Gaming in a Pandemic

June 29, 2021

State of the Internet / Research Report | Gaming in a Pandemic | Akamai

Welcome to the second edition of SOTI Research. In this edition, we look at the attacks and trends in the gaming industry during 2020. It was a volatile year, and we’re not just speaking about the pandemic. Web attacks targeting the gaming industry were up 340% year over year between 2019 and 2020, and credential stuffing attacks were up 224%. Strangely enough, DDoS attacks against the gaming industry fell by nearly 20% during the same period.

Gamers are a focused, highly engaged, and motivated demographic. Criminals, on the other hand, are cold and ruthless — and gamers, as well as gaming companies, are some of their favorite targets.

Web Application Attacks

Gaming companies are constantly working to secure their infrastructure against all types of attacks. Online gaming companies, just like other enterprises, pay close attention to web-based attacks and trends. In 2020, Akamai tracked 246,064,297 web application attacks in the gaming industry, representing about 4% of the 6.3 billion attacks we tracked globally.

This figure is significant, because this represents a 340% increase in attacks against gaming companies since 2019. When we track web application attacks in the gaming industry from 2018 until 2020, we see a 415% increase. In fact, the year-over-year change globally for web application attacks was only 2%, meaning that gaming saw more growth in attack traffic than any other industry in 2020.

Some of this statistical growth is due to additional visibility on Akamai’s part, as new customers were added to the global network. However, the main driver behind the increase in attacks isn’t new customers; it’s persistent criminals. Criminals, on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis, test defenses and probe externally faced servers looking for even the slightest vulnerability to gain a foothold on the server or expose information.

2020 was wild — let’s not ignore that. While we were all at home, adjusting to the “new normal,” trying to balance work, school, and day-to-day existence during a pandemic, many people turned to gaming as an outlet and means of personal connection.

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About the Provider

Akamai Technologies
Akamai Technologies, Inc. is an American content delivery network, cybersecurity, and cloud service provider headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States.


DDoS attacks, Internet Security, Threat landscapes, Web Attacks