The metaverse and the opportunity to do cybersecurity from the beginning

Will the metaverse be the next incarnation of the Internet? Who knows. But while even Microsoft says it’s investing in this, the question remains what exactly that metaverse entails. This does not mean that security and privacy are fundamental in this new virtual world. Because consumers, businesses, and governments may have literally unprecedented opportunities, but so do cybercriminals. We are not there yet, but cybersecurity must be a priority now so as not to be left behind – as is the case with the current internet – later on.

When the word “metaverse” started dominating the news, I immediately thought of a dystopian future that needed a new reality to distract from the miseries of the real world. At first it felt like an alternative fantasy that mostly belonged in the world of games and movies. Now, in a very short time, the reality is that the metaverse could become the next incarnation of the Internet. All over the world, big companies are investing huge amounts of money in it. Facebook is the favorite that is betting big on the metaverse as the future of the company. Meanwhile, Nike has also made a series of acquisitions to be “ready for the metaverse”, we see virtual real estate changing hands and in the financial world, banks are already hedging for a future in the virtual world.

hype and expectations

Even Microsoft is not far behind, stating that the acquisition of Activision “will provide the building blocks for the metaverse.” Unsurprisingly, and completely in line with the rest of the metaverse story, Microsoft didn’t elaborate on what exactly that means. While there is a lot of hype and expectations, there are still many aspects of the metaverse that need to be understood. Technology and marketing bubbles aside, 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 don’t know about it, how can we effectively prepare for the next wave of cyber threats that this will bring?

chance to catch up

As this new digital world continues to infiltrate our lives, some obvious cybersecurity red flags are emerging. Of course, and I’ll ignore my huge skepticism for now, 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 the 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 cyber security, then I don’t 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 buy a wide variety of tools and platforms that no one knows how to use. Instead, smart investment in the talent within today’s workforce may hold the key to improving security operations. If companies can train the right employees and increase their understanding of the rapidly evolving threat landscape of the metaverse, they are on the right track. Companies can then complement these skills with the technology and expertise of a suitable security partner to strike the right balance.

Virtual matters are also linked to an individual

If we dig a little deeper, it’s important that we start thinking about the security challenges of the metaverse and what kind of knowledge should be gained. A real indicator of adoption will be the criminal activities that target this world. Most descriptions of the metaverse sound like virtual reality ‘worlds’ where you buy things and interact with things that don’t exist in reality. Although they do not exist in ‘reality’ and are maintained on a decentralized basis, 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 hot spot for fraudsters and fraudsters. NFTs and metaverse products are already attracting people who accelerate enrichment and are easy targets for cybercrime. I wouldn’t be surprised if cryptocurrency scams target “familiar” VR avatars for account takeovers to manipulate the price of bitcoin, for example, as we’ve recently seen with Twitter profiles.

Aside from these types of scams, the real focus this year will be when the tipping point hits. When true global adoption of these technologies becomes a reality, security and privacy will come to the fore. Because while the metaverse represents a huge new challenge for businesses and consumers, it’s also definitely a new opportunity for cybercriminals. Despite existing protections, especially for cryptocurrencies and blockchain, there is still no regulation in the metaverse and, as we have seen with ransomware and extortion tactics, the legal consequences of attacks are also limited, creating an extremely attractive space. and potentially lucrative for cybercriminals.

Invest in both cybersecurity and metaverse technology

History tells us that with many emerging technologies, security often comes second. But if we can learn anything from last year, it is that cybersecurity should be a priority. It’s no different for the metaverse. Whether it’s Nike, Facebook, or any other company that’s creating a digital playground, they need to make sure they invest in both cybersecurity and the creation of these technologies. Companies that are already integrating their cybersecurity operations from the ground up to prepare for the metaverse will be in a much better position to deal with a threat landscape that is destined to evolve and become more complex.

This is a contribution submitted by Arctic Wolf. Through this link you will find more information about the possibilities of the company.

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