‘Metaverse could lead to increased cyber crime’ | The Financial Express

‘Metaverse could lead to increased cyber crime’

The metaverse is all about the virtual world, therefore, there is no specific way to identify cybercriminals, says Sundar Balasubramanian, MD, India & Saarc region, Check Point Software Technologies.

‘Metaverse could lead to increased cyber crime’
The biggest hurdle to the metaverse being a secure environment is in its foundations. (IE)

The metaverse is all about the virtual world, therefore, there is no specific way to identify cybercriminals, says Sundar Balasubramanian, MD, India & Saarc region, Check Point Software Technologies. “The cybersecurity posture for companies is going to be more pronounced than ever,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

What are the biggest emerging threats associated with Web 3.0, 5G, IoT, and metaverse?

These advanced technologies are going to decentralise the data, shift the physical infrastructure to cloud-based platforms and operate on edge computing. Therefore, the cybersecurity posture for companies is going to be more pronounced than ever.

From a technology perspective, Web 3.0 and metaverse technologies are still in the nascent stage. Web 3.0 is a refined version of Web 2.0 that poses challenges regarding existing user data and its ownership. The metaverse is all about the virtual world, therefore, there is no specific way to identify cybercriminals.

The biggest hurdle to the metaverse being a secure environment is in its foundations. Built on blockchain technology, we have already seen serious security gaps in NFT marketplaces and blockchain platforms such as OpenSea, making initial attacks in the metaverse a reality soon, based on authorisation, and user accounts. Most importantly, there is no legal or regulatory framework to govern both the technologies, therefore, neither the user nor the company can be given any protection against cyber crime organised through these technologies.

In India, the stage is set for the launch of 5G technology. Consumers and companies are at high risk as the dynamic software-based systems of 5G include many more access points for traffic routing than the current centralised hub-and-spoke structures of 4G. Apart from this, security for IoT devices is intrinsically weak and simple to hack. Therefore, companies need to deploy a prevention-based response system rather than an incident-driven response system.

Which are the Indian industries facing the maximum risks?

As per the Check Point Threat Intelligence Report, the most vulnerable sectors in India with the highest weekly attacks during the last six months were education/research (4762), healthcare (3093), ISP/MSP (2097), government/military (2796), insurance/legal (2431), manufacturing (2072) and utilities (1822).

What is the state of Indian enterprises on cybersecurity?

Amid the pandemic, the sudden shift to remote working regimes made companies vulnerable to cyber attacks. This is quite visible as India’s cybersecurity industry nearly doubled with revenue from cybersecurity products and services growing from $5.04 billion in 2019 to $9.85 billion in 2021, according to a report by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI).

Following this, cybersecurity is one of the top priorities. With this, India has ranked 10th in Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020 by ITU (International Telecommunication Union), moving up 37 places.

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However, enterprises are struggling with a massive shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Reports indicate 60% of firms have unfilled cybersecurity positions.

How is Check Point addressing the changing trends in cybersecurity?

We address the most imminent cybersecurity needs based on three core principles: Prevention-first approach, Gold Standard Management and providing a consolidated solution. In 2021, we recalibrated our Check Point Infinity portfolio of products to focus on those technologies and capabilities that will provide uncompromised security. Check Point Software has taken over 80 products and technologies and organised them into four main pillars: Check Point Harmony, Check Point CloudGuard, Check Point Quantum and Check Point Horizon, a prevention-first security operations suite, providing security operations centre (SOC) teams with the tools and services needed to prevent attacks in real-time with fewer resources.

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First published on: 22-11-2022 at 01:15 IST