Security issues Threat Actors can exploit in the Metaverse and how to prevent them

29.3.2022 Research

Digital identity theft is a major security concern in the online world today. With Metaverse being predicted to be the next phase of the internet and social interaction, such threats will continue with virtual profiles in the new realm, too. Solutions like ThreatMark are the perfect antidote to these security issues.

The world is increasingly becoming digital, with people spending more and more time online. Besides, organizations worldwide are attempting to construct a virtual future using cutting-edge technologies.

As a result, Metaverse is expected to gain prominence, leading a growing digital realm; its market is estimated to be more than $800 billion within the next two years.  Every individual would need a digital identity to access the Metaverse. It is not the actual user but their digital version or avatar that will access the domain.

So, it can become challenging for Metaverse platforms to ensure that the user is genuine, as it creates sufficient ground for potential fraud like identity theft.

(Image Source: Pixabay)

This article deals with the security issues that threat actors can exploit in the Metaverse and how security services company like ThreatMark bring trust to the digital realm.

Metaverse Realms are Home to Digital Identities

A Metaverse will be home to countless virtual identities. Metaverse interactions are different from real-world scenarios because of the virtual nature of the ecosystem.

For example, you may not know if you transact with illegitimate entities when purchasing virtual real estate or NFTs.  Hence, establishing and confirming the user identities becomes critical.

It is also essential to maintain privacy, safety, and security and ensure access to users to the Metaverse only if duly authenticated using a set of security protocols. It must guarantee that threat actors do not steal digital identities and use them for their nefarious purposes.

How Threat Actors Can Steal Digital Identities

Digital identity is a collection of unique data that establishes a person’s identity in a specific digital environment. It could be your date of birth, SSN (social security number), credit card details, any identification number, etc.

Digital identity theft constitutes malicious actors illegally acquiring your digital identity or personally identifiable information (PII) and using it for committing cyber frauds in your name and without your consent. Threat actors can steal your digital identities through:

  • Phishing and confidence, social engineering, scams
  • Unsecured wireless networks
  • Credit card skimming
  • Data breaches, and various other means

Though they usually employ these methods to steal digital identities in the current environment, they can be a more significant threat as Metaverses, in any form, becomes more widespread.

Managing Fraud And Similar Issues in the Metaverse

Undoubtedly, the Metaverse will open new vistas of interaction.

Today, gaming has already moved into the Metaverse with platforms like Decentraland and Sandbox. Advanced cryptocurrency trading platforms can also be examples of Metaverse environments. Tomorrow, it could be other forms of entertainment, e-commerce, banking, and even the medical sector.

While it appears exciting, the vast adoption of Metaverse will bring with its a variety of challenges, primarily identity fraud.

One of the best ways of handling fraud is to instill some kind of a higher level (usual government) regulation and standards to follow.

However, in the Metaverse sense, it alone will not serve the cause because the Metaverse will primarily consist of decentralized environments. Hence, self-governance is a critical aspect that could help restrict Metaverse fraud. Self-governance can help frame rules and regulations that apply to walled and de-walled environments.

Furthermore, DAOs can help enforce regulations because these autonomous organizations function on community guidelines. If a majority of the community finds a specific member not adhering to the guidelines, they have the power to vote against the offender’s activities.

How ThreatMark Helps Bring Trust to the Digital, Metaverse Realm

The primary difference between fraud handling on the Internet of today and in the Metaverse is the analysis of vast quantities of data and their sources. ThreatMark’s Behavior Intelligence Platform was built for this.

ThreatMark offers a range of fraud-handling solutions to protect the web and mobile banking applications and safeguard users’ information assets in the digital realm. Due to the nature of our solution, these are transferable to the Metaverse environment, with key capabilities highlighted:

  1. Deep Behavioral Profiling: ThreatMark analyzes user behavior at every step of their online journey to verify the user’s true identity and intentions. It uses behavioral biometrics, transaction details, session parameters, and complex interactions to detect anomalies and identity threats. They share the trusted profile models whin our Global Behavior Intelligence Network, thus making it easy to identify malicious profiles.
  1. Threat Detection: Our powerful engine detects frauds ranging from account takeover and New Account Fraud to the usual tactics employed by threat actors that include phishing, bots, malware, ransomware, etc. Besides, our platform is scalable because the threat intelligence learns from past attacks to prevent future occurrences.
  1. User Identity Verification: ThreatMark leverages various data points from the device, sessions, and user behavior. To strengthen a user’s trusted profile, it analyzes and evaluates multiple aspects like typing cadence, navigation paths, session IPs, device OS, swiping, etc. Thus, it helps verify users’ digital identities and eliminates accessibility issues for legitimate users.
  1. Transaction Risk Analysis: Our platform uses AI/ML for analyzing user payments, spending behavior, and other risks. ThreatMark proves ideal for transaction risk analysis by monitoring transactions and devices and can replace MFA.

All the aforementioned capabilities are combined to create a completely trusted digital profile of the digital user. Within our platform, any anomaly or divergence from those profiles is flagged and can be used as a basis for a decision.

This approach is successfully and widely used today to secure online businesses regardless of the vertical. Arguably the same principle will be applicable to any iteration of the Metaverse as well.  

Final Words

With the world gearing towards a new age of social interactions, threats like identity theft will continue to plague the users more than ever. Hence, countering these threats and mitigating the risks becomes a pressing requirement. In the Metaverse, verifying and confirming the users’ identities is based on a Cryptographic Root of Trust rather than the Humanistic Root of Trust concept used in the real world.

The ideal solution lies in enhancing human trust with digital cryptographic credentials using state-of-the-art technologies and protocols.

ThreatMark provides the necessary technology and methodology, including behavior profiling, transaction risk analysis, and flawless identity verification. They will act as the perfect reply to the threats and security issues posed by malicious actors in the Metaverse.

References

  1. Bloomberg (2021, December 01). Metaverse may be $800 billion market, next tech platform. https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/metaverse-may-be-800-billion-market-next-tech-platform/
  1. Johnson, A. (2022, January 7). A digital identity fit for the Metaverse. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alastairjohnson/2022/01/07/a-digital-identity-fit-for-the-metaverse/?sh=4cc5f455184b
  1. Lucatch, D. (2021, December 28). Digital identity in the Metaverse. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/28/digital-identity-in-the-metaverse/?sh=17415d481fb6
  1. VB Staff. (2022, January 26). How the Metaverse will impact governance, privacy, fraud, identity, and more. VentureBeat. https://venturebeat.com/2022/01/26/how-the-metaverse-will-impact-governance-privacy-fraud-identity-and-more/
  1. Romanov, E. (2021, November 19). How fraud will be fought in the Metaverse. Hackernoon. https://hackernoon.com/how-fraud-will-be-fought-in-the-metaverse