What is metaverse cybersecurity and what does it involve?
Meta Description: The cybersecurity concerns for metaverse are quite challenging even as this new kid on the block continues to make waves owing to tremendous possibilities it comes equipped with.
What is Metaverse?
The world is preparing to explore the potential of the metaverse. The digital platform is increasingly becoming popular and offers immense opportunities for growth cutting across the industry lines. Technically, the term metaverse describes digitally connected universes that allow users to traverse virtual space in digital avatars.
Lying at the intersection of augmented reality and virtual reality, the metaverse has the potential to change the internet like never before. No wonder, most technology giants are investing heavily to make themselves metaverse-ready with social-media behemoth Facebook even going to the extent of renaming itself Meta.
What are Metaverse Cybersecurity Concerns?
Along with extensive growth opportunities, the metaverse comes with legitimate concerns about privacy and data security. As everything is built virtually in the metaverse, cybercriminals have plenty of options to hack the data and misuse it for their personal gains.
- Some of the risks that metaverse users face are similar to those raised by the users of the internet such as phishing emails, data hacking, and malware attack among others. However, the unique architecture on which the metaverse is built brings additional challenges to the horizon. For example, digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are extensively used in the metaverse, and hackers might find these things interesting for the hacking purposes.
- Another cyber security concern unique to metaverse is the preservation of the virtual identity of users. Further, metaverse companies need to safeguard all the critical information related to the business transactions happening in the online space. This preservation is the most critical step in ensuring the long-term sustenance of metaverse as a separate business category.
- Just like the two-dimensional internet, the security solutions related to both hardware and software will help metaverse to grow at a desirable pace. All assets and equipment in the metaverse must be able to detect threats and offer protection against the basic risks associated with the category. To enjoy the immersive virtual world in the metaverse, users require some special hardware devices including smart glasses, VR headsets, etc. All these equipment are critical for optimum functioning of metaverse although, in the absence of security mechanisms, these devices can become a soft target for hackers. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that all equipment feature high-grade safety and security so that any unauthorised leaks can be prevented with certainty.
- The issue of intellectual property rights is also a critical challenge, especially when it comes to the virtual space. The policymakers and regulators must address this head-on so that both users and organisations operating in the metaverse remain protected all the time.
How to handle Metaverse Cybersecurity Concerns?
- First and foremost, the metaverse platforms have to adopt a Zero Trust policy – Trust Nothing, Validate Everything. This requires a solid framework for the preservation of the data and continuous verification of the third parties with which the exchange of the data takes place. Companies should strive to go beyond authentication and check all possible levels of digital interactions which are susceptible to the exfiltration of sensitive information.
- The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can significantly improve the efficacy of cybersecurity solutions. By analysing the access patterns of users, both these new-age technologies can prevent data leakage, as well as prevent the dangers of cyber attacks on metaverse platforms.
- The Web 3.0 introduction will also help in creating an atmosphere of pro-privacy and anti-monopoly. Using the idea of decentralisation, the new-age internet technology offers better protection against data fraud and hacking attempts. In fact, the use of digital currencies and blockchain technology in the metaverse offers innate data protection to users.
The metaverse cybersecurity concerns are critical and in the wake of rapidly evolving things, these issues need to be addressed with utmost sincerity and earnestness. As the entire concept of metaverse revolves around the digital space, its growth prospects in future will depend upon the data protection companies are able to extend to users.
Compared to the existing threats faced by web 2.0, the metaverse platform on the 3.0 version of the web is less likely to face data breaches. This is because hack-proof technologies such as digital currencies and blockchain are parts of the metaverse economy. However, there are weak links such as wearable equipment and network connectivity which can be used by hackers to steal sensitive information related to users’ accounts and business transactions. Therefore, it is important for all the stakeholders in the metaverse ecosystem to offer safe equipment while encouraging users to go for a secure internet to access the world of digitally connected universes.