The metaverse is one of the newest forms of immersive technology and everyone is trying their hand at it. Although this new reality/ virtual reality is highly unexplored, companies have started pouring billions of dollars into building it. If you rewind around a decade ago, the dawn of Web 2.0 had a scenario extremely similar to this. While, the companies and people who are advocating the metaverse and how amazing it is going to be, on the other hand, we should also be aware of the risks and a variety of crimes that it will bring.
People have started using the metaverse, attending events or concerts on the metaverse, buying land, and so much more. Brands have also entered the metaverse. Brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, Gucci, Adidas, Wendy’s, etc, already have a metaverse presence. compared to individuals, brands may invite a different set of risks and crimes that can not only affect the staff of the company but hamper its identity and overall presence.
Brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, Gucci, Adidas, Wendy’s, etc, already have a metaverse presence. Brands may invite a different set of risks and crimes that can not only affect the company but hamper its brand identity.
With the metaverse evolving, hackers and cybercriminals also have a new garden of opportunities to explore and make the most of it. This is why it is very important for your brand to take necessary precautions about the things that can go wrong beforehand and also be quick to fix anything that goes wrong so employees can handle it better the next time.
Does this mean your brand shouldn’t be on the metaverse? No. The space is new but everyone has heard of the metaverse or is wondering what it exactly is. So, sooner or later, people are going to be on the metaverse, and establishing your brand presence early will have more benefits than harm.
What could go wrong?
Since the metaverse is a reality that is all-in-all virtual and people have the liberty to create worlds, visual representations, and avatars in this world. This can help scammers easily impersonate someone or a brand. This is becoming increasingly common and is known as phishing in the metaverse.
Scammers can create 3D or visual representations of brands or products and trick people into giving their information or buying something. This can result in users losing a lot of money as well as sensitive information. Scammers have previously managed to impersonate authentic brands on the metaverse. And since technology has evolved a lot, by using fake apps, similar-looking domains, and the impersonation of brands, scammers create an experience that anyone can hardly believe to be fake. It could be as simple as clicking on a link and losing millions, just like it happens in any other scam. Only, the destination has changed to the metaverse.
This can be extremely harmful to your brand as your king, i.e. the customer is having a terrible experience at the metaverse and it’s because of you (the scammer, of course). They could fall victim to a phishing attack while buying something or simply entering another metaverse portal.
Why are cybercriminals attacking the metaverse?
While the methods of cybercriminals remain the same, the metaverse opens a new door for them to exploit users and in turn brands. Similar to what happened before the metaverse, on social media or other digital platforms, brand impersonation is the easiest way to get what they are looking for. Scammers can spread fake information about your brand, prompt users to click on links, download something that can spread malware, or get access to your personal information. This can hamper your brand identity to a great extent. And the more brands enter the metaverse, the more opportunities these scammers will get to trick everyone.
Scammers can spread fake information about your brand, prompt users to click on links, download something that can spread malware, or get access to your personal information. This can hamper your brand identity to a great extent.
To protect your brand in the metaverse it is not necessary that the anti-phishing techniques that worked before may work now as well and with the metaverse still largely unexplored, here are some things that you can do to protect your brand identity:
Protect brand identity on the metaverse
1. Establishing a presence
Although this could be indirect, you should try to establish your brand on the metaverse with something solid. Like creating original brand-specific NFTs. You need to leverage the technology that is now available in the world to let your consumers know that you are a part of the whole Web 3.0 transformation. This wouldn’t directly help you limit phishing attacks but increasing your presence can help your consumers register in their minds that you have a metaverse presence.
Brands have started registering trademarks of their real-world goods for their virtual counterparts too. While it is unclear if an existing trademark can cover the virtual parts too but you can approach this by filing it separately. If you are planning to offer something completely different on the metaverse, then you should take this into consideration before you proceed with trademark filing.
By doing this, in case someone tries to imitate you, it will be easier for you to take them down owing to the policies of the platform. If you are new to registering trademarks, you may want to talk to IP expert to help you understand trademark symbols and how you can use them to protect your brand.
3. Educate and Implement
This is the first thing you can do to directly reduce phishing attacks. You should tell your employees as well as customers about the risks and potential threats that are in the metaverse. Only when people are aware of it, some action can be taken on it. Yet again, since the metaverse reality is still new, educating them about what’s going on is important for them as well as your brand.
4. Stay on your feet
Anything can happen in the metaverse or we should say ‘metaverses’ right now. Since the metaverse is not regulated and we don’t know who will be dominating in the future, it becomes easy for scammers to attack the platforms. The only thing you can do right now is to stay on your feet, track what is going on, and keep updating your security systems.
While we continue to explore the metaverse and discover new things that can be done on the platform, it will invite certain risks and crime too. The best way to go forward is to stay updated about what’s going on, act quickly and navigate through the journey while everyone keeps coming up with new stuff.