The Name of the Game for Secure Apps: Intelligent Security Automation

Beth McElroy Miniatur
Beth McElroy
Published August 02, 2023

Following a massive run over the last few years, where gaming companies have increased their revenue by an astounding 32% from 2019 through 2021, PwC expects gaming revenue to keep ticking up through 2026 by a robust 8.4% compound annual growth rate.1 This makes it attractive to cybercriminals looking to gain profit from unsuspecting users and ill-prepared game providers.

It’s not that the players don’t understand or care about the risk—quite the opposite. A hack, account compromise, act of fraud, or any number of other security issues could easily result in lost play activity, players, and revenue.

Take the impact on Take-Two Interactive as one example. Their stock fell shortly after a bad actor published videos of a test build of the company’s highly anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto VI.2 The risk isn’t isolated. The impact of cyber trust is felt across the entire gaming sector spectrum.3

Answering the call to arms for one chief area of risk, the global value of the bot security market reached more than $400 million in 2021.4 Some of the key drivers for the valuation of this sector include:

  • Rising bad bot traffic
  • Increasing sophistication of botnet assaults
  • Ongoing explosion in the use of APIs

Users Don’t Want to Play in (Bad) Traffic

When your game is loaded and launched, your players expect immediate access to everything they’ve already done and are about to do. Hiccups in play can be frustrating and, for some, even devastating. Doing everything in your power to ensure your infrastructure, systems, and applications stay operating at peak performance is only half the battle.

The other half of the battle comes from malicious software and automated bots looking to wreak havoc on your players and your business by filling your networks and taking down applications with malicious traffic.

With F5 and Google Cloud, it is possible to keep your games rolling at all times by modernizing your existing applications, building new ones, and running them flexibly and securely in the latest hybrid or multi-cloud environments that can stand up to a range of attacks including bot attacks, DDoS attacks, and DNS attacks.

Stop Making Your Players Dodge Botnet Assaults

When connectivity and engagement matter to the top and bottom lines, it’s not just the players’ inability to use the game that could spell trouble for you and your team. The mere act of using the game can also be a source of concern.

And yes, the concern is warranted. According to one study, 40% of Web3 gaming accounts are identified as bots using on-chain data.5 The total number of users who faced gaming-related malware and unwanted software from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, was 384,224, with 91,984 files distributed across 28 games or series of games.6 In one instance, malicious actors stole $2 million worth of virtual skins from a user's account.7

Of course, it’s not realistic to put the burden of protection on the shoulders of your users. Nor should the risk be ignored at the expense of the users and your business. To effectively combat this threat, it’s critical to monitor every transaction for signs of fraud or risky behavior.

However, manually handling this task can be overwhelming. Fortunately, with powerful AI and ML from F5 and Google Cloud, you can automatically identify and stop sophisticated and malicious activities initiated by unauthorized users and automated bots, without frustrating legitimate players.

Don’t Get Burned by the Explosion of APIs

Today’s games combine multiple data sets and API-driven services to enable cutting-edge features for a modern, engaging gaming experience. Even with a constant release of new features, players still expect always-available, easy-to-use applications. These players also have high expectations that their personal information will be protected at all times, even as it transfers, often silently, between other apps and services through a multitude of APIs.

With F5 and Google Cloud, you can deliver new capabilities to your players and improve delivery agility by using APIs that are maximized for peak performance. You can also centralize security management of your APIs across any data center or cloud using a simple, fast, and scalable multi-cloud architecture.

The future of gaming is wrapped in growth. Predictions for 2026 reveal an avid global consumer base that is younger, more digital, and more into streaming and games than the current consumer population.8 More players spending more money makes it an even more enticing space for cybercriminals to play as well. With F5 and Google Cloud you can protect this revenue while keeping players online and happy.

For a real-world example of how F5 helps gaming companies, check out this case study.