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The Fierce Esports team runs BullGuard Internet Security “as a matter of course”

Partner Content: BullGuard on improving gaming security and performance

Over the last 17 months cyber-criminals have carried out 12 billion credential-stuffing attacks against gaming websites. Here, BullGuard outlines why products like its Internet Security offering are a must-have for today’s gamers.

What’s a poor gamer to do? They kick back in their chair, run their fingers over the keyboard at lightning speed and are just about to bag another kill and… bam, the game lags. Mmpppfff. The screen judders between full-on action and freeze frames. When it returns to normal they’ve been shot dead by an opponent.

Whether a gamer is trying to get a 20-kill Fortnite victory, set a record for moving through a Call of Duty Modern Warfare level, or simply exploring and testing out new scenarios in GTA, there’s little more teeth-gnashingly frustrating than game lag. It can effectively destroy the pleasure of the game and if the gamer is taking part in a multi-player event it can be a cyber death knell.

Is it any wonder then that gamers make sure they’re equipped with good gaming rigs? They’ve got to have top processing power and a graphics card that can effortlessly handle intense and demanding graphics, alongside deep storage capacity, faultless memory and more.

Flick the kill switch

However, the desire for blisteringly fast and ultra-reliable performance can also make them vulnerable. Everyone needs anti-malware protection. If you don’t have it, it’s like trying to run across the M1 motorway at peak traffic times, hoping you don’t get hit. Gamers get this but they also understand that antivirus software can slow games down because of the demands it can make on processing power. Inevitably, when it comes to priorities, gamers flick the kill switch on their antivirus settings. Or they simply don’t bother with it. Of course this leaves them vulnerable to malware infections, dodgy downloads and even phishing attacks.

Cyber villains of all shades ‘love’ gamers. Gamers are a niche demographic known for spending money, so their financial status is a juicy target. Criminals can also easily exchange in-game items for profit. To give you a sense of scale, just consider this. Over the last 17 months cyber-criminals have targeted the gaming industry by carrying out 12 billion credential-stuffing attacks against gaming websites, according to the Akamai 2019 State of the Internet/Security Web Attacks and Gaming Abuse Report.

Across all industries there were 55 billion credential-stuffing attacks. It’s clear from these figures that gamers are a prime target. Of all the credential-stuffing attacks in the world, a near 25% targeted gamers.

Malware loves gamers

This also extends to malware. Further research, from early June 2018 to early June 2019, revealed that 930,000 gamers were hit by fake games that actually spread malware. Malware disguised as Minecraft accounted for around 30 percent of attacks, with over 310,000 users hit.

In second place was ‘GTA 5’, targeting more than 112,000 users. ‘Sims 4’ took fourth place with almost 105,000 users hit. Criminals were also found trying to lure users into downloading malicious files disguised as unreleased games. Spoofs of at least 10 pre-release games were seen, with 80 percent of detections focused on FIFA 20, Borderlands 3, and the Elder Scrolls 6.

Ben Miles, director at Chillblast, a dedicated PC gaming rig builder, says: “There are a whole load of legitimate gaming applications that are mimicked by malware websites… [for instance] when a gamer goes to download the software they need to talk to their team mates, unfortunately they get something they weren’t bargaining for.”

It’s clear the threats to gamers are considerable. Of course, many of these threats can be addressed with a little education and awareness; how to spot and avoid dodgy downloads and what  to look for in phishing emails. But there’s a dichotomy. Gaming is meant to be fun and relaxed so gamers tend not to be on the look-out for scams when they’re doing gaming things and tend to avoid antivirus protection which clearly makes them even more vulnerable.

But there is an answer. BullGuard provides the protection gamers need… and it doesn’t slow down games. Chillblast tested the gaming performance of computers running BullGuard Internet Security, Norton Internet Security, McAfee Internet Security, Kaspersky Internet Security, AVG Internet Security and Windows Defender.

Best gaming performance means…

Not only did BullGuard Internet Security come out on top (see the graph below), its Game Booster acceleration feature made it faster than a system with no antivirus installed. As Chillblast said: “Those who want the best possible [gaming] performance from their PC would be best served by choosing BullGuard…”

So what is the BullGuard Game Booster? It essentially recognises when a game is active and other apps are also running. As a result it automatically isolates all other apps (which are not games) on one or two CPU cores. This means other CPU cores are dedicated to the gaming app which removes random spikes during the gaming session. It also optimises CPU performance for noticeably smoother gaming with a faster frame rate and no game lag.

Game booster works on all games that run on full screen and are graphics intensive. Resource hungry games, which are the majority of games, automatically trigger the activation of the Game Booster feature. It increased gaming performance by around 5% on average. “When game booster is turned on you get bonus ‘magic’ performance,” said Tech For Techs, a reviews, news and advice community. It’s so good, Tech For Techs awarded BullGuard the ‘Gamers Choice Award.’

When measured against other security programmes, BullGuard’s gaming performance was approximately 8% better. Ben Miles says: “It actually improves gaming performance.”

Kick back and partner wins

It’s certainly held in high esteem by Fierce PC, a bespoke builder of high-spec gaming rigs. Fierce PC has its own UK-based esports organisation, Fierce Esports which is competitively involved in some of the biggest esport titles including Counter Strike: Global Offensive, PUBG, Battalion 1944, League of Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League and more. Team members ensure they are running BullGuard Internet Security as a matter of course.

Jon Carter, MD at Fierce PC, says; “Professional esports players don’t want anything to interfere with game play. They want the absolute maximum out of their PC and this is where BullGuard Internet Security really comes into its own.”

So what’s a gamer to do? They can rest easy in their chair and enjoy lightning fast, uninterrupted, pop-up free gaming thanks to BullGuard’s unique Game Booster technology featured within its award-winning malware protection products.

Calling all partners

If you’re in the gaming space, then why not bundle BullGuard into your hardware? It’s a win for gamers who need top protection, and top performance, and it’s a win for partners who add an extra revenue stream to existing business. Simply put, BullGuard’s Game Booster functionality will boost your business… and secure more gaming customers. Become a BullGuard partner and you’ll experience our industry-leading partner Advantage programme which provides an industry-leading revenue share, when customers renew their license online. That’s a seriously large piece of pie… without having to lift a finger!

Check out more about BullGuard Internet Security and it’s Game Booster feature in the video below:

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