Security Challenges with Metaverse

Apr 7, 2022
4 min read

What is a Metaverse?

We all must have definitely come across the term metaverse in today's time. But, are you aware of what it is? A metaverse is a collection of dimensional virtual worlds established to foster social interactions between humans through the virtual world. The word is frequently seen being used in sic-fic movies to represent a potential emphasis of the internet as a single virtual environment.

Metaverses can be used through a variety of devices. It can be devices such as our regular PCs and mobile phones, as well as the rising in demand devices known as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), and virtual world technologies. However, the reliance on virtual reality technology has hindered metaverse development and adoption. The absence of high-quality graphics and mobility in all these Virtual worlds is because it lacks the mobile hardware and the significance to balance cost and design at the same time. Many experts state that the higher-performance devices are connected and generally bulky; at the same time, lightweight devices are wireless headsets that have struggled to attain the retina display pixel density required for visual immersion of the users. At present, the hardware development is focused on overcoming various constraints of VR headsets, sensors, and haptic technology to increase immersion.

The Beginning

The term "metaverse" was coined as a combination of "meta" and "universe" in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Since then, various metaverses, such as virtual world platforms like Second Life, have been created for public use.

Some claim or presume there will be a single metaverse – a virtual environment shared by all. In the novel "Snow Crash," author Neal Stephenson created the term "metaverse" in 1992. There was just one metaverse in the novel. Other science fiction scenarios, such as "The Matrix" and "Ready Player One," are similar. Would you have imagined something like this was a part of our human world? No, right, but 10 years from now can also be a different world.

Building biometrics into the hardware is a generally embraced idea among firms working on future VR and AR applications, including Apple, Facebook, etc. For example, Iris recognition in headsets or fingerprint readers on the sides could be included in future products. However, we don't know whether users will accept biometrics in the future. Malicious actors in the future may be able to spoof or circumvent metaverse biometrics.

Security Challenges

Users and organizations have started facing totally new categories of security risks and problems as virtual worlds and augmented reality platforms evolve into the "metaverse," as its developers describe it. However, even though metaverse has been a boom for us, the developers and people using it have faced several challenges.

Some of the challenges that we have come across are as follows:

1. Currently, the metaverse is heavily reliant on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies and gadgets. Metaverse cannot be widely adopted because most of these are not lightweight, portable, or inexpensive. Apart from hardware accessibility, having high-quality and high-performance models that can reach the correct retina display and pixel density for a realistic virtual immersion is difficult.

2. If you've seen Ready Player One, you're well aware of how the metaverse can impact your mental health. Addiction to the virtual world can induce weight and heart problems due to a sedentary lifestyle, it also includes the mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.

3. Accessing the metaverse through your avatars, the same thing could happen: you cannot know who you are speaking to. Another issue is establishing your identity because bots may quickly imitate your style, data, personality, and entire essence. You'll need various verification methods such as facial scans, retina scans, and voice recognition for authentication. Also, have you ever thought if your internet pal is as entertaining in real life as she is on social media?

4. We frequently hear about a data breach at a multinational corporation. Metaverse will store more than only your email addresses and passwords. It will also keep track of your actions. With such a large data mine, technology must ensure that each user's information privacy and personal data security are protected. This will necessitate the development of new security strategies.

5. The Metaverse will be more than just a gaming platform. It will be yet another global online marketplace with billions of users. There will be a demand for speedy and painless trades with so many currencies and cryptocurrencies. Not to mention the safety of the transactions.

All of these include security issues. There are very low walls that hold all your personal, professional details. You have to be safe with what you are sharing on the internet as well as on the metaverse. Just imagine if there was a guy who is on the dating app. He is catfished by someone and looted in thinking that he is dating a gorgeous girl. A lot of things go around as that guy would have told the person he thinks he is dating a lot about him even without meeting. This situation is also dangerous for a girl who comes across such people online.

There was a recent instance that got trended all over the internet. A lady was physically assaulted during a game in the metaverse by several males. That affected her mental state even out of the metaverse in our human world reality. That raises many questions if we should really make metaverse a part of our daily lives. Many were made aware of the risk of this situation. This is one of the most recent cases that even you might have come across too. Many such problems and incidents keep happening, yet no proper action has been taken against them.

Are you someone who has been into the metaverse or is part of it already and has come across all these challenges? Or are you someone who won't want to experience metaverse after reading about its challenges?