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Why Are Esports Becoming A Target For Cyber Security Threats?

Esports and competitive online gaming has gained immense popularity in the last few years. More people are flocking to online games, and even joining these gaming tournaments

as spectators or competitors. However, it seems that whenever something starts to become popular, there are a few no-good individuals trying to ruin it. That’s right. Esports has become a target for cyber criminals. But why is that, and how can players protect themselves from becoming a victim?

In this article we’ll explore the esports industry and its rise to popularity. We’ll also look at why it’s become a target for cyber criminals. Finally we’ll cover how players can protect themselves by using cheap residential proxies and other measures.

  • What is esports?
  • The rise in esports popularity increases cybersecurity risks
  • How to limit the risks?

What Is Esports?

Esports is also referred to as electronic sports and is a term used to describe video game competitions. In these competitions, gamers would battle it out against one another in multiplayer video games. Based on the specific game, players can compete as individuals or even in teams.

Some of the most popular genres of multiplayer games used in these competitions and tournaments include first person shooter games, fighting games, real-time strategy games and multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA). Some popular tournament titles include League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite, although there are many others. Winners of these tournaments often enjoy large cash prizes and sponsorships, similar to other professional athletes.

The esports industry is growing rapidly and is becoming a multi-million dollar industry. Based on current trends it’s expected that the global revenue generated by the esports industry in 2024 will be around $1.6 billion.

The Rise In Esports Popularity Increases Cybersecurity Risks

Whenever there’s an increase in popularity, especially when there is money involved, there will be a few unsavoury characters trying to exploit loopholes and cash in themselves. That’s unfortunately true within esports as well. But what makes esports such an attractive target?

All esports tournaments take place online, this means hundreds of people connecting to the same network. Unfortunately these networks don’t always have adequate protection, meaning that hackers can exploit vulnerabilities and target attacks at the gamers. Once they have access to the network, they can launch phishing attacks, malware, ransomware and DDoS attacks.

It’s also not just during tournaments that players are vulnerable. A lot of gaming transactions take place online. Gamers buy digital titles or make in-game purchases. By breaching these shopping platforms, hackers can gain access to your financial information, credit card details and other personal identifiers which can be used for identity fraud and theft.

How To Limit The Risks?

Gamers can’t simply rely on event organizers to ensure their safety, and should also take matters into their own hands. There are a few precautions that you can take to ensure you stay safe while enjoying online gaming.

Residential Proxies

Cheap residential proxies are the best way to protect your identity and keep hackers from tracking you. Don’t think that by using cheap residential proxies you’re sacrificing on quality, as a residential proxy will still protect your connection by hiding your IP address behind it’s own one and any requests go through the proxy server first, making it impossible for hackers to track you or gain access to your network.

Password Protection

Make sure that you secure all your accounts with strong and unique passwords. When creating your passwords combine random words with numbers and characters and only use one password per account. This will make it extremely difficult for hackers to use brute force tactics to guess your passwords.

Multi Factor Authentication

Wherever possible enable multi factor authentication to protect your accounts even further. This is useful especially if one factor includes biometrics such as fingerprint scanning. This just adds another layer to your security protocols and provides more protection. This should definitely be enabled on any platform where you make payments.

Be Mindful While Playing Online

Another important way that you can protect yourself while enjoying online games is to be mindful of what information you share. Whether you’re discussing something in a forum, using the in-game chat or any other communication method it’s important that you don’t share personal details. Many hackers can infiltrate these chats or even pose as gamers just to gather information from you. They can also craft these attacks carefully so that it feels like you’re just having a conversation, meanwhile they’re collecting personal details about you which they can use to get into your accounts.

Final Thoughts

Esports is a rapidly growing industry and as more brands and sponsors get involved it’s also become a major revenue generating sector. However, this has garnered the attention of hackers and other cybercriminals who aim to target the vulnerabilities still within the industry. As such, gamers should use different methods such as proxies, two-factor authentication and more to protect themselves.


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