91.5% of security experts are concerned about Metaverse risks

With the impending adoption of a Metaverse still a subject of great discussion, recent research by Manhattan Tech Support has found that 91.5% of security experts are concerned about its security risks.

  • Speaking to more than 100 senior security experts from organisations such as CyZen, Bores Security Consultancy and DCPCU, Manhattan Tech Support found that 91.5% are concerned with the potential security risks of the Metaverse itself 
  • 98.1% are concerned with the risks that come from combining the Metaverse with technologies like deepfakes and AI-generated audio and visuals 
  • Fewer than 1% of security experts think that Meta’s ‘two-year, $50 million investment in building [metaverse] technologies responsibly’ is adequate

“The Metaverse introduces an entirely new vector for attacks that up until now hadn’t been considered.” Says Rahul Kumar, Marketing Manager at Manhattan Tech Support. “Introducing VR and AR into workspaces and homes increases security risks like identity theft and ransomware, and these are made all the more serious because the Metaverse exists in the cloud, which can be challenging to protect.”

As a whole, the last couple of years have been intense from a cybersecurity perspective. The shift to remote and hybrid working environments caused by the pandemic resulted in a huge uptick in cybercrime, with the average cost of a data breach reaching almost $22,000 in the USA during the pandemic, and around 5% of attacks costing businesses $1million or more. 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. Of the CIOs and cybersecurity experts surveyed, 94.4% say that introducing VR and AR into workspaces and homes increases security risks. Risks include everything from identity theft to ransomware, and experts say they are made all the more serious because the metaverse exists in the cloud, which can be challenging to protect.

“This is all coming at a time when Deepfake technology is being actively used for impersonation to scam businesses out of money and is trivially available to anyone technically competent.” Says James Bore, Director of Bores Security Consultancy. “As it is only going to become easier to overlay a synthetic, and disturbingly accurate, copy of someone’s voice and/or video matched to your own words and movements on an audio or video feed, so building greater reliance and trust onto any remote platform faces the same security risks.”

“As software gets more complex there are ever more vulnerabilities that enter into it, since security is rarely applied comprehensively during development. With something the scale and complexity of even a pseudo-metaverse, the potential surface for vulnerabilities is huge, and many of these attacks will be entirely novel.”

You can find out more about the research and the security threats at hand in the full report ‘Security threats facing the Metaverse’ here, which also includes guidance on what businesses should be doing to protect themselves.   

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.