Microsoft says we have one chance to plug the security holes of the metaverse

And stop history from repeating itself.
Ameya Paleja
Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washingtonwellesenterprises/ iStock

Tech giant Microsoft has called on the stakeholders in the metaverse industry to work together to ensure that this new upcoming technology does not fall prey to well-known issues that plague the internet.

Last year, when Facebook announced its intent to switch to building the metaverse, many flagged the issues the social media platform had not resolved and were concerned that they would be carried into the metaverse. 

Microsoft's security concerns

In a blog post on its website, Microsoft's Executive Vice President for Security, Compliance, Identity, and Management, Charlie Bell, recalled the hype surrounding new ideas in the computing industry and how they have often led to scams and security issues.

Bell goes back over two decades to compare the demand for coveted domain names in the 1990s to the real estate boom that the metaverse is witnessing now. Calling it a phenomenon that repeats itself, Bell draws attention to what typically follows next: the knock-offs in the digital world out there to scam you. 

Bell says that, time and again, the technology world has played catch up with these fraudulent mechanisms and it would not be a surprise to see avatars being stolen or falsified in attempts to 'phish' for sensitive information.

Bell believes that instead of going down the same path once again, we have an opportunity at the beginning of a new era in the digital world to establish core security measures that ensure the metaverse is a safe place for all. 

Transparency, interoperability, and collaboration

Microsoft has acknowledged that there will be multiple providers of metaverse experiences and making these environments interoperable can ensure that the experience is seamless for one and all. Instead of probing metaverse products for security issues at enterprise scales, stakeholders need to anticipate potential security risks and work towards updates to resolve them. 

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By adopting a more transparent method in this process, the whole metaverse industry can move ahead as a whole instead of making small changes at the individual level. 

While warning that the metaverse is also susceptible to the problems that plague the internet today, Bell cites the example of the security industry that has learned to collaborate against threats as stakes have risen. 

He also stated that fierce competition, high expectations, learning on the go, and uncertainty will determine how the metaverse shapes up. These very factors were also cornerstones to determine how secure it would be.  

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