Security threats facing the metaverse
The idea of the metaverse is nothing new. As a concept, it’s been around for decades. The name ‘metaverse’ comes from science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash (1992). However, some argue that the movie Tron (1982), written and directed by Steven Lisberger almost a decade earlier was one of the first examples depicting humans existing in an alternate digital world.
Back in mid-2021, the metaverse suddenly became one of the most talked about technologies (next to cryptocurrency and NFTs). This is because Facebook changed their corporate name to Meta while unveiling their Metaverse. But what is the Metaverse? Put simply, it’s Facebook’s name for its virtual and augmented reality platform.
How Microsoft Azure can help protect your business
With technology comes security concerns. Based on research findings by Homefield IT (formerly Manhattan Tech support LLC), 91.5% of security experts say that they are concerned about the potential security risks of the metaverse. Another 98.1% of security experts are concerned with the security & privacy risks that come with combining the metaverse and technologies such as deep fakes and AI-generated images & voices.
The good news is that Microsoft has been anticipating the widespread adoption of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality environments and has solutions in place to help protect individual users and companies from potential security threats.
“In the past Facebook has shown they can be compromised with minimal effort, so ideally they’d need to show some kind of data separation or encryption on all this”” – Christian Norris (Lead IT System Administrator) based in Austin, Texas. ”
The future of cybersecurity and what Microsoft is doing to keep you safe
As a whole, the last couple of years have been intense from a cybersecurity perspective. The massive shift to remote and blended working environments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a huge uptick in cybercrime. That on its own has been enough to keep cybersecurity experts busy.
The metaverse introduces an entirely new vector for attacks that up until now hadn’t been considered. As per Homefield IT’s finding that 94.4% of security experts say that introducing VR and AR into workspaces and homes will increase security risks. These risks include everything from identity theft to ransomware and are all the more serious because the metaverse exists in the cloud, which can be challenging to protect.
“If we consider AR as an example, wearable devices are already being called out for compromising sensitive information through unwanted/unanticipated collection and failure to properly protect collected data” – James Bore (Director of Bores Security Consultancy and Chartered Security Professional) based in the UK.
Let’s explore some of the ways that Microsoft Azure can help keep you, your business, and your employees safe from attacks.
Securing workloads in the cloud and hybrid cloud environments
As mentioned above, with the metaverse, there is a strong need to make sure that you’re working in secure cloud and hybrid cloud environments. With more and more people working remotely, cloud use is on the rise. In 2020, Forbes was predicting that 32% of IT budgets would be dedicated to cloud computing. And, in their 2021 State of the Cloud report, Flexera states that 92% of organizations have a multi-cloud setup, and 80% have a hybrid cloud solution.
That’s a lot of organizations with data in the cloud that are potentially vulnerable to cybercrime like ransomware. Fortunately, many cloud computing services such as Microsoft Azure can offer protection against a multitude of cyber threats. For example, Azure Backup enables users to restore information if they’re locked out of their system due to a ransomware attack. Microsoft Defender for Cloud also provides users with the ability to detect vulnerabilities, assess security and protect critical workloads in either multi-cloud or hybrid environments.
You can take this one step further with Microsoft Defender for Cloud, which helps you assess your current security posture, detect vulnerabilities, and protect critical workloads in both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.
Stronger identity management
Identity management is going to be increasingly important as we move deeper into the metaverse. As it stands right now, ensuring that only authorized users access your networks is a monumental task on its own that can come crashing down if someone clicks on the wrong link. That’s why implementing protections like role-based access control can be critical in making sure that even if an attacker does get through, the damage they do is limited by the access they have.
In the metaverse, where people are logging in from all over the world, this becomes an even bigger challenge. Azure Active Directory can help by providing a universal identity platform that can help protect you from up to 99% of cyberattacks. Active Directory helps by providing you with a platform that;
- Lets you manage both internal and external users with features like single sign-on
- HR provisioning to manage new hires or employees who leave the company
- Conditional access restrictions that help manage details like where employees can sign in from or the types of devices they use.
Enhanced connectivity with DDoS protection
The metaverse is only effective if it stays online. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that can handle what modern cybercriminals are capable of.
DDoS attacks are a coordinated attempt to knock a service, business, whatever offline by flooding the resource with connection requests. The volume of requests is often too much. The service then becomes overwhelmed and shuts down.
As you can see, not only are DDoS attacks increasing in frequency, but they’re getting more intense, as well. Mitigating these attacks is getting harder because of this.
To manage the impact of DDoS, you need a solution that is designed to handle the modern DDoS attack. Azure DDoS Protection provides a turnkey solution that can not only withstand the intensity of a DDoS attack but reduce the cost that can come with mitigation.
Azure provides near real-time reporting, so you learn about an attack as soon as possible. And, the adaptive tuning functionality analyzes traffic patterns and automatically adjusts your protection to match your business.
Looking to get better coverage in the metaverse?
Staying on top of current threats can be a big enough challenge for an organization. Once you throw emerging technologies like the metaverse adds an extra layer of difficulty because everything is so new and changes constantly.
That’s where we come in. Homefield IT is at the forefront of the tech industry and we’re constantly learning not only about new areas of technology, like the metaverse, but also ways that we can help our customers safely explore this space.
Our experts can help you with every aspect of protecting your business in the metaverse using Microsoft Azure. We work closely with you and your team to learn your business needs and help ensure that your security tools are properly configured to protect your business against all possible threats.
If you’d like to learn more, contact us today.
Manhattan Tech Support LLC is powered by Homefield IT; providing strategic technology services across the country.