Addressing new cyber risks in immersive reality
Authors: Alessandro Calabrese, Luisa Franchina, Tommaso Ruocco, Giulia Inzerilli
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the cyber risks associated with the development of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies also in relation to their use in the Metaverse. AR and VR represent one of the most recent and relevant technological advances that have been able to take advantage of the changes brought about by the ongoing digital transformation driven by Industry 4.0, and the pandemic crisis. Moreover, these technologies are also becoming relevant for their potential in war scenarios and military exploitation.A common goal for both technologies is to improve knowledge and operational processes, overcoming the amount of information that is received by normal observation mechanisms, reducing the interactive distance between different variables. Consequently, the fields of application are various and regard all sectors, stemming from the national defense to the health, industrial and educational sectors. The culmination of these technologies, and their applications, is reached by the recent project announced by the founder of Facebook called "Metaverse". Some of the cybersecurity challenges will be similar to and will certainly enhanced others, such as the security and privacy risks related to social media, conference and streaming platforms and even internet browsing. The future of VR and AR spaces will involve a huge increase in new devices connecting to each other, through the creation of new apps and connection bridges, requiring the elaboration and the storage of huge quantities of data. Moreover, laws rarely reflect the rapidly evolving ways in which people interact with each other online. In this context, virtual assets can become as critical as physical ones, creating a worth to be protected. As the opportunities are all encompassing, so are the risks and vulnerabilities, such as identity theft, spying and social engineering. Security of confidential and market data, privacy and security of virtual assets are the most critical issues, linked to the volatility and reliability of providers with respect to assets.Unfortunately, new technologies are often developed and brought to market long before cybersecurity issues are addressed. An early identification of the main cyber risks inherent in the application of AR and VR technologies and the provision of framework for possible solutions to the various issues identified could address the Metaverse new challenge.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Cyber Security, Metaverse, Privacy, Virtual Assets, Cyber Warfare.
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