Risk management solution to Internet Gaming security 

15 August 2001

Risk management provides solution to Internet Gaming security

- Testing agency BMM offers expertise to Nevada Gaming Commission -

LAS VEGAS: Nevada gaming regulators assessing the reliability and security of internet gambling options were alerted to the issues and practicalities of protecting internet gaming systems by leading independent testing agency BMM International.

“Our experience is that you cannot eliminate all risk for internet gaming systems security breaches,” said Mr Hugh Monypenny, President and CEO of BMM North America. “However, risk management strategies can be adopted to ensure that these measures are effective throughout the life of an internet gaming operation”.

The Nevada Legislature recently passed Nevada Assembly Bill 466 enabling the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) to develop regulations for Nevada casino operators to establish internet gambling sites, provided the Commission is satisfied that some key criteria are met. The NGC invited BMM to present its views as gaming systems and technology experts, during a two-day hearing in late July.

“There is almost no facet of any internet gaming system that is not directly related to security. The key message we deliver is that tools and processes for securing internet gaming systems do exist, and can be used to provide a level of security that is commensurate with the risk associated with internet gaming,” said Mr James Sargeant, BMM’s Senior Consultant and one of the two main authors of the Australian Technical Standards for internet gaming that has been adopted as a benchmark reference tool in Australia.

“Regulation of land-based casinos is based on risk elimination. This is possible, as all aspects of the system can be controlled”. Mr Sargeant explained that, unlike conventional gaming, not all sub-systems associated with internet gaming can be controlled by the gaming operator. Examples include the player’s PC and software, the operator’s PC and software, aspects of the banking infrastructure and the internet itself as a technology medium.

“By definition, something that cannot be controlled cannot be secured. The risk elimination paradigm does not work – and cannot work – in the internet environment for a number of reasons,” said Mr Sargeant.

“Internet gaming systems need to be designed with this in mind. BMM believes that a feasible alternative is to adopt a risk management approach,” he said.

According to Mr Sargeant, an attack on the integrity of an internet gaming system will come from one of two sources: the organisation operating the system (including its suppliers), or the public that “visits” the internet casino. He highlighted a number of security issues that both regulators and operators face in today’s internet gambling industry and outlined the role of technology in addressing these issues, in protecting players’ privacy and ensuring the ongoing security of a site.

“A key consideration is the reality that security is an on-going business, a full life-cycle process,” said Mr Sargeant. “It is not ‘finished business when an internet gaming site becomes operational and goes live”.

Operators are not the only stakeholders and risk-bearers in internet gaming. Others include regulators, suppliers, testing laboratories and the internet casino players. A well-designed internet gaming system will use proactive and reactive strategies to protect itself from intentional and unintentional security breaches.

“Technology exists today to enable strong security measures to be required and implemented by internet gaming operations,” BMM concluded in their presentation. “The key message is that the task of adequately securing internet gaming is not an impossible feat”.

BMM International (www.bmm.com.au), headquartered in Australia, is an independent testing agency that provides compliance certification, testing and consulting services. With 20 years industry experience, the company focuses on both the land-based and internet gaming markets, providing casino, lottery, sportsbetting and wagering systems testing, certification and analysis services.

BMM is the largest and most experienced Accredited Testing Facility in the Australasian market. The company is also the principal author of the Internet Gaming Technical Requirements Specifications that have been adopted by the Australian states to regulate internet gaming.

BMM recently established offices in Las Vegas and New Jersey to service the North American market.

For further information please contact Hugh Monypenny, CEO of BMM North America Inc via email whmonypenny@bmm.com.au or phone (702) 407 2420 or (973) 432 0188.