create a survey that would allow us to get some insight into how gamers feel about the current state of security in gaming. While surveys aren't the type of data we typically deal with in reporting, we wanted to understand how gamers picture security and how that relates to the type of attacks that game companies see on a daily basis.

 

Gaming was a $159 billion industry in 2019, and it will reach $200 billion by 2023, according to market analytics house NewZoo. The firm also noted the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, led to increases in engagement and revenue all across the gaming industry. 

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, everyone (especially gamers) looked for alternative ways to socialize, since PC cafes, gaming houses, bars/pubs, and other social gathering points were all closed during the early months of 2020. The availability of cross-platform gameplay, as well as gaming-friendly social platforms (e.g., Discord), enabled a common element of interaction. 

Between July 2018 and June 2020, Akamai observed 10,628,755,494 web application attacks across all customers and 152,256,924 in the gaming industry alone.  There's no lack of 

In addition to web-based attacks on servers and applications, gaming companies also need to contend with DDoS attacks. Gamers are familiar with DDoS attacks, because at one point or another they've played a game that has been knocked offline due to criminals, or angry kids with an axe to grind.  Between July 2019 and June 2020, Akamai observed 3,072 distinct DDoS attacks in the gaming industry, making it the largest DDoS target across our customer base.

At its core, the most vulnerable and the most targeted element of the gaming industry are its players. The human element is always the hardest to control and secure, so this revelation isn't a surprise. More than half of the frequent players said they've had their accounts compromised, but only one-fifth of them were worried about such things. We find their lack of distress concerning.

Why the disconnect? 

It could be that the gamers themselves don't see the value in the associated data tied to their gaming accounts. It could be that their gaming experience doesn't change even if an account is compromised. Humans deal with risk in different ways, and gamers are no exception. 

Want to read more? Download a copy of the latest  State of the Internet/Security today.