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How to secure an online video game

By regularly conducting penetration tests, you can find and fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers.

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Image: Unsplash

As an online video game developer, it’s important to make sure your game is secure from malicious attacks.

In fact, online video games are often targeted by hackers because of the potential for financial gain. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to steal user data, credit card information, and more.

In order to protect your game, it’s important to implement strong cybersecurity measures that will ensure your video game remains secure.

Nowadays, there are different alternatives when it comes to cybersecurity, but there’s one especially effective way to fix vulnerabilities and security called penetration testing, or pen tests.

These are authorized simulated cyberattacks on a system or application and are conducted by security engineers in order to evaluate the security present in a particular online game.

By uncovering, exploiting, and resolving cyber and IT-related vulnerabilities, cybersecurity experts can help you create a safer online environment for your game.

Neglecting strong, thoroughly tested, and dependable security measures can leave developers prone to cheating through game modifications and packet tampering, which may snowball into revenue and customer loss.

Interested to know more about pen testing? In this article, we’ll give you an introduction to this incredible security technique.

What is pen testing and how does it work?

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Image: The New York Times

A penetration testing is an authorized simulated cyberattack against a system or application. Oftentimes, penetration testing is also called pen testing or ethical hacking.

The main goal of penetration testing is to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit in your online video game.

To do this, pen testers use the same tools and techniques that attackers would use, but of course with permission from the organization being tested.

Penetration testers usually have a deep understanding of how attackers think and operate. They know how to find and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and applications.

Penetration testing can be used to test any type of system or application, including websites, web applications, mobile apps, and of course, online video games.

Benefits of penetration testing for online videogames

There are many benefits of penetration testing, but here we will focus on how it can specifically help online video games.

By finding and fixing vulnerabilities in your game before an attacker does, you can prevent data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage.

Penetration testing can also help you comply with regulations such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) which requires regular penetration tests for any organization that processes credit card payments.

In addition, a good pen testing process can help you build customer trust and confidence in your game.

By demonstrating you take security seriously and are constantly improving your game’s security posture, you instill trust in the players, improving your brand’s reputation.

What are the phases involved in a penetration test?

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The penetration testing process usually follows these steps: planning and reconnaissance, scanning and enumeration, exploitation, and report generation.

Let’s take a look at each one of them.

1. Planning and reconnaissance

In this phase, the pentester will learn about your organization, your systems, and your objectives.

The goal is to understand the scope of the engagement and what you want to achieve with the penetration test.

This is also the time when the pentester will decide which tools and techniques to use during the test.

Finally, the pentester will create a report template to be used to document the findings of the penetration test.

During this phase, it’s important to establish clear communication with your pentester. You should provide as much information as possible about your organization, systems, and objectives.

This will help the expert understand your needs and tailor the penetration test accordingly.

2. Scanning and enumeration

In this phase, the pentester will scan your system to find potential vulnerabilities. To do this, the pentester will use automated tools to check for these.

After the initial scan, the pentester will manually verify the findings to make sure they’re actually vulnerabilities and not false positives.

During this phase, it’s important to have a good understanding of your system’s architecture.

This will help you understand the findings of the penetration test and determine which ones are actual vulnerabilities.

In addition, it’s also important to have a good understanding of your system’s normal behavior.

This way, you can easily identify unusual or suspicious activity which may hint at an attacker trying to exploit a weakness.

3. Exploitation

In this phase, the pentester will attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities that were found in the previous phase.

The goal is to gain access to sensitive data or systems that should not be accessible to an attacker.

To do this, the pentester will use a variety of tools and techniques, including social engineering, malware, and network attacks.

During this phase, you should be able to easily identify when a penetration test is successful and when it is not.

4. Report generation

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In this final phase, the pentester will generate a report detailing their findings and recommendations. 

The report will include a description of the vulnerabilities that were found, as well as how they were exploited. In addition, the report will also include recommendations on how to fix these.

After you receive the penetration test report, it’s important to carefully review it and understand the findings.

Once you have a good understanding of the findings, you can then start working on fixing the vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

Penetration testing is an important part of ensuring the security of your online game.

By regularly conducting penetration tests, you can find and fix vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by attackers.

To know more details about what is the process to fix these issues and security called penetration testing, you can read this article from Cyrextech. It is one of the best cybersecurity companies in games, finance, and software.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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