The Metaverse, Cryptocurrency & Future of Cybersecurity [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

Valentine’s Day, evolving tech and the future of cybersecurity may seem like an unusual combination of topics, but they all actually do have a connection to one another. With the love-fueled holiday kicking off the week, we are reminded that many today are searching for their match online. As with everything else in the digital realm though, that search may come with hint of cybersecurity concern. The possibility of a scam is not only increasingly present, but increasingly involving the use of cryptocurrency. The FTC reported that in 2021 nearly $139 million in cryptocurrency was paid by victims to scammers taking advantage of online dating platforms. According to The Washington Post’s “Cybersecurity 202,” that amount is 25 times more than it was in 2019. 

Beyond the world of online dating, however, the cybersecurity issues associated with cryptocurrency are much broader. Crypto has become a major contributor to growth of the ransomware attack landscape. As PYMNTS explains, “Ransomware activity related to cryptocurrency is most often associated with the release of malware that encrypts a victim’s information — usually a major corporation — demanding money in exchange for the release of the proprietary data.” Based on a Security Boulevard article, experts warn that these types of breaches targeting cryptocurrency platforms are likely to carry on throughout 2022, especially as the value of cryptocurrencies continues to climb. 

Cryptocurrency is not the only fairly new technology steering the direction of cybersecurity challenges. It is part of an evolving Web3 world that is giving rise to unfolding cybersecurity worries – the metaverse. While the details surrounding this development are not completely clear, it is believed to embody the future of what the internet has to provide, and, therefore, the future of what the cybersecurity industry needs to concern itself with. In line with cryptocurrency, one of the metaverse aspects stirring up fret is the potential of NFT frauds. Another warning experts are raising is connected to the use of vulnerable AR/VR devices that invite the chance for data breaches. There are also additional risks tied to possible flaws in blockchain tech, which is the basis of the metaverse, as well as with cybercriminal identification within the environment.

As these innovations force cybersecurity to expand, the industry will have to keep up. TechCrunch reported that funding for startups went up by 138% in 2021 with M&A’s also hitting a spike at an increase of 294%. It would make sense that the boom in the field’s investment continues because of the shifting needs. 

Key Takeaways:

“Romance scammers are ready to ruin Valentine’s Day” – Joseph Marks, The Washington Post, The Cybersecurity 202

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/14/romance-scammers-are-ready-ruin-valentines-day/ 

  • Cryptocurrency is increasingly being used in online scams.
  • The FTC reported that in 2021 nearly $139 million in cryptocurrency was paid by victims to scammers taking advantage of online dating platforms.
  • According to The Washington Post’s “Cybersecurity 202,” that amount is 25 times more than it was in 2019.

“Ransomware Reaches Beyond Money With More Sinister Goals” – PYMNTS

https://www.pymnts.com/cybersecurity/2022/ransomware-reaches-beyond-money-with-more-sinister-goals/

  • Crypto has become a major contributor to growth of the ransomware attack landscape.
  • Ransomware attacks involving cryptocurrency typically consist of the release of malware impacting an organization’s data. This is followed by a demand for payment in order to restore that data. 

“Cybersecurity Considerations for Web3” – Jin Yang, Security Boulevard

https://securityboulevard.com/2022/02/cybersecurity-considerations-for-web3/

  • Breaches associated with cryptocurrency platforms are likely to carry on throughout 2022.
  • This growth is also connected to the climb in cryptocurrency value.

“How the metaverse could shape cybersecurity in 2022” – Waqas, VentureBeat

https://venturebeat.com/2022/02/12/how-the-metaverse-could-shape-cybersecurity-in-2022/

  • The metaverse is giving rise to a new generation of cybersecurity concerns.
  • In line with cryptocurrency, one of the metaverse aspects stirring up worries is the potential of NFT frauds.
  • There are also additional risks tied to possible flaws in blockchain tech, which is the basis of the metaverse.

“Why are cybersecurity asset management startups so hot right now?” – Carly Page, TechCrunch

https://techcrunch.com/2022/02/11/why-are-internet-asset-startups-so-hot-right-now/

  • TechCrunch reported that funding for startups went up by 138% in 2021.
  • M&A’s increased by 294%.
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