As many are aware, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International experienced cybersecurity breaches last week that resulted in the shutdown of casino and hotel computer systems from Las Vegas to New York. The breaches were executed by ransomware groups, who gained access through tactics like text messages and phishing emails. In the case of MGM, hackers posed as an employee and contacted the help desk to request a password reset. Caesars Entertainment quietly paid a $15 million ransom to the hackers. The breaches proved to be a logistical and financial nightmare, affecting reservations, casino floors, room accommodations, and other issues that cost both the guests and venues tremendously.
The cyberbreaches serve as a painful reminder to all that the need for cybersecurity is at an all-time high. Casino security is often regarded as near-impossible to penetrate, however, that doesn’t deter nor prevent attacks, as we already know by now; Where there is money to be had, there will be thieves and unfortunately, MGM and Caesars are all too familiar. Entertainment venues are certainly not stand-alone victims, with other major industries targeted including healthcare, education, and government agencies.
As healthcare continues to go digital through artificial intelligence and other avenues such as telehealth and telemedicine, the need to software that can ensure safe, secure data storage and protection is imperative. Although the healthcare sector has not seen the worst of data breaches, it has seen some of the most expensive; Multiple incidents have occurred within the past year of leaked personal information about patients and residents that have cost facilities hundreds of thousands. The topic of cybersecurity is no longer about if you need it, but how to implement it for maximum effectiveness.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Training: Strengthen your weakest link by making internal spam/phishing training obligatory for all employees. Most cybersecurity breaches occur due to human error. Make sure everyone is well-versed in recognizing potential sources of malware and malicious modes of communication.
- VPN: Strengthen your home network via VPN encryption to ensure no sensitive data can be intercepted by cybercriminals. Limit identity theft opportunities for cybercriminals by guarding your personal information and practicing discernment when probed for personal details.
- Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords and change them often. Use multifactor authentication. Make sure that your one-time passwords are up to date. Doing all the above limits the ability for hackers to key track and recognize password trends.
- System Updates: Keep your software and operating system up to date and invest in the best cybersecurity system you can afford. Remember, nobody is safe and an educated investment, thought pricey, may save you far more in the long run.