Wargo talked to Shawnee Delaney, the current chief executive of Vaillance Group, and a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer. Delaney was keen to explain how her previous experience in intelligence services was more relevant to the casino sector than anyone outside the industry could suspect.
Casinos Continue to Be Target for Bad Actors and Hackers
She put a stop to the speculation by explaining that malicious actors – whether they are spies or social engineers – use the same technique to infiltrate systems and networks, accessing all sorts of information. Delaney said that casinos are particularly vulnerable in their relationships with third parties.
This, she argued, allows hackers to penetrate third-party systems and from there on – the casinos themselves. It’s how hackers make money, she told Wargo. Smart devices and technology are similarly at a risk. Hackers can infiltrate something as simple as wearable devices or the remote technology in a fish tank – a viable way to hack into a casino, which has already happened.
Because of that one small vulnerability no one thought much about, hackers were able to completely overwhelm the casino’s security in at least one case, the chief executive told the reporter. Delaney believes that the fallout is worse still as investigations are costly and the media blowout stings even more. Essentially, every prominent brand and casino had been hacked at some point in their time.
BetMGM and DraftKings were attacked late in 2022, and two million accounts were then sold on the Dark Web. She also noted that social unrest, such as the pandemic, also led to insider fraud and theft of intellectual property, with people “hedging their bets.” There are reasons for this as well – such as low-paying jobs, debt, addiction, revenge, and more, but the fact remains that casinos are exposed to these dangers as well.
Malicious Insiders, Rogue Employees, and More
IT should also be kept under close watch, Delaney believes, as people with a technical position and privileged access may launch an attack – which usually takes place after business hours and causes a disruption of business. Yet malicious insiders who are only trying to harm a company from the inside account for 10% of all people involved.
In a word, Delaney explained, there are many threats that casinos face and not have been adequately addressed. More needs to be done, whether it requires corporate training, improvement of internal processes, or most commonly – all of this and more.