In July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, reintroduced the notion of the “metaverse,” a linked virtual environment that promised to enable its users to immerse themselves in the material rather than observe it. The virtual reality (VR) sector has been heralded for its transformative potential for consumers and businesses.
Huge interest has been shown in Zuckerberg’s plan to build a virtual reality (VR) world that might revolutionize how we communicate and collaborate, particularly among established businesses looking to broaden their online footprint.
This setting aims to facilitate social and economic interactions between people represented by avatars in cyberspace that may be seen as a metaphor for the actual world and its ability to overcome boundaries of space and currency. Therefore, many believe that the metaverse, or “Web 3.0,” is the future of the internet.
Virtual reality’s business potential
The metaverse is an alternative internet that exists in the digital realm. The future of the web, as shown here, can revolutionize how we conduct our personal and professional lives and the whole global economy.
However, Gartner expects that by 2026, more than 25% of individuals will spend at least an hour each day shopping or socializing inside the metaverse, even if the technology is now appreciated mostly by those in the gaming community. Given how the pandemic has disrupted normal business practices, this is welcome news.
Many businesses and their employees, particularly during periods of isolation, have benefited from adopting remote or hybrid working methods, allowing them to expand their operations into the digital sphere to complete tasks, organize events, and interact with one another.
While video conferencing apps like Zoom and Slack have recently seen increased use, they don’t provide novel ways to change one’s surroundings. With the advent of the metaverse, companies are eager to investigate its potential for improving the digital experience for consumers and workers alike.
In March 2021, for example, Microsoft announced a new product called Mesh, which is intended for usage primarily in the Teams environment and is meant to enable businesses to establish metaverses in which employees may communicate.
As a result, many companies are eager to invest or shop on this virtual platform to take advantage of the immersive experience it provides. According to a market analysis by Kraken, NFT-linked cryptocurrencies were the highest-performing category of digital assets in November 2021, growing by 42% as interest in the metaverse surged, reflecting this potential prospect.
However, the cyber security dangers linked with this new technology revolution should not be dismissed as we discover novel means of internet connection.
Fears about the metaverse’s cyber security
While the virtual platform has great potential for facilitating the transformation of company operations, cybersecurity issues must be considered whenever the metaverse is discussed.
Even though these dangers are comparable to those we face on the internet today, many organizations find that dealing with them in a virtual environment is an added difficulty. Among the most pressing problems that companies may face in this digital environment are the following:
Problems with currency exchange security: The metaverse will have its own money, or cryptocurrency, similar to the many national currencies now in use in the real world. Although the use of crypto as a digital currency is expected to grow, it may also lead to a rise in “money laundering” activities inside the metaverse’s digital economy. As these digital currencies are expected to emerge, threat actors may abuse the emerging financial system due to unanswered questions about their transferability from one metaverse to another and a lack of support for safe transactions between buyers and sellers.
Growth in scams and other fraudulent activities: Currently, the metaverse faces substantial security issues since most users favor interconnection and user experience above invasive online safety measures. This might make social media much less secure and even more of a privacy risk. The metaverse may seem to cyber criminals as an ungoverned environment due to the difficulties in governing or controlling regions outside conventional state boundaries presented by online domains. It may become more challenging to spot fraudsters or hackers who are using this as a chance to pose as someone else if adequate precautions are not taken to ensure their safety.
Getting about the metaverse safely.
Companies often prioritize the potential benefits of introducing new technologies into the workplace, while security is given less attention. Enticed by the novelty of the experience, organizations and people sometimes need help to see the critical nature of taking precautions against the many cyber security threats that come with such cutting-edge technology.
Businesses must be aware that although offering some novel opportunities, the metaverse also carries a substantial risk of being exploited by cybercriminals.
Organizations should reevaluate their current cyber security strategy to ensure the safety of all users in the metaverse. In contrast, cyber authorities and the tech industry at large must amend existing security policies and educate businesses about the various implications of the cyber risks existing within these virtual platforms.
In reality, a defense-in-depth approach, which may enable firms to implement several levels of security management across their IT system, is the greatest way to protect against the unknown hazards the metaverse notion might provide to an organization.
With this method, organizations may evaluate the digital infrastructure (email, online, applications, messaging) and the physical infrastructure (network, physical space, and the human aspect). This highlights the need to provide cyber security awareness training to guarantee that all personnel within an organization are ready to tackle widespread cyber security dangers inside the metaverse.
Overall, the metaverse can blur the barriers between in-person and virtual experiences if done correctly, allowing researchers to perform comprehensive social studies and allowing marketers to carry out product displays and events.