How will the Metaverse affect cloud security?

How will the Metaverse affect cloud security?

An immersive digital world enabled by a range of technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, the metaverse allows us to see and interact with things and people. This virtual environment is enhanced by photorealistic avatars that can reproduce your real body through wearable sensors that measure your movements and immersive smart glasses that enable virtual and augmented reality. With these technologies, what you do in the real world controls your experience in the virtual world and vice versa.

Supporting the virtual universe requires vast computing and storage resources. These resources are readily available in the cloud. This anticipated uptake of cloud services should lead to purpose-built cloud technologies tailored to serve the needs of the metaverse.

With the cloud underpinning the metaverse, in what ways will the metaverse affect the security of the cloud?

Metaverse Top Security Concerns

For the virtual world to function like the physical one, it must maintain constant online availability with real-time feedback and continuous operation. Large-scale interactions are supported by high-speed information transmission and computing systems. The ideal metaverse computing infrastructure supports low latency and large data flows.

Technologies such as cloud computing, 5G, IoT, edge computing, and high performance computing are ideal to support metaverse computing and processing requirements. Adopting these technologies in the metaverse will require more cloud-connected devices and more cloud infrastructure. Looking at this expansion from a security perspective, the increase in endpoints connected to the cloud will undoubtedly lead to an overall increase in the exposed attack surface.

For example, IoT devices are highly targeted vulnerabilities for attackers. This is because they typically have weak security controls and portability – a recipe for infiltration into multiple networks. IoT networks are not uncommon occurrences, which can be replicated in the metaverse. Attackers target botnets because they allow them to automatically distribute malware, slow down computing power by mining cryptocurrency, disrupt data, and disrupt servers through DDoS attacks.

The metaverse is linked to the blockchain, which is the primary medium for allowing digital goods to be traded in this virtual world. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique crypto assets that represent physical or digital items as a record on the blockchain. These digital assets that are often acquired have value in a similar way to physical property.

As blockchain is perhaps the most popular payment method in the metaverse. This leaves its impact on cloud security as an area of ​​concern. NFTs are vulnerable to security breaches, allowing users to access tokens and identities as well as conduct illegal transactions. Authentication vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to gain illegal ownership of the NFT, or the attacker may interfere with NFT media data and metadata to process transactions.

With some favoring the decentralized and inexpensive nature of blockchain storage, it is up to cloud service providers to take a closer look at how their enterprise infrastructure and services relate to this blockchain. The key to this consideration is to enhance the security of keys and the associated blockchain.

In addition, this data can be improved through access control and authentication mechanisms that enhance the privacy of user data. In the metaverse, hash functions and asymmetric encryption help ensure data security. AR and VR systems in the metaverse share a large portion of the data. This means that cloud providers must ensure that data is shared securely and seamlessly. Finally, the blockchain features data encryption capabilities that cloud service providers can take advantage of.

Although the concept of compromised identities is not new to IT security, it has been largely ignored in virtual worlds and other online environments. The rise of the Internet era has made identity theft easier for attackers, but digital identity theft can have a much greater impact when applied to the metaverse.

For example, digital identity theft could allow bad actors to gain access to valuable data and control assets stored in the metaverse. A thief can impersonate you, hack your accounts, and take over your avatar. The impact is not only financial, because these cybercriminals using your digital persona have the ability to intentionally or accidentally destroy your reputation. Anonymity in the metaverse can leave attackers feeling protected and given confidence to expand on such actions.

Fortunately, the metaverse will require an identity and authentication mechanism to secure digital identities. To mitigate cyber risks among users, identity verification systems must evolve to suit the changing cyber landscape and prevent account takeover in Web3. However, the metaverse itself offers many promising solutions to the challenges of digital identity theft.

For example, the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) glasses or headsets in the metaverse provides an opportunity to develop new authentication tools and mechanisms. VR sensors can be configured to provide advanced and unique biometric systems such as body movements, hand movements and gestures.

The metaverse will store a wealth of user data. This includes information about how these consumers interact with the metaverse as well as personal information derived from AR, VR, and IoT devices. With the availability of these new devices, attackers will also have opportunities to gain access to valuable information on individuals who may not have been aware that they are being tracked through their phone or IoT device.

New types of sensors in the metaverse allow devices to gather more information than ever before. This includes biometric data such as fingerprints, retina scans or voice patterns and audio recordings based on conversations — as well as smart watches that can track blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. This increase in the amount of sensitive personal data transferred to and from the cloud from metaverse vendors will require leveraging the cloud to look closely at how information is managed, shared, and stored.

No matter how regulators control the processing of personal data in the metaverse, the technologies used to protect personally identifiable information in traditional cloud environments cannot be ignored. Consumers and organizations that host metaverse entities should consider a hybrid cloud environment to improve privacy, reliability, scalability, and security.

The hybrid cloud solution adopts a separate but connected architecture consisting of on-premises, public and private environments. You are given the option to store sensitive data or run sensitive workloads on private servers. Cryptographic APIs make it easy to secure workloads and data in transit between data centers and cloud environments. To reduce data exposure, it is recommended to host sensitive workloads in the private cloud and less sensitive workloads in the public cloud.

More connections, more challenges

The metaverse will be proven to be an essential technology for a number of sectors and industries. However, like any new technological advancement, security challenges will undoubtedly arise, namely the impact of the metaverse on cloud platforms.

The metaverse will lead to more devices connecting in the cloud, expanding the scope of digital attack for organizations and individuals. The use of the blockchain as the primary medium of exchange in the virtual world also raises questions about security in the cloud. Identity theft and theft of personal information in the metaverse remain critical areas of concern.

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