Before discussing security, let's briefly look at what the metaverse is. First penned in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash by the American author Neal Stephenson, a metaverse is a socially-focused virtual world.
The metaverse could be the next internet iteration where individuals will blur the lines between digital and physical reality. Based on blockchain, this imagining is based on a decentralized setup to provide greater privacy and security.
Possible security concerns in the metaverse
Nefarious individuals or groups will be looking for opportunities to assume identities. This could lead to situations where somebody may be unable to verify the identity of individuals in a meeting, which could lead to information leaks or loss of income.
Cybercriminals are working tirelessly to improve their ability to remain invisible during meetings. However, staying invisible will offer exciting new espionage opportunities for criminals.
Theft of metaverse and real-world property
The metaverse will have transactions for real-world and virtual services or property. Attackers will be working to intercept these transactions, resulting in the loss of funds or property.
Current estimates suggest that in a virtual reality session of fewer than 20 minutes, over two million unique data points are collected about an individual. Should an attacker steal this data, they would have the ability to impersonate an individual successfully.
Security in the metaverse
As a result, cyber-attacks are on the rise, and with an estimated global cost of $6 trillion last year, every individual should have security at the forefront of their minds. In a future mixed-reality world, phishing attacks could quite literally come from a familiar face of a friend, relative, or co-worker.
Though there could be significant improvements in collaboration and accessibility, businesses often must play catch-up because they exclude new technologies due to the risk of no safeguards from core security principles.
Some possible suggestions currently being discussed to minimize the risks are verified biometrics and government regulation.
Metaverses are here to stay. But unfortunately, with innovation comes new ways for criminals to target victims, and there should be a combined effort to ensure this is as difficult as possible.