MGM Grand Hotel Exterior

MGM Casino hack estimated $100M+ in damages. How did this happen and what can you do to safeguard your business?

The recent cyberattack on MGM Resorts serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerable digital landscape we inhabit today. When a name as big as MGM, with its vast global business spanning over two dozen hotel and casino locations, becomes a victim, it raises eyebrows and sends shivers down the spine of the corporate world. The pressing question now is: how can businesses effectively safeguard themselves in an era marked by escalating cyber threats?

The Financial Fallout: Rolling the Dice on Security Comes at a High Price

MGM Resorts, an entity that consistently rakes in tens of millions daily, incurred operational paralysis due to the cyberattack. Each day of inactivity, interrupted services, and malfunctioning systems can translate into colossal financial losses. To date this attack has potentially exceeded $100 million in lost revenue for MGM. But the immediate monetary loss is just the tip of the iceberg. The breach can erode trust among loyal patrons, result in costly litigation, and tarnish the brand’s reputation—consequences that might linger for years to come.

Human Weakness in the Digital Fortress: Manipulation Over Might

The attack vector used in the MGM breach underscores a sobering reality: the human element remains the most vulnerable in the vast ecosystem of cybersecurity. This attack wasn’t a product of breaking sophisticated codes, but rather exploiting human trust and naivety. Scattered Spider, the group implicated in this breach, employed “vishing,” a form of voice-based phishing. Here, the attackers played on the unsuspecting nature of individuals, impersonating trusted contacts, and manipulating them into revealing confidential data. By harnessing publicly available information from platforms like LinkedIn, they were able to impersonate MGM employees and gain access to MGM systems.

Slot Machines at MGM Casinos shut down due to the ongoing ransomware attack.

Beyond Firewalls: The Imperative of Holistic IT Security

A robust firewall, though essential, is but a single piece in the intricate jigsaw puzzle of cybersecurity. To truly guard against sophisticated threats, organizations must invest in many cybersecurity measure; such as next-gen endpoint protection, employee security awareness training, comprehensive backup and disaster recovery, and a strong IT team who knows how to handle the many threats of today. Each of these pieces offer enhanced security, guarding against both known and emerging threats.

The MGM incident accentuates the importance of being ready for all kinds of attacks, including those targeting the human psyche. A 2022 IBM report, highlighting the effectiveness of vishing, is testament to this threat. When phone-based phishing attacks have three times the success rate, it emphasizes the need to sensitize and train employees extensively against such ploys.

A Look Beyond MGM: A Pattern Emerging?

While MGM’s ordeal garnered significant attention, they weren’t alone in facing cyber adversity. Around the same timeframe, Caesars Entertainment admitted to a breach, revealing that it paid around 15 million to hackers after its systems were compromised. The method bore striking similarities to MGM’s breach, further establishing the growing trend of exploiting human behavior in cyberattacks.

Reactive vs. Proactive: The Road Ahead for Cybersecurity

The MGM fiasco serves as a wake-up call, urging businesses to transition from a reactive approach to a proactive one in cybersecurity. Relying on retrospective measures post-breach is no longer viable. Establishing a robust defense mechanism that integrates advanced technological solutions and comprehensive employee training is the need of the hour.

Safeguarding the Future

Businesses can’t afford to be complacent. The MGM cyberattack saga serves as a powerful lesson, highlighting the dire consequences of underestimating threats. As we move forward, businesses must continuously assess, refine, and reinforce their cybersecurity measures.

If you represent a business seeking to evaluate and fortify its cybersecurity stance, we extend an invitation for a free CyberSecurity review to qualified entities. Safeguard your future; ensure you’re not the next headline. Call us today at 845-362-9675 x 1 to embark on your cybersecurity enhancement journey.