IGSA Creates Committee To Establish Cybersecurity Standards

Written By J.R. Duren on September 25, 2023
Hackers Working A Test At A Cybersecurity Conference

Less than three weeks after MGM Resorts experienced a widespread hack, the International Gaming Standards Committee (IGSA) announced it has launched a Cyber Resilience Committee focused on creating standards for risk management, governance, and framework control standards for cyber operations at casinos.

Aristocrat Technologies, AXES.ai, and Light & Wonder will spearhead the committee’s efforts to tighten up security standards for the gaming industry.

Cyber Resilience Committee members and experts will draft standards

The committee plans to ask IGSA members who are cybersecurity experts to offer their advice for “ready-to-use standards” to help companies shore up their cybersecurity practices.

IGSA has 40 members spread across four membership levels and 11 companies that serve as affiliates or advisories.

Some of the firms that may be a participant in the standards creation include names familiar in the US gambling:

  • IGT
  • Playtime
  • Everi Holdings
  • Intralot

IGSA’s advisors and affiliates include gaming associations in Canada, Europe, and Macau. The committee may draw on the expertise of:

  • Macau Polytechnic University
  • Seoul National University of Science & Technology
  • UNLV’s International Gaming Institute

In an IGSA press release, Chairman Earle G. Hall said it’s “inspiring” to see members of IGSA come together to address cybersecurity issues among gaming companies:

“It is very inspiring to see IGSA Platinum and Gold members come together rapidly to address the alarming rate of increase of cybersecurity issues in our industry. Our members are clear that cybersecurity has to be a top priority for all gaming suppliers in our industry to protect operators and our industry at large.

A sincere thank you to Aristocrat Technologies and Light & Wonder for stepping up to lead this initiative to improve our industry.”

Committee formed in the wake of MGM and Caesars hacks

On Sept. 10, MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas experienced cybersecurity issues with some of their computers.

MGM released a statement that the issues affected renowned Vegas properties such as Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Luxor, and other properties across the country, too.

Eventually, the issues were deemed a hack that affected:

  • Slots
  • Credit card machines
  • ATMs
  • Digital keys and more

The culprit? A third-party company that “opened the door” to MGM’s systems.

After 10 days, MGM released a statement saying that all but its online reservation system was back to normal.

News of the MGM hack came just a few weeks after Caesars Entertainment revealed it was the victim of a cyber attack by UNC 3994, a group that worked its way into Caesars’ system through a third party.

The hackers asked Caesars for a $30 million ransom. Caesars agreed to pay $15 million, according to Bloomberg.

Photo by Michel Spingler / AP Photo
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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