Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

Even in the 2D version of the internet today, digital identity is a complex issue. Phishing has become so complex that an email from your bank, a call from your auto insurance company, or even a text message from your mom might not be what it seems. However, the immersive nature of metaverses may pave the way for more elaborate forms of identity theft or imitation.

says Jeff Schilling, chief global information security officer for digital business services company Teleperformance. He emphasizes the importance of digital identity: “No matter the medium – the phone or the metaverse – the best way to resist social engineering is by having a foolproof way to validate the other end of the conversation.”

Identity protection will be an important part of successful business operations in the metaverse – an especially important consideration for those entering the ground floor.

Metaverse innovators can drive cybersecurity

Although the metaverse is currently a patchwork of individual corporate experiences, this won’t be the case for long. The major technology players are already hard at work creating the aforementioned infrastructure. So do organizations like the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group (OMI) Group, an open-source community of technology industry veterans working to help companies realize the potential of “meta-traversal” – that ability to seamlessly transition from Saks to Starbucks. Before long, these innovators will want to integrate those environments to create a seamless experience for their mutual customers.

Quote drawing with common cybersecurity protocols - Techniques Equivalent to "https" Internet Today - Work is still in progress in the metaverse.

David Truog, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, points out that the metaverse will be the next iteration of the Internet — and like the early Web, it will go through some growing pains. He noted that in the cradle of the web, it had no coding or e-commerce. No one used the site’s passwords or had an online bank account. “Very quickly,” he says, “there was a need for systems, social contracts, and infrastructure that would reflect some of what we expect in the physical world.” “These systems were necessary so that people could participate in private communications, buy things, trust that they could provide a credit card number online, and so on.”

In the metaverse, the role of cybersecurity in creating similar interactions will be “an order of magnitude or two” more important, says Truog. As such, early movers in the space are uniquely positioned to anticipate vulnerabilities and build safeguards from the start.

In this early era of the metaverse, there is an opportunity for companies to learn from past technological advances and the resulting security issues. The emergence of artificial intelligence algorithms, for example, has demonstrated the danger of bias protection. The migration to the cloud has highlighted the importance of encryption. “When the business community was first transitioning from a typical data center environment to the public cloud, everyone went there with great enthusiasm — but they forgot to bring security with them,” Schilling says. “I see a similar scenario being created using the metaverse.”

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