Is Poor Security a Threat to the eSports Industry?

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The eSports industry has blown up over the last decade and is now worth more than $1 billion. However, there are certain obstacles that could hinder its growth in the years ahead. Weak security protocols are a concern, and hacking could cost event organizers millions.

The problem doesn’t just lie with the gamers that use weak passwords or the developers that don’t enforce multi-factor authentication. The internet is crying out for better security methods, and the eSports industry may not be safe until these are introduced.


Many Gamers Still Use Weak Passwords

Despite the well-publicized risks of using weak passwords, a vast number of internet users still opt for low levels of security due to easily decipherable passwords. This is highlighted by research from ExpressVPN, which discovered that poor passwords are a global issue. Despite cultural differences, it seems that most countries have a number of generic passwords favored by their populations. In the USA, for example, “iloveyou” is a common password among citizens. Meanwhile, the most common password around the world is “123456”. Evidently, not much thought is given to password creation and this is particularly worrying in the digital era as this means that sensitive information and private data can be easily found in the wrong hands.

When players log on to online games, it’s likely that they just want to get into the action straight away. This means there’s no time to mess around with two-factor authentication or similarly advanced protocols. In addition, because there are usually no bank details required to play these games, people may see online games as low-risk settings.

Some Games are Notorious For Being Hacked

The problem with players using weak passwords online is that they make it easier for hackers to get in. There are certain games and studios that have been broken into by cybercriminals on numerous occasions, underlining the fragility of games in the eSports industry.

According to BBC News, EA Sports was one of the biggest names to fall victim to cybercrime in recent years. Hackers downloaded source code for major games including FIFA 21. In terms of games that are most at risk of security breaches, it looks like the hugely popular Epic Games title, Fortnite, tops the pile.

Indeed, PC Mag claims that Fortnite is the game that attracts the most cheaters, with plenty of videos detailing how to cheat on the game. The reason why this is bad for the game and the eSports industry is that these fraudulent codes act in the same way as malware.

When people cheat on games like Fortnite, they introduce other players to risks such as malicious code. It’s not just the battle royale epic that’s subject to this either. Overwatch, CS:GO, and Destiny 2 are all high up in the list of instances of cheating.

Weak Security Could End in Disaster for eSports Events

As more people around the world develop an interest in eSports, spectator events are likely to increase in size. There are already some huge competitions, with Dota 2’s The International being one of the most famous. The best gamers in the world gather to compete against each other in an arena, with fans watching on.

If there was a security breach at an event like The International, it would be a major disaster. There is so much money involved in these tournaments, from prize pools to sponsorship deals. If hackers infiltrated one and caused the competition to be called off, millions of dollars could be lost.

The eSports industry will benefit greatly from the abolition of passwords across the board in favor of more hi-tech methods. Biometrics should be on the way soon, and players will most likely jump at the chance to log in to games with their fingerprints or a face scan.

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