September 28, 2022

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Securing the metaverse: Microsoft exec Charlie Bell calls on industry to learn lessons of the early web

2 min read

Charlie Bell is executive vice president for Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity, and Management. (Microsoft Photo)

Charlie Bell has the metaverse on his mind.

That alone is a notable takeaway from a post this morning by the leader of Microsoft’s big new security engineering organization. Bell, the longtime Amazon cloud executive who joined Microsoft last year, outlined a series of security principles for the metaverse – making it clear that he and his group are thinking well beyond short-term product releases.

In essence, Bell says, these emerging virtual worlds create both opportunity and risk for security, identity and trust, and it’s critical for the industry to work together and avoid the mistakes of the early web era.

“Sitting now at the gateway of a new dimension in technology, it’s critical to align on key priorities to help secure the metaverse for generations – and identity, transparency and a continued sense of unity among defenders will be key,” he says.

Bell doesn’t point this out, but the metaverse gives Microsoft a chance for a fresh start on security. In the realm of traditional software and online services, vulnerabilities in Microsoft programs continue to be a popular means for all sorts of attacks, due in part to their widespread use.

From a competitive standpoint, it’s also a chance for Microsoft to use its security expertise and technologies such as Windows Hello biometric sign-in to differentiate itself from Facebook parent company Meta, in particular.

“Metaverse platforms will likely create and generate entirely new data streams with the potential to improve authentication, pinpoint suspect or malicious activity or even revisualize cybersecurity to help human analysts make decisions at the moment,” Bell writes.

Read his full post here.

Earlier: Former Amazon exec inherits Microsoft’s complex cybersecurity legacy in quest to solve ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’

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