Cyberspace is constantly evolving and one of the hot topics these days is the Metaverse, which many see as eventually being the next incarnation of the Internet. The Metaverse is essentially a virtual world that promises to connect countless digital spaces where users can interact in real time.
The Metaverse brings together augmented reality and full-on virtual reality with haptic feedback for a complete three-dimensional immersion experience. Participants will engage with each other as avatars moving seamlessly between virtual and physical spaces and virtual economies. Needless to say, it will be a far kinder, gentler version of that what has been depicted in popular films, Ready Player One and The Matrix, but still not without cause for concern.
And while it’s not here yet, development work toward bringing it into the mainstream continues unabated. What started as a platform used primarily by the gaming industry is now being viewed as having great potential for enterprise tech, media, and telecom industries.
Proponents of the platform say that the virtual experience of the Metaverse will change how we work, shop, play and interact with each other. But the more things change the more they stay the same, as we still face many of the same old risks. These risks are largely focused on the gathering of personal information and how this data will be protected.
“Benefits of the Metaverse include reduced costs and increased efficiencies for business operations. As we move more and more toward remote work and remote learning, which has been accelerated with the pandemic, virtual training centers and offices for employees can be created without the need for a physical ‘bricks and mortar’ space.”
Ben Draper, COO, MSP Corp
The Metaverse platform will collect more information about users than ever before. And therein lays the problem. As the Metaverse nears mainstream adoption, investment in cybersecurity and data privacy will prove critical. One can rest assured that hackers and cybercriminals are taking note and will be keeping pace with developments in this three-dimensional virtual world, looking for any vulnerabilities they can exploit.
“On the downside, the sale and purchase of products and services in the virtual space that is Metaverse will become prime targets for cyberattacks and result in serious real world problems.”
David Papp, CTO, MSP Corp
As the Metaverse gains traction, data security will be an issue that industry-watchers, and developers, are keenly interested in. Developers will put in privacy measures into both the hardware and the software that access the Metaverse.
Another important issue facing this new IT platform is who will have control, or at least responsibility, for the Metaverse? Will it be left in the hands of a big tech company such as Microsoft, Meta or Alphabet, or a group of companies? Will it be responsibly regulated? Will governments be involved, potentially hindering development? Or will it become the new Wild West? With its magnitude, and millions of immediate projected users, how will one put this genie back in the bottle once it is out?
Like any IT platform, there will inevitably be security issues around data and privacy. The development and implementation of robust security measures must go hand-in-hand with the development of the platform itself. And even then, businesses should be wary of their potential exposure to cyberattacks and ensure they have measures and protocols in place to safeguard their data.
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