The internet you know today is gradually taking over from the original web. The aspect of web3 that is most exciting – and most concerning for cybersecurity buffs like me – is the metaverse, an immersive 3D experience where people can explore, shop, play games, hang out with distant friends, to attend a concert or to hold a business meeting. . The Metaverse is what bold VR pioneers envisioned in the 90s, when most people lacked the computing power, storage, or network bandwidth to make it real.
Think of the metaverse as the next iteration of social media. It’s a place where people will spend more and more time and money interacting with friends, content, goods and services.
To do this, users and platforms across the metaverse rely on cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency plays a huge role both in making metaverse experiences possible – it’s largely how people pay for goods and services in virtual worlds – and in presenting uniquely vexing cybersecurity challenges. .
Measuring the risks of the metaverse
Today, the metaverse is already experiencing growing security challenges. Much of this is related to the use of cryptocurrency blockchains, which function as a distributed public ledger of all historical transactions. Armed with the hash of a transaction or the address of a cryptocurrency wallet, anyone can review any of the transactions that have taken place previously.
This is great for transparency, which is one of the biggest selling points of cryptocurrency. But it also means that everyone has access to all the information available on this blockchain. And not everyone is trustworthy. Here are five areas where the metaverse presents security risks.
- Cryptocurrency wallets as metaverse identities
- Malicious smart contracts, both buggy and malicious.
- Squatting ENS
- Non-fungible tokens (NFT)
- Seed Phrase Scams
There are other risks, but these should give you an idea of how this new world brings new security issues.
Building a safer metaverse
Now is the time to reflect and act on new measures to secure the metaverse.
At Cisco Talos, we know from experience how extremely useful machine learning-driven algorithms are in identifying potential and active threats. This same type of technology can be deployed to help gaming, shopping, commerce, and other platforms find and eliminate threats to their users.
Because the metaverse is likely to become a fully integrated and open environment, where virtual good purchased on one platform could be ported or used on another, we need to take the same approach to security. At Cisco, we’re already creating that open, integrated environment for the multi-cloud future that every business is embracing. It’s a perfect fit for the Metaverse.
Eventually, the crypto winter will end, so we can’t waste this opportunity to build a safer metaverse before the madness returns. Security industry leaders should use this moment to chart a secure future for this next generation of the Internet.
Click on here to meet Cisco Talos, the leading threat intelligence group fighting the good fight.
By Kevin Delaney, Senior Writer at Cisco