Even in today’s two-dimensional version of the Internet, digital identity is a difficult task. Phishing has become so sophisticated that an email from your bank, a call from your insurance company, or even a text message from your mother may not be what they seem. However, the immersive nature of the metaverse could set the stage for even more sophisticated forms of identity theft or mimicry.
“The threat of social engineering will potentially be even more effective in a 3D world where deepfakes will predominate and an impostor is even more capable of deceiving victims,” said Jeff Schilling, director of global information security at digital business services company Teleperformance. . He emphasizes the importance of digital identity: “Whether the medium is the phone or the metaverse, the best way to resist social engineering is to have a reliable way to check who is on the other end of the conversation.”
Protecting identities will be a critical part of successful business operations in the metaverse, and this is especially important for those who make it to the ground floor.
Metaverse Innovators Can Become Cybersecurity Leaders
While the metaverse is currently a patchwork of scattered experiences from individual companies, it won’t be that long. Major tech players are already hard at work building the aforementioned infrastructure. The same can be said for organizations such as the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group (OMI), a community of open source technology industry veterans who help companies realize the possibilities of a “meta-passage”—the ability to seamlessly transition from Saks to Starbucks. Soon, these innovators will want to integrate these environments to create a seamless experience for their shared customers.
David Truogh, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, notes that the metaverse will be the next iteration of the Internet — and, like the early web, it will experience some growth challenges. He points out that in the early days of the Internet, there was no encryption or e-commerce. No one used website passwords or had an online bank account.” Very quickly, there was a need for systems, social contracts and infrastructure that partly reflected what we expect in the physical world,” he says. “These systems were necessary for people to be able to have private conversations, buy things, trust that they can send a credit card number online, and so on.”
In the metaverse, the role of cybersecurity in establishing these interactions will be “an order or two” more important, Truogh said. Thus, space pioneers are in a unique position to anticipate security breaches and build in defenses right from the start.
In this early era of the metaverse, companies have the opportunity to learn from past technological developments and the resulting security issues. The advent of artificial intelligence algorithms, for example, has demonstrated the seriousness of protecting against bias. Cloud migration has highlighted the importance of encryption. “When the business community first moved from a typical data center environment to the public cloud, everyone went there with great enthusiasm, but they forgot to bring security tools with them,” Schilling says. “I see a similar scenario with the metaverse.”