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Never gamble with cybersecurity


When you think of the big Las Vegas casinos, you probably think security.

You might also think about losing your mortgage, but you usually think about security.

Guards are everywhere in a casino, as are the famous ‘eyes in the sky’ that enable management to see everyone to make sure they’re not stealing or engaging in other nefarious activities.

So the world was shocked when the largest casinos in Las Vegas were the victims of security attacks.

Cybersecurity attacks, that is.

Hackers shut down operations at the casinos around September 10. Video slot machines went dark, hotel room cards quit working, and the guest reservation system was inoperable. Gamblers could still use table games, but they got handwritten receipts for their winnings as if it was the 20th century.

Even worse, some customers began reporting bogus charges to the credit cards they used to check into the casino hotels, triggering fears that personal information about tens of millions of casino customers had been compromised.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation.

How did this happen to giant companies known for their security?

According to news reports, the hacker group ALPHV, also known as BlackCat, said that it had breached the casino’s security with a simple phone call.

It’s like cybersecurity professionals always say – hackers will exploit even the smallest weakness in your system. In fact one cybersecurity consultant quoted in an Associated Press story about the casinos said exactly that.

Tony Anscombe, the chief security official with the San Diego-based cybersecurity company ESET, told the AP that “security is only as good as the weakest link, and unfortunately, as in many cyberattacks, human behavior is the method used by cybercriminals to gain the access to a company’s crown jewels.”

A computer science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, offered a similar thought. Yoohwan Kim said, “If it happened to MGM, the same thing could happen to other properties, too. Definitely more attacks will come. That’s why they have to prepare.”

Helping organizations of all sizes prepare for the inevitable cyberattack is the job of the Security team at LRS IT Solutions. The group is focused on delivering outstanding information technology solutions, products, and services to our customers both large and small.

Joshua Brant, Cyber Security Strategist and Technical Manager for LRS IT Solutions, offered his perspective on the Vegas breaches.

“This situation provides a stark reminder that even the largest and most mature organizations can fall victim to cybercrimes,” Joshua said. “No company is immune, and we must always be prepared to defend against ever-evolving threats. It's a shared responsibility for all organizations to prioritize cybersecurity and ensure that their defenses are as strong as possible.”

At this point you may be thinking that it’s time to review your organization’s cybersecurity posture. There’s an easy way to do that – just contact us to schedule a meeting.

Don’t wait until a ransomware group comes calling.

About the Author

Barry House is a Senior Writer/Editor in the LRS Corporate Communications department.