Current Gaming Security Topics (part 3, Payment Protection)

This topic has baffled me since starting in the online gaming industry. Every show I go to I see many Payment application providers. The sheer number of them is staggering to me. Each one I see I try to strike up a conversation and see what they are doing for security or where there maybe a need. What’s interesting to me is that most of them do not feel that user authentication needs to be secure for them. Most of them simply allow publishers to use their systems to process the end users credit cards or however the user is paying for the game. This strikes me as what I am seeing in the credit card world too. Basically the processing company simply assumes that if you have the credit card number than you must have the card. At LOGIN I spoke to a payment company and they told me of the problems they face with charge backs and proving that a user is who they say they are. It seems like a big problem for this group, yet they still seem to see user authentication as not interesting.

PayPal is about the only one that seems to embrace user security, well if you don’t count the fact that the token devices are hidden deep in their web pages on security. It makes sense to me that if you require the user to make an account, then the user should be using more than a username and password to authenticate themselves.

The issue at hand here is 2 fold from my view.

  1. The users account is used to store the credit card information, if the user goes to view the information most of it is hidden from them and all they can do is to add or change this information.
  2. The customer isn’t paying the payment company, or at least not directly. So there really isn’t much that is driving the payment company to offer security that may come with a price tag.


I know there is a need here, as I know that I want my payment information protected from prying eyes, but I can’t seem to figure out what the business need is and how to make that leap from convenience to security for this part of our market. As I walk around the show floor at E3 this week, I will continue to investigate this space and see if I can find that missing link.


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