Metaverset and the ability to create cybersecurity right from the start

Will the meta-verse be the next incarnation of the Internet? Who knows. But even though Microsoft says they are investing in this, the question is still what the metaverse exactly entails. This does not change the fact that security and privacy will be crucial in this new virtual world. Because consumers, businesses and governments can literally have unprecedented opportunities, but so do cybercriminals. We are not there yet, but cybersecurity must now be a priority so as not to fall behind – as with the current internet – later.

When the word “metavers” began to dominate the news, I immediately thought of a dystopian future that needed a new reality to distract from the misery of the real world. At first, it felt like an alternative fantasy that mostly belonged in the gaming and movie world. Now, in a very short time, the reality is that the metaverse can become the next incarnation of the internet. Globally, large companies are investing huge amounts of money in it. Facebook is the frontrunner that is investing heavily in the meta-verse as the company’s future. Meanwhile, Nike has also made a number of acquisitions to become ‘metaverse ready’, we are seeing virtual properties change hands and in the financial world, banks are already securing a future in the virtual world.

Hype and expectations

Even Microsoft is not lagging behind, claiming that the Activision acquisition will “give building blocks to the metaverse.” Not surprisingly, and quite in line with the rest of the metaverse story, Microsoft gave no further details on what exactly it means. Although there is a lot of hype and expectations, there are still many aspects of the meta-verse that need to be understood. Aside from the technology and marketing bubbles, does everyone really understand what this could mean for our lives in the future? An interesting recent study looked at the questions people ask on Google and I think they indicate how unknown the metaverse is today. If many people do not know, how can we so effectively prepare for the next wave of cyber threats that this will bring?

Opportunity to catch up

As this new digital world continues to infiltrate our lives, some obvious red flags are rising from cybersecurity. Of course – and I will disregard my enormous skepticism so far – I, like others in our industry, have immediate concerns and questions about security and privacy. However, I also believe that this is an opportunity for many organizations around the world to catch up and invest well in cybersecurity. Anyone who collects and stores personally identifiable information and no doubt sells data and insights has a moral and legal obligation to properly regulate data protection and privacy.

Smart investment in talent

If now is not the time to prioritize data and cybersecurity, then I do not know what is! Many companies should see the metaverse and augmented reality as a compelling reason to prioritize cybersecurity investments and planning. This does not have to mean that companies have to acquire a wide range of tools and platforms that no one knows how to use. Instead, smart investment in talent within the current workforce may be the key to improving security operations. If companies can upskill the right employees and increase their understanding of the metaverse’s rapidly evolving threat landscape, they’re well on their way. Companies can then supplement these skills with the technology and expertise of an appropriate security partner to find the right balance.

Virtual relationships also remain attached to a person

If we dig a little deeper, it’s important that we start thinking about the security challenges of metaverse and what type of knowledge to acquire. A real indicator of adoption will be the criminal activities directed at this world. Most descriptions of the meta-verse sound like VR ‘worlds’, where you buy things and interact with things that do not exist in reality. Although they do not exist in ‘reality’ and are stored in a decentralized way, it is important to remember that these things still remain linked to an individual’s identity and wealth in the real world, despite being hidden to provide anonymity.

New opportunities for scammers and scammers

In other respects, the NFT / Web3 world will probably also be a prime location for scammers and scammers. NFTs and metaverse products already attract get-rich-quicker and are easy targets for cybercrime. I would not be surprised if cryptocurrency scams target “known” VR avatars for account takeover to manipulate the bitcoin price, for example, as we have recently seen with Twitter profiles.

Aside from these types of scams, the real focus this year will be on when the turning point comes. When a genuine global adoption of these technologies is a fact, security and privacy will come to the fore. For although the metaverse represents a huge new challenge for businesses and consumers, it is certainly also a new opportunity for cybercriminals. Despite existing protections, especially for cryptocurrency and blockchain, there is still no regulation in the metaverse, and as we have seen with ransomware and extortion tactics, the legal consequences for attacks are also limited, creating an extremely attractive and potentially lucrative space for cybercriminals. .

Invest as much in cybersecurity as in metaverse technology

History tells us that with many new technologies, security often comes second. But if we can learn anything from the past year, it is that cybersecurity should be a priority. It is no different for the meta-verse. Whether it’s Nike, Facebook or any other company creating a digital playground, they need to make sure they invest as much in cybersecurity as they do in creating these technologies. Companies that are already integrating their cybersecurity operations from scratch to prepare for the metaverse will be in a much better position to face a threat landscape that needs to evolve and become more complex.

This is a contribution submitted by Arctic Wolf. Via this link you will find more information about the company’s opportunities.

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