Insights From The Blog

Immersive Technology from a Cyber-Security Point of View

Over the last few years, as more and more of us access the online and virtual world, cyber-security has become an enormous issue. As the name suggests, the primary goal of cyber security is to secure the devices we all use, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computers, as well as the services we use – both online and at work – from theft or damage by malevolent users. It’s also about avoiding unauthorised access to the massive amounts of personal information we keep on these devices and in file repositories online. In those terms, cyber security is a vast subject and one with many access points, with each one a potential danger area.

Cyber security is critical because smartphones, computers, and the internet have become such an integral part of modern life that it’s difficult to fathom existence without them. From online banking and shopping to email and social media, it’s more critical than ever to take precautions to protect our accounts, data, and gadgets from cyber crooks. And as more services go online, it will only become more crucial to the majority of us. But because technology is racing off at such a pace, in many cases, cyber-security experts have trouble keeping up with the possible issues. 

One of the latest innovations to be impacted by cyber security issues is that of immersive technologies, and there is a growing concern that many users do not understand the potential issues with these kinds of technologies, nor how cyber criminals can exploit them. Immersive technologies break down into three fundamental technological areas:

  • Virtual Reality. Virtual reality – also known as VR – uses a head-mounted display with two near-eye screens, one for each eye, to totally replace a user’s surroundings with a digital environment. VR is well-suited to industrial applications as well as aesthetic encounters with new styles of communication.
  • Augmented Reality. Augmented reality is a technology that combines the real world with computer-generated imagery to produce a more lifelike environment for users. The technology is able to comprehend the ‘real world’ in both a geometric and cognitive sense thanks to the application of computer vision and machine learning techniques. AR has been used to assist cultural organisations in reaching new audiences, while Digital Catapult has assisted retail firms in exploring new AR-powered solutions for the purpose of expanding their business and innovating inside it.
  • Haptics. Identified as the transmission of tactile information is accomplished through haptic technology through the use of sensations such as vibration, touch, and force feedback. Haptics is a technology that is used in virtual reality systems and other real-worth technologies to improve interactions with humans. One of the primary objectives of haptics is to make it possible for a virtual reality system to give people the impression that the scenarios it simulates are actually taking place. The use of mobile phone vibrations during gaming to increase immersion is an example of a typical application of haptic technology. However, haptics in the form of fingerprint or iris identification are becoming an increasingly significant way of security.

All of these are up and coming technologies and they have the potential to positively impact the lives of users, with new ways of accessing immersive media. But there are also concerns that this could leave users increasingly exposed to cyber criminals and new ways of being attacked.

People are getting more and more involved in cyberspace as the information technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. The majority of organisations, enterprises, individuals, and even governments are moving their operations into the realm of digital technology at this point. They are able to take advantage of several fantastic benefits as a result of this, including fast access from any location, reduced usage expenses, and global reach. Regrettably, cyber risks continue to advance, and at the same time, there is a lack of professionals who can assist in raising awareness and combating the expansion of cyber threats. According to the findings of a recent study, the increase in the number of data breaches can be attributed to a lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals, non-technical workers, as well as inadequate training. The main forms of cyber-security issues are:

  • Identity theft. Because of its adaptability, immersive technology leaves potential for social engineering schemes based on the assumption of a person’s identity. Hackers are able to get access to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems and collect personally identifiable information (PII) from users. Consider the hacking tool known as Deepfake: with it, a malicious user can manipulate films that are sent using immersive technology in order to trick an unsuspecting victim into divulging private information.
  • Privacy issues. When a user interacts with immersive technology tools, the tools capture particular data in order to improve the user experience. In addition, such data can be helpful to advertisers for the sake of personalised marketing. They are able to supply the user with location-specific advertisements and discounts since they are aware of the user’s location. This may be deemed an invasion of privacy on the part of the user, and on top of that, hackers could potentially retrieve this information and exploit it for nefarious purposes. They can decide to assault the user themselves, or they might decide to sell the information to third parties interested in it on the dark web.
  • Data harvesting. The introduction of malicious software that causes downtime opens the door to the possibility of data breaches in immersive technologies. Hackers are able to take control of immersive technology platforms by employing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults, which render the platforms’ services inaccessible while they retrieve the information of their users. A hacker can gain complete access to the app by convincing a user to click on a single malicious link. This will cause the user to be kicked out of the app.

Because of these and other issues, it is essential to use a virtual private network (VPN) to maintain protection across various devices and interfaces. Because it may be used to train workers and raise awareness about cybersecurity, immersive technology can be of significant assistance in addressing this issue too.  Some forward-thinking businesses and organisations have begun to implement gamification-based augmented and virtual reality training for their staff members to raise awareness of the issues of cyber security with immersive technologies. As a direct consequence of this, workers now have the skills necessary to combat cyber threats and find a solution to the problem. Employer training can be made easier for businesses by utilising both augmented and virtual reality, which can be advantageous and useful.

Because of the serious nature of these attacks, it becomes necessary to carry out a range of measures that will help prevent these issues.  So called eavesdropping assaults, in which the cybercriminal accesses a user’s data, can be carried out across any open internet connection by anyone with the necessary abilities. Because of this, it is crucial to change a connection from its public state to its private state by using a virtual private network, or VPN. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, protect your online connectivity by encrypting data in real time. The credentials of the network are hidden behind a virtual private network (VPN), which makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to pinpoint its location. Reputable VPN service providers do not record your network activity, which ensures that your anonymity is preserved.

Furthermore, a genuine user can protect the access points of the devices they use to connect to an app or system by employing endpoint defences. This grants the user the ability to safeguard each device that they connect to an immersive product and provides them with additional security layers in addition to what is offered by their typical software supplier. This method is regarded as an excellent approach for securing cloud and virtual solutions.

A growing number of people are starting to enjoy immersive technologies, but the attendant dangers with these are currently not so well understood, and for that reason it becomes imperative that users learn the risks, and those developing such technologies appreciate control measures. The debate about the results of immersive technology will likely never end. Experts in cyber security are always looking for new ways to address the threats introduced by emerging technologies. If given the proper tools and backing, they can compete successfully with cybercriminals employing the same technologies.