Gaming Industry Seeking Tougher Federal Cybersecurity Policies
It has been more than a year since hackers targeted Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
U.S. intelligence officials say the Iranian government was behind the damaging cyberattack on one of the largest Las Vegas-based casino companies.
Hackers allegedly stole customer data, credit card and social security numbers as well as driver’s licenses.
So, what is the gaming industry doing to protect your data? And, what policies do casino bosses want to see Congress approve?
Geoff Freeman is president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. Freeman and the gaming industry trade group he runs is lobbying Congress for tougher cybersecurity legislation.
"I think the most important thing we need to see is greater information sharing between the government and the private sector," Freeman told KNPR's State of Nevada.
He said the government often has more information than the private sector does and sharing that information is vital.
Freeman supports the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which would encourage a greater flow of information.
"There's a lot of information stored in different aspects of the government that doesn't really flow as fluidly as it should," he said, "This legislation will help to change that."
Freeman said he would like to see the cooperation already established between the government and casinos when it comes to financial crimes applied to cybersecurity.
"We've made this a high priority," Freeman explained, "We want the government to be a partner in this effort this legislation will help to make that possible."
It is not just casinos that are involved in the effort to get this law passed and improve cybersecurity. Retail, commercial real estate, hotels are just a few of the industries Freeman said were pushing for the bill.
He said the attitude about the problem used to be similar to the old joke about out running a bear, 'you don't have to out run the bear, you just have to out run the other guy.'
"This is an area where we're all at risk, where we all need to get together." Freeman said. "It's not good enough to just be better than the other guy, we all need to increase our defenses here and prevent this from happening."
Freeman said that customers in casinos must feel confident that their information is safe.
Geoff Freeman, president and C-E-O, American Gaming Association