Criminals rob banks “because that’s where the money is,” as notorious 20th century bank robber Willie Sutton once said.
Fast forward more than 100 years from his first arrest, and Sutton’s law sadly holds true for the world of cybersecurity. U.S. casino gaming institutions – known for spurring nearly a third of a trillion dollars in economic activity annually – have lately felt the heat from malicious hackers. And it’s in large part because, well, that’s where the money is.
Ransomware attackers are bank robbers with a modern twist, and you don’t have to read too many headlines to see they’ve put casinos squarely in their crosshairs. It’s more important than ever for any organization – particularly one processing a lot of money – to make sure they’re buttoned up in the fight against hackers.
Taking on ransomware as a casino gaming CISO
If that point sounds easy and obvious, you’ve probably never been a CISO. Locking down a casino environment is arguably more complicated than protecting a traditional financial institution, given all the variables in play.
Major casinos take the attack footprint of a leading retail and hospitality organization – point-of-sale stores, luxury accommodations and a laser focus on customer satisfaction – and combine that with the attack footprint of a large bank that processes millions of dollars of transactions daily.
Combing through that kind of attack surface to find and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited is a tall order even for the most well-resourced and driven cybersecurity teams. (And that’s not to mention the looming compliance requirements attached to a heavily regulated industry like casino gaming.)
When history works against you
Anyone who’s been to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas can tell you that the casino gaming industry has a storied history full of light and glamor.
But when it comes to cybersecurity, Vegas’s reputation as a testing ground for cutting-edge technologies and software can end up working against it. That’s to say nothing of global gaming hubs in Monaco or Macau.
Loads of exposed endpoints, complicated cloud migrations, feature-heavy user apps, API calls and even emerging AI vulnerabilities: The sheer number of paths in for an attacker is hard to count, let alone prioritize. Good luck finding critical vulnerabilities in this huge backlog of potential targets.
Comprehensive pentesting for casinos is within reach
That’s where Synack comes in. Our comprehensive approach to pentesting – backed by over 1,500 elite, trusted security researchers on the Synack Red Team – ensures organizations can quickly scale up to meet even the thorniest security challenges.
The real value of the Synack Platform lies in the control and strategic visibility it affords. Concerned about a potential real-world cyberattack and want to filter out any white-hat testing out of an abundance of caution? Simply cut off all VPN-controlled Synack Red Team traffic with the push of a button.
Other “bug bounty” security testing solutions can give the illusion of control and continuity without actually offering the careful vetting and documentation that the Synack Platform brings to the table. Why layer a chaotic “bug bounty” frenzy on top of a high-stakes situation?
Synack CEO and co-founder Jay Kaplan has a saying I like to quote: “You are getting scanned every day by bad actors, you just don’t receive the report.”
For the casino gaming industry, it’s high time to get serious about security testing. That means being able to show board members or senior security management exactly how much testing has played out on certain target sets – the kind of granular, strategic data that only the Synack Platform can provide.
Good cyber hygiene isn’t a game of chance. Schedule a demo with Synack here.
Brett Edwards is Synack’s director of sales for the southwest region.