With the increased talk and excitement over the “Metaverse”, some have begun to question the safety and cybersecurity of the Metaverse. That said, answering a question such as “Are we safe in the Metaverse?” is difficult, given the Metaverse still means so many things to so many people.
To some, the Metaverse represents virtual reality, the next generation of gaming, socializing, and even digital economies. Another complicating fact is that some entities helping hype up the evolution of the Metaverse are tech giants such as Facebook, who have a problematic history when it comes to privacy, to put it lightly.
Balancing Excitement and Risk
As with any technology or use of it, the Metaverse offers a lot of excitement and promise but also a lot of potential peril and concern. Specifically, in this case, there is the increased blurring between the real world and the virtual world.
The Metaverse has the potential to change the way people interact, socialize, work, educate and even exist without broader economies. This all may sound incredible until you also realize all of these activities present cybersecurity challenges around key topics. For instance, this can include deep fakes, integrity, privacy, ransomware, and so on.
In many ways, the concept of the Metaverse is akin to how the Internet was in its infancy. Initially, the concept of safety on the Internet likely seemed trivial to many. That was until it became increasingly intertwined with the way we work and live as a society.
The same can be said for the Metaverse. As it continues to grow and evolve, in both personal and professional aspects, its risk is a bit unknown. That said, for those familiar with the Internet and digital technologies, the potential concerns are obvious.
The Relativity of Metaverse Safety
Is one safe on the Internet? It depends. Do you utilize MFA? Do you use a Password Manager? Do you use a privacy-friendly search engine? Do you upload sensitive photos to insecure storage locations?
As you can see, context matters when it comes to safety, and safety is a relative term, with each individual having a different level of risk tolerance. The same goes for safety in the Metaverse. How you interact with, use, and embrace the Metaverse will play a role in the level of risk you may be exposed to in terms of personal, financial, or professional.
However, there’s no denying the Metaverse’s fever-pitched hype. From social media giants, video game corporations, financial institutions, and more, some of the world’s largest companies are making a play and betting big on the future of the Metaverse.
We’re living in a world of record-setting data breaches and ever-increasing privacy concerns. Ask yourself, as the lines between reality and the Metaverse continue to blur personally and professionally, should we be concerned?
For many large technology companies, we, the consumers, are the product. This means they need data—insight on your spending habits, behaviors, personal life, family, and more. Is that safe? The term is relative, and it also depends on what they intend to do with the collected data and more importantly, how they plan to secure and safeguard all of the data the Metaverse will inevitably give them access to.
This just refers to formal companies. Individual malicious actors and organized crime groups will most certainly follow the technology and action and find ways to exploit both the technology and the people using it.
As with any technological innovation, safety and security come down to how the technology is used, both by producers and consumers. As the Metaverse continues to mature, it will be interesting to see if security and privacy are primary considerations from the outset or something that is pleaded for down the road, once many significant security and privacy violations occur.
Want more cybersecurity insights? Subscribe to the Cybersecurity as a Business Enabler channel: