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Into the Metaverse

When the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly disrupted peoples’ lives and remote/hybrid work became the new normal, we were left wondering, “What now?” The metaverse, coined by a 1992 novel by Neal Stephenson, is the idea of a virtual world within our own reality. This includes using technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that can be accessed with just about any device. While the metaverse does not exactly exist yet, great strides are being taken to make it come to life.

A New World of Productivity & Collaboration

As many companies transition into hybrid work for the indefinite future, a more seamless way for employees to collaborate is essential. The goal of adopting the metaverse into our lives is to make how we interact with people more accessible at any time and on any device. While it has its place in video gaming and social interactions, the way businesses function will also drastically change.

Imagine seeing your coworkers around a conference table with your presentation showing on the screen in front of you, all while you are at home. Using VR and AR, this will become possible in the metaverse. Already in the works is Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms, which will be a virtual meeting space where coworkers can work together, either by dialing into the call or using their “avatar.” Your avatar is a representation of yourself in the virtual world and can be modified to your liking. Overall, working in this virtual world with coworkers will give the office feeling that many employees are missing out on.

How Does It Work?

To be able to take part in the metaverse, various devices will be needed for distinct functions. The metaverse is meant to be extremely realistic, so being able to move your avatar with your own physical body is a big focus point. It also aims to use spatial audio, as if your coworkers in the meeting are actually a certain distance away or facing another direction. A VR headset will be needed to see what is going on, but in the future, we may see smaller, more comfortable devices.

Cybersecurity Concerns

The creation of the metaverse is bound to introduce a brand-new assortment of cybersecurity challenges. Cybercriminals are always searching for new ways to deceit us, and the metaverse will provide them with an entirely new medium of opportunities to do so.

One challenge that relates to businesses entering the metaverse will be the need for data security legislation and compliance. Today, data is collected when you pull out your phone and willingly hand over personal information to an app or website. However, in the metaverse, your data will essentially always be circulating in the background as you navigate around the virtual world. It will be challenging to decide who should be managing and regulating this data as well as when user consent should be collected.

Another challenge businesses will face is protecting their intellectual property and branding. NFTs are bound to play a large role in the metaverse, however, it will be rather easy for scammers to mint these virtual products tied to brands and con people out of their money. Not only will this be a danger to buyers, but it will also pose as a threat to a brand’s reputation. Cybercriminals will likely also be able to disguise themselves as major brand’s ENS domain names and abuse smart contract functions. Additionally, the metaverse will likely allow for businesses to create virtual storefronts… Cool, right? Yes. However, because of the lack of regulation in the metaverse, a storefront that appears credible could turn out to be a malicious attempt built by a meta criminal to steal your personal information.

Regulation Concerns

The concern of cybersecurity and regulation will be heavily related to each other in the meta verse. A problem that we already are experiencing in today’s world as it is, is that technology is evolving so quickly that laws and regulations are struggling to keep up. We still do not have a defined answer as to how to regulate cryptocurrency, and adding an entire metaverse to the equation will complicate things even further. To put things very simply, we have a lot of work to do.

Zoom Out

All in all, the meta verse is going to bring us a lot of new and exciting opportunities as well as many new challenges and concerns. An entirely new way of working and connecting with others is on the horizon (see what we did there)? However, we will also see cybercriminals discover new ways to deceit us that we have not seen before and are not as familiar with. With that being said, we want to know…

How do you see yourself using the metaverse in the future?

What challenges do you foresee in the metaverse?

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