Cybercrime to Skyrocket for Metaverse Firms, Acronis Says


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Enterprises are set to face a wave of cybersecurity challenges as they build new metaverse technologies, forcing them to remain on “high alert” against cyberattacks, a leading security firm said in a recent post.

The rise of spatial communication technologies, driven by “exciting opportunities” has alarmed information technology (IT) and cybersecurity experts, who are concerned of the effects the virtual space race will have on the industry “without a proper cybersecurity strategy,” Acronis, a major cybersecurity firm wrote.

The Singapore and Switzerland-based company explained how cybersecurity experts should consider the “plethora of risks” that could arise from a surge in hacking, phishing, and asset theft due to the interconnected market developing from the Metaverse and its socioeconomic exchanges.

Candid Wüest, Vice-President of Cyber Protection Research for Acronis, said that while the Metaverse was an “exciting and futuristic concept” creating massive opportunities for developers and enterprises, they should consider “the imminent cyber threats that come with new innovations.”

He continued, stating,

“As soon as digital property in the 3D universe, for instance, becomes of value, cases of account hacking, theft, ransomware and phishing will also increase significantly. Partly to blame will be the lack of a solid cyber protection strategy to safeguard private and confidential information from potential attackers”

The news comes after the enterprise released its Cyber Protection Week Global Report 2022, which noted how cybercriminals were exploiting underprepared IT systems to launch “catastrophic” cyberattacks against infrastructure, with such attacks expected to increase two-fold by 2024.

The company noted several key risks to the Metaverse, similarly to those in the gaming industry, including device hacking, threats, and security breaches that could also have “terminal consequences in the physical world.”

Wüest continued, stating,

“For individual users of metaverse, hacking of metaverse-enabled devices like specific headsets, for instance, can cause seizures, if someone is epileptic. It can also hurt their vision or hearing at least temporarily as well as expose their physical location, and more”

Other concerns over data regulation could also spark further cyber attacks due to loopholes in security policies, leading to skyrocketing cases of cybercrime that could cost the industry $1-2 trillion USD.

The firm has warned security firms needed “comprehensive” artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-backed security strategies along with “vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.”

Blockchain technologies, assigned tokens, and biometrics could also prevent fraud by identifying users with the key technologies, Acronis added.

Regarding ‘Metaverse warfare,’ where directed attacks take place across metaverse infrastructures and virtual spaces, Wüest explained it was “emerging as a real threat” used to spread harmful content.

He concluded,

“Issues such as deep fake news will be more convincing in the metaverse, news coverage will get more “gruesome”, and sports and entertainment will feel more real. Emotions will run high – which in theory a weakness used by threat actors, including politically motivated ones”

The statements come as newly-rebranded metaverse firms aim to tackle rising security risks in the as they develop the Metaverse with global standards, policies, and novel technologies.

Meta Platform launched plans in January this year to open a Research SuperCluster (RSC) to monitor real-world data usage across its social media and metaverse platforms to combat policy violations, security risks, harmful content, and misinformation with ML and AI-based voice and text recognition tools.

In an interview with Agora, XR Today explored the future security challenges faced by the growing Metaverse industry, which 33 percent of people surveyed in one of the company’s reports believed were the biggest challenges to the successor to the Internet.

 

 





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