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Is Immersive Technology a Gain or Loss for Cybersecurity? | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Immersive technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape. But there are two sides to this coin.



While cybersecurity professionals are leveraging immersive technology to strengthen defenses, hackers are exploiting it for malicious purposes. It raises concerns about whether it’s a good or bad development in cybersecurity.

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What Is Immersive Technology?

Immersive technology bridges the gap between digital and physical environments using 360 degrees to create an illusion of reality.

There are three components of immersive technology: visual, auditory, and feel. It enables you to see what you are doing up close, hear its sound, and touch it.

Being able to see and hear things isn’t exactly new technology. But immersive technology raises the bar with 360 degrees. You can turn around to see areas of objects that would normally be out of sight. It gets even better as you can touch it in real-time

How Does Immersive Technology Work?

There are three categories of immersive technology: virtual reality, augmented reality, and haptics.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional simulated digital environment that enables you to feel and interact with subjects like they were actually there with you. It gives you some level of control to determine how the interaction unfolds.

These three-dimensional images are flexible and move in sync with your body movement in real time.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) involves integrating digital elements into the real world. It enhances your physical environment by overlaying auditory, visual, and other digitally-enhanced sensory elements for a more satisfying experience.

Virtual reality and augmented reality are similar but different. While VR creates its own digital environment with a real-life appeal, AR simply enhances the physical environment by boosting your sensory features, i.e. adding something digitally-generated to real life.

Haptics

Haptics is the ability to feel and touch things. This technology allows you to engage with digital interfaces with sensations like touch and vibrations. It immerses you in your digital interactions by evoking physical motions unique to the activities you are performing.

Force and tactile feedback are key components of haptics. Force simulates the subject’s physical attributes while tactile captures its texture.

What Are the Benefits of Immersive Technology in Cybersecurity?

Immersive technology enhances cybersecurity in numerous ways.

Custom Cybersecurity Training

man wearing AR glasses

A prevalent barrier in cybersecurity training is the absence of real-life scenarios. Trainees learn the theoretical aspects of the job with little or no opportunities to see what it actually looks like. Immersive technology adds a practical approach to the training by creating hacking scenarios for users to engage in.

Virtual reality immerses trainers in real-time cyberattacks where they can determine how the attack will play out. Augmented reality and haptics take it further by making the engagement more interactive as they can see, hear, and touch the subjects of the attack.

Enhanced Threat Intelligence With Human Engagement

The use of threat monitoring tools is necessary to gather intelligence about complex threat vectors. Automating this process keeps an eye on your application 24/7, helping you take note of events that would ordinarily elude you. Although these tools can analyze threat intelligence data, they can only work within the parameters of their programming.

Threat intelligence is most effective when you combine automated tools with skilled human labor. Immersive technology enables cybersecurity professionals to engage with attack vectors head-on. They can track threats and initiate security checks in blind spots.

Close the Cybersecurity Skills Gap in Society

The shortage of cybersecurity personnel is largely due to the absence of adequate training. Not many people have the skills to contain advanced cyberattacks. Immersive training makes for better cybersecurity training. People will get the chance to not just learn cybersecurity but also become experts at it.

Immersive technology helps to close the cybersecurity skills gap in society by producing skilled hands for the industry. As more people join the battle against cyberattacks, online spaces will become more secure for legitimate activities.

What Are the Challenges of Immersive Technology?

Unhappy woman working on a laptop outside

But of course, immersive technology has its downsides too.

Lack of Privacy

When you make use of immersive technology tools, they record your data to enhance user experience. Such data is useful to advertisers for custom marketing purposes too. They know your location and serve you location-based offerings. This might be considered an invasion of your privacy; not only that, but hackers could also retrieve this data for malicious purposes. They may choose to attack you themselves or sell your data to interested parties on the dark web.

Identity Theft

The flexibility of immersive technology creates room for identity-based social engineering attacks. Cybercriminals can hack VR and AR systems to retrieve your personally identifiable information (PII). Take Deepfake for instance: a hacker can alter videos transmitted with immersive technology to lure you into revealing your sensitive information.

Data Breaches

Data breaches in immersive technology are possible with the use of malware causing downtime. Hackers can hijack immersive technology platforms with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, making their services unavailable while they retrieve users’ information. Luring a user to click on a single malicious link can displace them from the app and grant the hacker full access.

How to Prevent Immersive Technology Risks in Cybersecurity

A hand approaching a smartphone with waves in a black background.

There are several measures you can take to contain the threats associated with immersive technology.

Understand Software Privacy Policies Before Use

Privacy policies on applications are long and boring to read, so most people don’t even bother. But as a user, your safety largely depends on the security of the tool.

Immersive technology is relatively new, with plenty of gray areas in terms of security and privacy. Before using any software, make sure you review its privacy policy and confirm that it can protect your information.

Some digital applications sell users’ data to third parties including advertisers. Even if the advertisers have a legal obligation to use your data for only marketing purposes, it could get into the wrong hands.

Secure Network Connections With a VPN

Anyone with the right skills can intercept your communications with eavesdropping attacks across any open internet connections. Switch your connection from its public state to a private one with a virtual private network (VPN).

VPNs secure your connectivity with encryption in real-time. They also disguise your network, making it difficult for cybercriminals to figure out its location. Credible VPN providers don’t store your network activities, so your privacy is guaranteed.

Implement Endpoint Security

Endpoint defenses secure the entry points of the devices you use to connect to an app. An effective measure for securing cloud and virtual solutions, it allows you to secure each device you connect to an immersive tool. This gives you extra security layers in addition to what their software provider offers.

What does this mean for you? A simple paid-for antivirus can secure your devices and connections.

Use Mult-Factor Authentication Logins

Verifying user identity is a common practice for accessing digital platforms. Immersive technology platforms are cloud-based with remote access, so threat actors can try to enter your account from any location. Multi-factor authentication adds more verification layers and makes users prove their legitimacy in several ways.

Examples of multi-factor authentication in immersive technology include face recognition, fingerprints, and speech patterns. These features can’t be easily fabricated, so it’s difficult for intruders to bypass them.

Immersive Technology Is Here to Stay

The argument about the impact of immersive technology may be ongoing, but one thing is sure—it’s not going anywhere. Cybersecurity professionals continue to explore opportunities to resolve the challenges such technology poses. With the right resources and support, they can give cybercriminals using the same tech a run for their money.

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