This April, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment suffered a major cyber-attack which affected its Ontario operations. Now, the leading operator of land-based casinos has informed current and former staff of its Cascades Casino Chatham that their information could have been breached. The company said it detected unauthorized access to personal information.
In the middle of April 2023, Gateway Casinos announced that it has detected a cyber-attack causing it to close down all 14 of its gaming facilities across Ontario for over two weeks. After collaborating with cyber experts, the company was able to restore its IT systems and gradually opened its establishments. Work is now back to normal.
Specialist Provides Advice
According to cybersecurity specialist Ritesh Kotak, when a breach transpires, personal information becomes exposed in the vast expanse of cyberspace. Malicious actors exploit this data, seeking to profit from its inherent value. The consequences for individuals range from identity theft and fraudulent loan applications to potential breaches in other platforms necessitating specific pieces of information.
In its email, the operator said it was unaware of any misuse of personal information at the time. In order to protect staff, the company said it was providing credit monitoring and an identity plan for 12 months free for employees. The gaming leader insists it took immediate measures to contain the incident while the investigation still remains open.
In addition to that, the operator noted that it will continue to work with experts to determine if any leak has occurred regarding customer information. But to this day, there has been no indication that there has been such. The company also said that it is still in contact with law enforcement, regulators and privacy bodies regarding the cyber-attack.
Once a piece of information has been leaked, there is no going back, warned Mr. Kotak. But he provided some advice for people to protect themselves from such incidents. He urged individuals to set up account notifications, monitor their accounts, secure credit monitoring services, and even try out something as similar as using different email addresses.
Mr. Kotak advises companies to first halt operations and investigate the extent of the compromise. Second, forensic audits should be conducted by specialists to test systems and address vulnerabilities before going back online. Finally, continuous testing and vulnerability assessments are necessary to ensure system security and prevent future incidents. Though time-consuming and costly, this process is crucial for safeguarding the system.
Another Tech Expert Weighs In
Meanwhile, tech expert Carmi Levy advised companies on how to prevent such issues in the future. He explained that such cyber-attacks occur from individual mistakes, as staff often open phishing emails. That is why he wants companies to provide more personal training on the topic, so incidents like this one could be avoided in the future.
Source: Liu, Sijia “Cascades Casino cybersecurity attack may have breached personal employee information” CTV News, June 12, 2023