Cybersecurity threats in the gaming industry
In 2023, the gaming industry keeps making consistent leaps. The introduction of new games and a mixture of old legendary titles keeps creating a dynamic, ever-growing, always-changing e-sports scene. Still, with the legitimacy of gaming as a career growth over the years, we have new generations trying their hardest to become notable names online.
Either through professional gaming or streaming, the explosion of e-sports has brought new challenges into the gaming scene. Match fixers, scammers, and other cybercriminal pests have flooded cyberspace to terrorize gamers and profit from their misfortunes.
In this article, we will discuss the criminal activities in e-sports and what tools players and tournament organizers can use to protect the competitors to guarantee fair results. Here we will address the best ways to stop cheating and DDoS attacks. One of the most popular tools used for cybersecurity is proxy servers, and their role in gaming is on the rise. Datacenter proxies have garnered the most attention due to low costs, high-end hardware, and minimal speed loss. With a good provider by their side, gamers often don’t feel any difference between a direct and proxy connection. To learn more about datacenter proxies and their applications, we encourage you to read this by Smartproxy. For now, let’s focus on the problems encountered in the e-sports world by the gaming community.
Bad connection kills the gaming experience for any online game. Especially with competitive games, high latency, and instability can decide the situation between life and death. Delayed information leads to an inaccurate representation of the player’s action. A bad connection can occur due to unexpected network problems, bottlenecking from the internet service provider, and in the worst cases – DDoS attacks from hackers and cybercriminals.
When an unstable connection occurs during online tournaments and other significant events, it no longer feels like a coincidence. If hackers manage to get the IP address of the host or any players, it can be used to crash internet access and fix the results of the tournament. While some cybercriminals attack players just to be petty, others are encouraged by betting odds. By placing their money on competitive matches, they can influence the players and their connections and manipulate results.
How to prevent attacks on players?
The biggest competitive games have the privilege to host LAN events, where internet connection does not play a role, and other individuals cannot cheat to steal away deserved victories. However, not so long ago, the first offline events had their unique issues with cheating until the pioneers paved the way and instilled the regulations that ensure fair gaming in 2023. Today, most companies and organizers follow the examples of League of Legends, Valorant, and CS:GO to prepare fair events, but the latter gamer still faces a lot of cheating and match-fixing for lower-level online tournaments.
Tools to stabilize connections
The effectiveness of these threats is usually prevented with two types of tools: VPNs or proxy servers. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, hide the player’s IP address by encrypting the connection and sending it to a remote server. This way, the connections reach the server under a new identity, but there are a couple of drawbacks. Even with the newest and fastest WireGuard protocol, the connections can experience a significant dip. Also, because VPNs are sometimes used for illegal activities, and VPN providers do not have that many unique identities, this solution often yields inconsistent results and the resulting internet speed loss negatively affects the gaming experience.
For a lighter, and overall better solution, we have simple and flexible proxy servers. Datacenter proxies are servers that run on high-end facilities, supplying a lot more IP addresses for gamers worldwide. While these connections are not encrypted, their superior speed makes them a better alternative for gaming.
The only advantage VPNs have over proxy servers is the comfort of purchase. Proxy providers usually have big, business-oriented clients that need thousands of addresses to protect the company and its employees. VPNs target smaller businesses and individuals more.
However, if we compare the value of IPs per deal, a proxy address costs much less, but most providers only offer bulk deals. However, the top providers in the market start to offer more favorable deals for individuals that cost less money and help with issues faced by gamers in 2023.
For problems faced by gamers and tournament organizers around the globe, proxy servers are an effective solution that masks the identity of many esports athletes and minimizes the chances of cheating. While there are many ways criminals cheat and expose the gaming system, the protection of your own digital identity is a great first step that will ensure others do not decide the fate of your matches. Alongside proxies, good digital privacy management goes a long way: secure passwords, safety on public networks, and more.