How Can Software Engineers Contribute to Cybersecurity in the Gaming Industry?
Many people reading from ICT Catalogue as asking How Can Software Engineers Contribute to Cybersecurity in the Gaming Industry?
As an IT professional, it is crucial to grasp skill sets from various disciplines across the industry, such as computer networking, cybersecurity, and software development. In the gaming context, a software developer has the technical ability to develop and implement gaming software that creates interactive experiences. On the other hand, a cybersecurity professional develops embedded security systems and maintains them by testing for potential gaps and responding to cyberattacks.
While this description distinguishes the role of a software engineer from that of a cybersecurity professional, the two work in essential branches of computer science and thus often must have a collaborative relationship to ensure programs are robust and secure.
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Why is cybersecurity important to the gaming industry?
A report by Earthweb estimates the gaming industry’s worth at more than $300 Billion in 2023, with over 2.9 billion players worldwide. From these numbers, people take their entertainment pretty seriously. With the explosion of games over the decade, gamers have so much to explore. However, with the astounding success comes an even more significant challenge of ensuring everyone is protected from countless cybersecurity threats.
Consequently, there is immense pressure on game developers to ensure they are creating games that can stand the test of time. The exponential growth continues to attract unscrupulous individuals who are always looking for opportunities to disrupt gameplay, steal development kits, source codes, and others ready to harvest sensitive personal data (for users and staff of gaming firms), and divert transactions to unverified accounts.
According to research by Kaspersky, most cyberattacks launched in 2022 targeted young gamers, including children. From phishing pages to offers to download cheats and mods, there are a lot of traps set for innocent players, thus the need for counter-social engineering techniques to curb the increasing financial losses and reputational issues in the gaming industry.
Some of the common cyberthreats affecting gamers include:
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack meant to slow down processes by consuming resources, sometimes terminating services suddenly. DDoS attacks can manifest in various ways. For some, it is getting kicked off the server during playtime or an extremely slow console. In the worst-case scenario, the gamers cannot completely log on to the service. Hackers have advanced their tactics into recruiting computers as army bots and using them to send multiple requests to disrupt a gaming server.
Phishing pages purport from reputable companies to gain gamers’ trust and obtain sensitive information. The attacker may send gamers messages requesting credentials, such as credit card numbers and passwords. They then demand ransom by interrupting gaming services and threatening to sell or reveal the collected information.
Malware is malicious software usually injected by hackers into devices via legitimate games. Online gamers are in dire danger of this threat as they will likely download the wrong files. The threat vector may form a fake application and steal data from the device.
Other common cyber threats include ransomware, in-game cheats and mods, and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) leaks.
What is the role of a software engineer in cybersecurity?
Although software engineering and cybersecurity are considered two different entities, one cannot do without the other. Software engineers are excellent contenders for cybersecurity roles as they already have the basic skills to pursue this computing path. While most may argue that cybersecurity is more complicated than coding, programming is a significant part of the profession. A cybersecurity analyst must understand a code to successfully infiltrate it or prevent the infiltration of the code into a given system.
Software engineers can increase their worth in the competitive job market by acquiring more profound knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity. Both careers are lucrative, but the tremendous increase in cyberattacks, particularly in the gaming industry, simultaneously increases the demand for cybersecurity analysts.
Software engineers can contribute to narrowing this gap by developing and implementing more robust cybersecurity protocols into their programs to protect their users and codes. Software engineers are in a better position to combine engineering standards with coding languages to develop, test and maintain software. The profession immerses them into a broader scope as they are source developers of games; thus, it would be ideal for taking cybersecurity measures to monitor and evaluate technical issues before and after launching programs into the market.
With the right tools, software engineers can strengthen the defense against cyberthreats by developing automation testing tools to help identify and analyze malicious codes and other vulnerabilities, thus enhancing the security of systems. Therefore, software engineers should pursue advanced level cybersecurity to strengthen their applications and techniques at the development stage.
How can a software engineer pursue cybersecurity?
The first step to advancing your career is acquiring additional educational and practical knowledge. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, you can increase your skill set by pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a similar field.
Most employers are seeking specialized technical skills for cybersecurity positions. Therefore, it is wise to get a master’s degree in cybersecurity. The degree prepares you adequately for the market. Aside from equipping you with comprehensive skills to maintain computer systems, it also increases your chances in the highly competitive job market.
In this fast-paced world, enrolling in a quality and flexible program that allows you to advance your career without disrupting your life is crucial. Baylor University offers productive and extensive learning and will enable professionals to pursue a masters in software engineering online.
The course concentrates on all the essential parts of software engineering with much focus on software engineering research, object-oriented development, and advanced techniques across the industry. It also incorporates major topics in cybersecurity to help learners establish progressive careers and begin enjoying the benefits of holistic learning. Continuing your studies at Baylor University sets you apart from the rest, allowing you to explore the full potential of computer science thanks to the numerous networking and job opportunities.
Software engineers are mandated to ensure their programs are secure in a field as promising as the gaming industry. Extending their knowledge in cybersecurity is a huge step towards combating the growing number of threats and losses currently experienced while creating competitive games for players to enjoy. Choose a prestigious institution to guarantee the best of all a master’s degree has to offer.