LATAM: Don’t take a gamble on cyber security

LATAM: Don’t take a gamble on cyber security

Thursday, May 5, 2016 Totally Gaming
Tina Draper warned of new risks to online operators

With Argentina, Brazil and Mexico among the world’s most targeted countries for cybercrime, an expert in the sector has told TotallyGaming.com that operators ready to make the switch online must make sure they are well prepared for attacks.

Tina Draper, chair of online security group Gamshield and group head of online payments and fraud prevention at Gain Capital UK, that operators should work closely with regulators and build strong defences as they make the move online, but warned that they should also be prepared to deal with losses.

Looking at the available information, it is easy to see why operators in the Latin America region need to be mindful of online crime. According to a recent Norton Report, Brazil is ranked fifth globally in terms of cyber attacks, with Argentina in 20th position. Meanwhile, Mexico accounts for two per cent of all cybercrime incidents, according to Symantec, with these incidents costing the country $3bn (€2.6bn) annually.

While Draper maintained that cybercrime is a global issue, she said operators must put the safety of cash deposits and customer data at the core of their strategy.

“There are risks and opportunities for any industry looking to move into an emerging market,” Draper told TotallyGaming.com. “They must manage operational risk ensuring controls are in place to mitigate losses.

“It is important that they are aware of all local and regional jurisdictional and regulatory requirements before they open for business. Any start up is potentially a target for fraudsters or hackers. They want to test the system to find any weaknesses in policies, procedures or technology.

“AML policies and customer due diligence is critical to build a good foundation to grow the business upon. External hacking is far and away the leading source of breaches, and the percentage is growing year-on-year, despite organisations committing considerable time, talent and money to the task of preventing breaches.”

Draper will discuss cybercrime, money laundering and organised crime in a panel session at next month’s Juegos Miami event, which is run by ICE TotallyGaming operator Clarion Events.

Draper, who will be joined by Fred Gushin, the managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, said operators can help themselves by keeping up-to-date with new threats. In particular, she noted the increased of ransomware, with some estimates suggesting attacks grew by 35 per cent in 2015 and cost victims some $325m.

“It is important for operators to have open and honest discussions with their regulators,” Draper said. “Working together to ensure the business satisfies the regulatory requirements as a minimum for the benefit of its clients, employees and third party relationships. If an operator experiences difficulties, then talking to their respective regulator sooner rather than later is the best approach.”

“Security teams must adopt new tools and techniques that identify breaches in real time. This means going beyond just malware to identifying all phases of a breach, including the steps of attacks that don’t use malware at all. The latest threat is via ransomware, typically locking a device until the victim pays the sum demanded (usually in Bitcoin). It’s important that companies take action to ensure their solutions offer full protection against these types of attack.”

- Juegos Miami takes place at The Biltmore, Coral Gables from May 31 to June 3. For more information, visit www.juegosmiami.com. To apply for your invitation* visit www.juegosmiami.com to find out more, and follow @JuegosMiami on Twitter and visit the event’s Facebook page for further information and the latest updates. Attendance at Juegos Miami will be limited to senior decision makers (owner, director, C-Level exec) from operating companies (private and public including state lotteries), government and regulators from the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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