Video games have come a long way. Digital keys came in to replace physical copies, and that’s exactly what could-based gaming is starting to do. 

This however has led to a certain issue. Nowadays, game developers aren’t part of the security teams. In other words, they will not always make sure that the code they create is safe and secure. 

Generally, developers are just responsible for getting the games ready for launch, while the DevOps and security teams take care of anything that has to do with security. 

Unfortunately, there are numerous cases where security isn’t part of the development life cycle. 

 

Cloud-based Gaming & Cybersecurity Implications

This can lead to many threats on the cybersecurity side since all the data is acquired by the behavior of the users. 

According to the technical director of The Deep End Games, Linda Tang, this is especially true in PC games, since PC gamers need to download the product locally and then connect it to a server when they first run it.

According to Tang, this usually causes tons of problems, since the player will have to download different software that might not always be secure. 

When it comes to network play, that isn’t secure as well, and browsers are usually much safer.

As stated in a report that was published recently, by the name of “Game Over The Future of Gaming Security”, most PC gamers are worrying about the security that will be evident in the future of gaming. 

That percentage was as high as 75%. Of that percentage, almost two-thirds (64%) of it reported that either they or someone they know was a victim of a cyberattack.

In a press release made by Gary Davis, the chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, he stated that because of the increasing popularity of PC gaming, gamers must always take certain steps to keep their info as well as their devices secure. 

It might also be the other way around, where PC gaming is the one that poses risks due to some glitches in the code.

The VP of Google, Phil Harrison, back in the 2019 Game Developers Conference presented the future of gaming, where the worlds of playing video games and watching them would intersect. 

And the name of that device is Google Stadia. With it, Google would put an end to scaling and latency problems.

By placing all the software directly into the data centers of Google means that developers won’t have to care as much about security. 

Tang thinks of this as another win for game developers. According to him, the majority of game developers are not centered on cybersecurity. Most of the security problems that most video games face are the result of this. 

Tang himself was a creator of a streaming platform in the early 2010s, by the name of Cloud Browse. According to him, streaming platforms will make everything much safer for the players’ machines, as well as raising many concerns related to security for the platform itself. 

After all, is said and done, video game streaming will be a huge win for game developers, because it takes the responsibility off of them and places it into the provider of the streaming platform (in the case of Stadia, the provider is Google), forcing them to make sure that their systems stay safe.

 

Google Stadia Cybersecurity in 2021

When it comes to Google Stadia, you will not be installing anything. No software, no programs, no nothing. Any game you play is streamed directly on Google’s servers, so none of your data is ever exposed.

Photo by Cristiano Pinto on Unsplash

Any streaming platform, whether that’s Stadia or Geforce Now, or any other platforms that have come out lately brings every player and all their data together in one place, thus reducing any potential security problems that could be encountered if everyone used their platform. 

As Tang stated, any software that has a security problem will be much harder to hack, since nobody has direct access to the software that can be found in Google’s data centers.

Another positive of streaming platforms is that hacking and cheating in games will become increasingly difficult for fraudulent players. 

Cheating has always been a plague in the online gaming scene. 

Since cheating requires a player to use their machine to run software that will give them an advantage over others, and since Stadia and other streaming platforms are the ones “playing” the game, cheating will be rendered near impossible.

According to Jessica Marie, a member of the product management at Vera, streaming platforms will offer both advantages in security and some disadvantages. 

While streaming will allow for a lot of the complex code to stay in the cloud, rather than the device of the players, it will significantly reduce the attacks on the players’ devices and any issues that will be discovered could be patched in real-time right in the cloud.

While this might seem impossible, or magical, there will surely be some issues and risks. 

As Marie stated, it has always been true that when a platform has become popular, it has received the attention of cybercriminals who are looking to make money by committing fraud or other cybercrimes. 

It could be as simple as someone creating some phishing schemes, or fake copies of popular games, which will still lead to the players’ getting hacked.

Community moderation, however, is one of the top priorities of Stadia, as they will have the best parental control as well as digital gamer wellbeing controls, to let parents manage who their children are playing with, along with how much they’re playing and what they’re playing.

Stadia certainly made headlines, and it’s more than likely that game developers will agree with the remarks that The Deep End Games made. 

Many of us are still really excited to find out about the impact of Stadia and other streaming services. You can be sure that we won’t wait for it to be negative.

The MyITGuy team will remain informed and informing about the most recent news related to cloud-based gaming cybersecurity in 2021 and many years to come.

Are you ready for the real next-gen wave of gaming?