With the adoption of the metaverse being seen as a matter of time, US technology company Microsoft warned that past mistakes when new mediums entered the mainstream must be avoided, including in terms of cyber security.

“In the metaverse, fraud and phishing attacks targeting your identity could come from a familiar face – literally – like an avatar who impersonates your coworker, instead of a misleading domain name or email address,” Microsoft executive vice president of security, compliance, identity, and management Charlie Bell said.

Bell also explained the importance of interoperability, meaning that built-in tools to ensure trust in the metaverse must apply across all interactions and applications within it, primarily because failing to do so may inadvertently create security gaps that malicious actors may target for exploitation.

Moreover, since the metaverse is a new medium, the technology sector has the opportunity to start this era the right way, with the appropriate security principles in place to maximise and maintain trust by both users and enterprises.

“If we miss this opportunity, we’ll needlessly deter the adoption of technologies with great potential for improving accessibility, collaboration and business,” Bell said, adding that “the security community must work together to build a foundation to safely work, shop and play”.

In reference to the emergence and widespread of previous technologies, mediums and platforms, Bell mentioned the internet, Wi-Fi, as well as the rise of iPhone and Android smartphones.

All of these technologies created both opportunities and risks that the industry failed to predict ahead of time, meaning that, in the case of adverse effects, it had to play catch up in order to resolve any issues that arose along the way.

“Technology shifts have a way of seeping in while we’re looking the other way,” Bell said, noting that “we can logically expect metaverse-influenced features and experiences to arrive at enterprises in much the same fashion”.