Microsoft-Teams-Mesh-Feature-Metaverse

The metaverse is fully underway and many see it as the future of technology. Not just entertainment, but also commerce, industry, and tech. However, there are clear risks in creating a virtual world. As a card carrying detractor of the metaverse, I read the comments of Microsoft’s Charlie Bell with interest.

Bell, the Executive Vice President, security, Compliance, Identity, and Management, says threat actors are waiting to exploit and infect the metaverse. He believes only through companies collaborating in the space will they be able to create sufficient security policies to thwart attacks.

Ok, I just dropped I am detractor of the metaverse and shouldn’t really leave it like that. My concerns are more from the concept itself than cybersecurity. I believe the metaverse is pushing us into a virtual world and we are not exploring the potential negative consequences of that. Even so, it is clear that cybersecurity threats are also an issue.

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I also accept the metaverse train has left the station and the next stop is the world. We will all be absorbed by it eventually, love or loathe it. Bell suggest new threats will emerge as the tech grows. For example, impersonation in a virtual realm. Of course, classic threats will persist, including nation-backed spying, social engineering, phishing, data theft, and ransomware.

“There is an inherent social engineering advantage with the novelty of any new technology,” wrote Bell in his blog post. “In the metaverse, fraud and phishing attacks targeting your identity could come from a familiar face – literally – like an avatar who impersonates your coworker, instead of a misleading domain name or email address. These types of threats could be deal breakers for enterprises if we don’t act now.”

Collaboration is Important

He says the start of a new technology is the time for the tech universe to come together to build a security foundation.

“We’ve long known that security is a team sport, and no single vendor, product or technology can go it alone in protection,” adds Bell. “The culture of information-sharing and collaboration in the defender community today has been a monumental achievement that did not happen overnight. Today ISPs, cloud providers, device manufacturers — even industry rivals in these markets — recognize the need to work together on security issues.”

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