PlayFab (www.playfab.com), a backend service to build, launch and grow live games, has announced findings from its recent survey on cybersecurity concerns and awareness among gamers.
The findings, which include responses from 500 participants that play video games more than four hours per week, revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe game developers should be responsible for securing players’ personal data, however fewer than 40 percent said they feel confident in current safeguards.
What’s more, while 86 percent of participants expressed concern with protecting personal data on the Internet, data security ranked as one of the lowest priorities when making game purchases for nearly half of all respondents, indicating a disparity between beliefs and actions.
Despite the steady succession of high-profile data breaches over the last year, many businesses and consumers are still not taking appropriate measures to ensure proper security online. The games industry is no exception, with several major game companies having been hit by significant data breaches.
A 2014 study by Ponemon Institute and IBM found that the average data breach in the U.S. costs US$5.9 million, or $200 per breached record, an impact that could be detrimental to the viability of a game studio or publisher experiencing such an event. These threats are compounded by the growth of the live games space and the resulting increase in game companies that store their users’ personal data, presenting the need for developers to strengthen their security measures.
“Data breaches continue to plague businesses across the globe, and the games industry is not immune to these attacks,” says James Gwertzman, co-founder and CEO of PlayFab. “These survey results underscore both the opportunity for game developers to improve trust by focusing on security measures, and the importance that they do so to safeguard an audience that relies on them. PlayFab plays a role in this by giving developers a battle-tested, secure backend that makes it easier to protect players’ private data.”
PlayFab provides backend technology and game operations solutions available to game developers on all platforms, including mobile, tablet, PC, and console with integration across Steam, Apple, Facebook, Google, Xbox, and PSN. Additional findings from the survey include:
° Most respondents indicated some level of effort to take personal data security into their own hands, with 46 percent saying they provide the bare minimum of personal data required and 20 percent indicating they will sometimes give false information when making game purchases.
° Nearly 60 percent cited cost and game play experience as the first or second most important factors when selecting a game, while nearly half ranked security as one of the least important factors.
° When asked about the security of their game accounts and experiences, more than 80 percent ranked either personally identifiable or financial related information as the most important thing to protect, while system speed and performance rated as the least important by nearly 40 percent, and in-game data and achievements were rated least important by more than 20 percent.
° Most respondents had minimal experience with compromised data – only 30 percent were aware of data breaches that had affected the games industry, and 85 percent had not experienced a game-related security breach; 71 percent indicated they had not ever discontinued use of a game due to security vulnerability concerns, further highlighting a lack of alertness to potential risks.
° The majority of participants – 55 percent – either view desktop/laptop as safer than other platforms, or believe all platforms to be roughly equal in terms of security, which shows a disconnect from the reality of the landscape.