MGM Cybersecurity Breach: An Important Lesson for SMBs


Everything is interconnected today. Our phones talk to our computers, our cars, our refrigerators, our locks, our lights… The same is even more true for businesses — systems are designed to be integrated, creating seamless platforms and layers of connectivity to make working easier, more efficient, etc. But with that increase in connectivity comes a heightened threat from cyber threats because if a threat vector gains sufficient access to one part of your system, they can often run riot inside your tech stack. That’s precisely why the recent cybersecurity breach at MGM Resorts offers a sobering reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by both major corporations and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

A Brief Overview

MGM Resorts, a prominent casino and hotel operator, was recently forced to shut down a majority of its computer systems due to a cybersecurity issue. This shutdown affected numerous facets of their business, from reservation and booking systems to their casino floors (even their email systems were impacted). This comes on the heels of a 2020 incident where personal details of more than 10 million MGM visitors were exposed on a hacking forum.

Such incidents not only lead to immediate financial repercussions – with MGM shares dropping by ~6% – but can also have long-lasting effects on reputation and customer trust.

The Fallout

The extent of the damage is still under investigation, but the implications are clear. The disruption caused by the breach affected the company’s most vital revenue streams. In one quarter alone, MGM reported room revenues in just Las Vegas at $706.7 million, with an additional $492.2 million coming from their casino operations. For a rough calculation — in Q2 of 2023, in just Las Vegas, MGM’s casino and room revenue is ~$13.14MM every. single. day. That’s an awful lot of revenue at risk from a cybersecurity incident. And even though most SMBs don’t have that kind of revenue at stake if the victims of cyber attacks, the % of your business it could impact could still be massive.

But beyond the immediate financial losses, the reputation of MGM could be at stake. In an era where customers prioritize security and privacy, repeated cybersecurity issues could deter potential guests and patrons from considering MGM as their choice destination.

Takeaways for SMBs

The MGM cybersecurity breach serves as a critical lesson for SMBs in a few significant ways:

  1. Always Be Prepared: Even if your business hasn’t experienced a cybersecurity threat yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t. Regularly update and test your security systems.
  2. External Assistance: Consider hiring external cybersecurity experts to routinely assess the security of your systems, as even the largest entities can’t always handle it in-house.
  3. Quick Response: In the face of a threat, swift and effective actions are essential. MGM’s decision to shut down systems was crucial in potentially preventing further damage.
  4. Diversification: Don’t put all your digital eggs in one basket. Diversifying platforms and systems can limit the extent of potential breaches.
  5. Stay Updated: The digital world evolves rapidly. Continuously update and educate your team on the latest security practices and threats.

Why Managed Service Providers (MSP) like Leverage Technologies Are Essential

MGM’s breach underscores the immense challenge businesses face in today’s digital landscape. SMBs might feel they lack the resources to protect themselves adequately, but this is where managed service providers like Leverage come in.

We offer dedicated services to ensure that your business’s digital systems are fortified against potential threats. By staying updated on the latest cybersecurity trends and threats, we provide the kind of proactive protection that’s needed in this ever-evolving digital era.

Your business deserves the best in digital security. Don’t wait for a cybersecurity threat to disrupt your operations. Drop us a line today, and see how we can help you stay safe out there.