How the metaverse could shape cybersecurity in 2022
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This article was contributed by Waqas, cybersecurity journalist and writer
“Metaverse” is a much-hyped concept that is increasingly mentioned in conversations about technology and development. While the idea has recently gained popularity, it’s not entirely new. It first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash, and there have been many versions of the metaverse since then, mostly because the game industry caught on. These versions fueled the idea, as evidenced by games like Second Life, Eve Online, or even GTA and Red Dead online†
Despite its long-standing presence in the world of technology, the idea surrounding the metaverse still seems somewhat fuzzy. It’s probably because the recent construction of metaverse will take place via facebook and promises to incarnate the next generation of the Internet. It represents the idea of an immersive, next-generation virtual 3D world, which promises to connect all kinds of digital environments together in almost a digitized recreation of the real world we live in. And while the idea of a revolutionary digital world sounds exciting in itself, it has raised several security concerns that have led to that big question; how will the metaverse cybersecurity change in 2022?
While the specific ideas surrounding the metaverse are somewhat hazy, privacy and security concerns have surfaced around the concept. There is a lot of speculation about how this could affect cybersecurity and what could be some important security issues that need immediate attention.
We are already aware of some of the cybersecurity issues most likely to arise within the metaverse, as far as we live virtual lives in 2020 and 2021. Looking at statistics, it’s safe to see a boom in common predict cybersecurity problems, such as phishing. In addition, the development phases contain hints of possible cybersecurity scenarios within 2022. As most cyber attacks and fraud have begun to occur, it is possible to predict scenarios such as:
NFTs are important as the epicenter of the metaverse economy. There could be an already marked increase in NFT scam, such as selling fake NFTs. An occurrence of malicious smart contracts that cheat people and gain access to personal information or cryptocurrency wallets. The use of vulnerable AR/VR devices is becoming a gateway for malware invasions and data breaches. A problem which came with the popularity of VR goggles. A likely increase in blockchain scams taking place through seemingly legit financial institutions
However, the biggest concern looming over the Metaverse is data privacy and security which will most likely remain under threat for a variety of reasons.
For starters, there is the essential use of AR/VR devices that collect large amounts of user data and information such as biometric information, creating a potential for hacking attacks. In addition, the modern demand for user data will most likely grow with the Metaverse as it could provide leverage to collect more user data. Specifically, with Facebook being the reason behind Metaverse, it will surely make people love their personal information† Moreover, as can be seen from Second Lifethe metaverse avatars will become a source of data collection and violate the privacy of users.
What will cybersecurity look like in 2022 with the metaverse?
Since the idea of the metaverse has yet to come to life, it’s difficult to draw fine lines about how it could affect cybersecurity. However, it is possible to draw speculation based on the workings of other “metaverses” that the game industry has managed to conjure up, and various security issues associated with the idea.
Ever since the idea of the Metaverse hit the headlines, a wave of cybercriminal activity has been visible through increasing NFT scams. Since this scam unfolds social engineering tacticsIt’s safe to say that social engineering attacks aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, there will likely be an increase in attacks as the metaverse continues to take shape.
The fact that the Metaverse is going to house an extensive collection of sensitive data so far, there must be a likely increase in hacking attacks. Along with that is the obvious impact it has on data privacy. If things are left vulnerable, there can be frequent hacks and data theft, causing harm to all users. With that comes the immediate threat of scams and malware invasions.
What is probably most concerning, however, is that the metaverse was built using blockchain technology. While this technology is secure, it is not completely immune to vulnerabilities. In addition, it is decentralized, with no designated administrator or moderator to remain in charge or control. With such a lack of authority, it is impossible to recover stolen or illegally obtained assets.
Since the Metaverse will operate through avatars, there will be no concrete method of identifying cybercriminals. Anyone can fool the digital landscape, as evidenced by the dark web.
Implementing cybersecurity in the age of the metaverse.
As the metaverse will bring a wealth of cybersecurity issues, there will be a critical need to implement strict cybersecurity measures and protocols. For starters, there will be a great need to ensure stronger endpoint security through various tools such as VPNs, proxies, and anti-malware software. However, it is crucial that it does not stop there.
As social engineering and phishing attacks are likely to increase, spreading awareness about such issues will be critical. In fact, cybersecurity in its essence requires a holistic approach, based on the need for a perfect mix of security tools and an appropriate awareness about it.
In addition, many organizations will need to prepare and implement the use of theta hunting, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to ensure that their security systems are safe, secure and uncompromised. Only if each individual recognizes the urgent need to secure themselves and understands the risks associated with even the slightest neglect can we guarantee a cyber-secure 2022 with the metaverse.
Digitization in all its forms is exciting. The development of technology is received with zeal and enthusiasm, especially because it illuminates the lives of people everywhere and gets rid of various problems. In all its glamour, however, the cybersecurity aspects of these digitizations are often undermined, as the metaverse shows.
While the metaverse is a truly remarkable concept and can help the world in a variety of ways, it’s crucial to realize that it could all fail if the cybersecurity aspect is ignored. Therefore, within all this hype about its development, cybersecurity is a topic that needs far more attention than it is getting.
waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer.
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