What can you do in Metaverse?

Introduction

The term Metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel, “Snow Crash” released in 1992. And recently enough, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they are changing their name to Meta Platforms Inc. or in short, Meta. On a superficial level, this may seem just a name change — but it is well beyond that. In this blog, we will understand what is metaverse, its implications, and how it will affect the way we interact with Facebook. That really sounds exciting, isn’t it?

What is Metaverse?

In simple words, Metaverse is a parallel world where you can experience the internet in 3D. To put it in Mark Zuckerberg’s words, it is a ‘virtual environment’ you can interact with instead of just looking at a screen.

To be more specific, Metaverse will have endless interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, and interact with others via VR headsets, AR glasses, mobile apps, and several other similar devices.

Metaverse will comprise immersive shopping and social media experiences. It will be a place where users can create their own virtual items and playgrounds. They can play 3D games with highly personalized avatars that create a more engaging human experience.

“It’s the next evolution of connectivity where all of those things start to come together in a seamless, doppelganger universe, so you’re living your virtual life the same way you’re living your physical life,”

– Victoria P. (Emerging Technologies Analyst)

What Can you Do In Metaverse?

Metaverse will open up a lot of possibilities and will allow us to harness the untapped potential of the virtual world and social media services. You’d be able to host a virtual concert (or go to one), try/buy new clothes, play personalized games, craft digital artwork, etc.

The metaverse will also allow the employers to create a virtual office where everyone can see and interact with each other as if they were right in front of them. Horizon Workrooms, Facebook’s meeting software, aims to achieve this objective via VR headsets that can turn out to be one of the most immersive experiences of the Metaverse.

“A lot of the metaverse experience is going to be around being able to teleport from one experience to another.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

Tech companies, like Facebook, have a lot of work to do before they can offer a seamless and interconnected Meraverse experience to their users. In an ideal world, people in the Facebook Metaverse should be able to interact and engage with users from Google Metaverse. For that to happen, these companies will have to find common platforms through which they can seamlessly exchange data while keeping users’ privacy intact.

Is Facebook Going All-in on the Metaverse?

By the looks of it, yes. The company is investing heavily into the project as they think it is going to play a major role in the digital economy we’re in. They would be investing about $10 billion on Metaverse this year alone. That’s a huge number.

Facebook has also collaborated with Microsoft and Nvidia to scale the project. That’s not all. Video game companies have also been taking keen interest in Metaverse. In fact, Epic Games has raised over $1 billion from investors to build games compatible with Metaverse.

With the ever increasing hype, more and more companies are jumping into this space. And to ensure they are ahead of the curve, Facebook is going all-in on Metaverse.

Is Metaverse Similar to the Internet?

In one of the interviews, Mark Zuckerberg compared Metaverse with the internet by describing it as ‘an embodied internet’ — a place where people can have immersive experiences that a webpage can not offer.

As a matter of fact, one of the key benefits of Metaverse is considered ‘immersion’ — a sense of physically engaging with the world around you instead of watching them through a tab. For instance, interacting with your employees on Facebook Horizon may feel more natural than Zoom/Google Meet thumbnails.

It’s hard to compare Metaverse with the internet. After all, text-heavy internet comes with a lot of advantages. Buying high-end gaming consoles or supercomputers and VR tech can be expensive. Furthermore, in remote areas where internet connectivity is a challenge, people may not be able to access ‘the Metaverse’.

Thus, it is safe to say that Metaverse cannot replace the entire internet, at least not in the foreseeable future.

Is this a yet another stunt to collect more data?

The Metaverse will give Facebook access to a lot more personal data than the conventional internet. With this project, the company will continue to use personal data to show targeted ads, into the Metaverse.

“Ads are going to continue being an important part of the strategy across the social media parts of what we do, and it will probably be a meaningful part of the metaverse, too.“

Mark Zuckerberg

People are concerned that Facebook trying to enter into Metaverse can give the company access to even more personal data. Given their reputation when it comes to privacy and data management, it’s quite alarming.

Metaverse — A Huge Opportunity

A new era of the internet is being innovated. Its implications on our world will be massive. Companies will have to adapt to this change in order to continue thriving in this new space. They will have to be creative and push limits of innovation to embrace the Metaverse. With so much happening at such a pace, the question is, are you ready for the change?

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.comDownload the latest portfolio to see our work.

How to Secure your Products with DevSecOps and Beyond in 2021?

IT Security was always a significant concern in the tech environment. Security breaches during the pandemic have brought securing tech products to the top of the priority list.

What are the top trends defining Software Product Security?

  • Building Security into the Development Ecosystem from the Beginning

This ensures that during the entire development process, security remains a core concern. Integration of data protection mechanisms from the initial stages is made mandatory by the Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Experts are considering similar measures for Asia and North America as well.

  • DevOps is now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is the term given to the attitude, processes, technology, and operations during the development of an app, tool, or software. It aims at building security into the development from the very beginning. So the Development, Security, and Operations teams work in tandem all through the product development cycle. 

What’s the DevSecOps Workflow?

  • The code written by one developer is checked for possible security-related weaknesses and issues by another coder.
  • The application is brought into play with Infrastructure-as-Code tools.
  • Security configurations are activated into the Control Management System.
  • The application is tested through the Testing Automation. This includes all aspects such as UI, Back-end, separate security tests, API, and overall integration.
  • If the application clears all the testing procedures, it is progressed to the production stage.
  • Intense monitoring comes into play to check operational security risks.

Tools for DevSecOps 

The top tools for managing DevSecOps during the CI/CD are the following:

  • Static Application Security Testing Tools
    These tools check the code for problems that may lead to security risks in the future. They are used up to the development phase.

Examples: GitLab, HCL AppScan, Coverity, CodeScan, etc.

  • Software Composition Analysis Tools

They are employed for finding weaknesses in the third-party and open-source components. Covering the license risks as well for timely identification and solution is essential for them. Accelerating the DevSecOps process is their concern.

Examples: WhiteSource, FlexNet Code Insight, Black Duck, JFrog Xray, etc.

  • Interactive Application Security Testing Tools

They are deployed to monitor and analyze the behavior of the application during the run-time. By identifying the run-time level susceptibilities, it allows the developers to find the flaws in the code. The coders can then address the issues in the code to strengthen the security.

Examples: Parasoft, Veracode, Checkmarx, SonarQube, etc.

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing Tools

They are designed to carry out simulation exercises to protect the product from hackers. They work through the network and do not require code access.

Examples: Appknox, Netsparker, GitLab, HCL AppScan, etc.

  • Security Reassessment at each Stage

The strong beginning requires sustenance. At each stage of development, the risks are weighed for the necessary immediate steps. Each stage of development is often broken into smaller stages for denser, more in-depth, and detailed checks.

  • Innovation and Improvements in the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

The SDL is now emphasizing on:

  • Continuous upgrading of the skills of coders with the protection of code in the center.
  • Ensuring that all teams and each member are at the same level of security training and awareness.
  • Regulatory requirements are no more considered frictional to development but as a firm foundation for smoother progress.

What are the crucial Product Security Practices for 2021? 

  1. Segmentation

Segmentation has to do with data, storage, and capabilities. By clearly segmenting, the team can ensure that the data is managed appropriately. In case of unwanted access, it would be easier to carry out security checks and measures. For storage, determining the right choices between physical or cloud storage is essential. Finally, segmentation in capabilities ensures a faster development pace and easier optimization. Overall, it’s about the better organization of the most fundamental aspects.

  1. Automation

Automation can tackle many of the expected threats. So can the various probable ones. Automation can be attached to the auto-remedy tasks. It requires analysis of firewalls and security configurations. It saves the experts’ energy and time, which they can devote to novel security threats and strategic measures.

  1. Ensuring Security from Design and Architecture Perspective 

Threat modeling at the initial stage of designing will save a lot of time and effort in the later stages. It will alert the team to attacks. When they know about such threats in the back of their minds, the alertness will improve. Design documents will draw the boundaries for development level updates to avoid errors mid-way on the development course. Third-party component tracking is crucial in figuring out weaker components and fixing them promptly.

  1. Sustained Patching 

Continuous patching ensures that your product does not suffer because of old software. With about 80% of the components being open-source, security and licensing risks increase. Maintaining elaborate version details and not missing the latest patches enhances product security.

  1. Least Privilege Principle 

This means granting only the necessary and minimum privileges to systems and users. Conscious or inadvertent compromises to security are thwarted by ensuring the least privilege. Timely canceling the accesses no longer needed and changing the access level according to the duty change is essential.

  1. Mapping the Data Processing

Data processing map helps in determining the types of data the product will deal with. It also outlines the use of each type of data and the processes it will involve into. When an elaborate data plan is created in advance, the security team can prepare security controls in advance. It also helps allocate data to appropriate systems, define privileges, and control and process sensitive and personal data.

  1. Greater Encryption

Well, there’s a lot of talk about the end of encryption with the coming of Quantum Computing. However, the Tech giants investing billions into Quantum Computing have already ensured that its uses will be constructive. So there’s no reason for losing interest in encryption. No point in taking FIPS 140-2 lightly. It would be better to take the Application-level encryption a notch higher. 

  1. Securing All Storage Systems

Keep all the bases covered. There’s no point in believing that if strong security measures are implemented for the internal storage, then networks and OS can be ignored. Strengthening critical storage is the key to securing the product.

  1. Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing does not just have to do with continuous and variegated testing to check risks. It’s also about constructing scenarios and conducting simulation exercises. Companies have hired expert hackers to help their teams with the process. They can find ever ingenious ways of causing trouble and breaching the security of the product. This is an innovative way of testing the team’s imagination and intelligence. Mature teams can rely upon the updates of latest forms and modes of threats and test the product more often and from different angles.

  1. Quicker Incident Response Planning

Incident response is rooted in threat modeling. However, it has to look beyond that too. It cannot be caught in a frozen mold. Prompt action against potential breaches can be laid out in steps. What’s more important is the right anticipation of the threat that’s not been planned for or remains unseen. 

Swift planning and execution at the moment of attack is the challenge that tech product security experts will have to take up. These are the ten effective practices that will remain central to securing products in their development and performance phases. However, securing products is not just about putting the right systems, procedures, and practices in place. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com. Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Location Intelligence – The Way to a Smarter Future

Location-Intelligence_1

A smart society is one that foresees the changing requirements of its people in every phase of their lives by taking into account new trends, technologies, resources, people and industries and provides the most effective solutions. In this fast developing world of technology, what seemed brand new just yesterday seems ordinary today and would eventually be outdated. Until recently, the world was raving about technology-based connectivity in lines of telephonic communication, real-time visual conversations and transferring of videos that are based on the Internet of things (IoT). Today the conversations are about Artificial Intelligence which will have a prevailing effect on all aspects of life that includes communication and staying connected. One of the biggest hurdles in staying connected is distance. Location, as said to be the heart of everything, is also the heart of doing things with a modern touch. Conquering locations in a faster, more accurate and efficient manner can become the focal point of a smarter society. Today the world has moved on to developing technology-based support systems along with the use of machines to not only stay connected but also to cover distances and geographies in a fast and accurate manner.

“If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The Internet of Things is about to change it all over again!”Brendan O’Brien

Cloud capabilities have powered not only the location data, based on which we so confidently commute from one place to another, it has also brought millions of connected devices together, organized traffic information and accurately synchronized global maps right on to our mobile phones. Some call this the fourth industrial revolution of modern history. This technology is Cloud-based, AI-powered and can relate geographic contexts to business data to develop insights for multiple business purposes. Such tools draw on a variety of data sources, such as geographic information systems (GIS), aerial maps, demographic information and the database of the organization. Location intelligence is important for businesses across industries for their marketing, revenue and growth strategies. From the womb of the Internet of Things and with a partnership of cloud, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence has given birth to the Location of Things (LoT). Three things work in tandem here viz. cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Machines receive large amounts of data in a regular and increasing stream. They then recognize patterns, form deeper insights and are able to contextualize or in simple terms make sense of their surroundings. This data comes from millions of sensors and is, therefore, both real-time as well as meticulously detailed.

Location-Intelligence_2

The question that still comes to a layman’s mind is – how does it work? Thousands of smartphone users are contributing to this database from a particular location at a given point in time and this data is continuously collected, sorted and analyzed to convert to accurate and precise information.

What benefits does this offer to both the business and the consumer?

From a consumer perspective, information on products, services, localities, and geographies can be found easier and faster. Comparison of timing, weather, and distance becomes possible. This makes both commute and connectivity simple.

From a business point of view, location intelligence can provide one’s firm with the information of the latest trending places, businesses and localities which would help them recommend and advice their customers. This is in general for both brick and mortar as well as brick and click businesses. In particular, location intelligence can help different industries in different ways. For example – Service firms such as travel companies can connect with reviewing platforms such as Trip Advisor whereas credit card companies find it easy to connect with their merchants. With this technology, a business can stay connected with its customers both online and offline as well as via mobile. This was all about connectivity, but how about the combination? When a business combines the location intelligence information with data such as customer profiles, interesting insights can be generated in areas such as which offers made a customer move to an offline store after viewing the options online and vice-versa! These possibilities can offer great opportunities for a business to target the right customer at the right time. Location-based customer engagement makes it possible for firms to measure customer activity as he moves from one location to another, identify key anchor points of contact with the customer and design communication or advertisements in such a manner that the customer would be most likely to avail the offer made to him. This technology also makes it possible to gather and monitor data from different websites, blogs, social media platforms and analyze this data based on various metrics such as time spent on the page, click through rate, content sharing, comments, and inputs, etc. These insights provide inputs on the positive and negative sentiments that the brand is generating online and this information can then be used for designing effective marketing strategies.

“The data fabric is the next middleware”Todd Papaioannou

However, not everything is as smooth as silk. A few aspects need to be kept in mind when strategizing with the use of location intelligence. What is the probability that all customer data that we have available is accurate and updated? What is the possibility that a customer for whom a business has worked so hard in customizing the advertisement will certainly look at the advertisement and not choose “Skip Ad” option? With the amount of information overload that customers have today and options to install ad-blocking software, this is not a surprise. What should be done then? Critics say that while customization is the key, so is patience. There is no assurance that a perfectly planned advertisement is going to impress the already occupied mind of a busy customer.

“Consumer data will be the biggest differentiator in the next two to three years. Whoever unlocks the reams of data and uses it strategically will win.” – Angela Ahrendts

Geolocation data is useful if used efficiently along with other information and tools. It can’t be used in isolation and needs the right software and analyses as support. Both artificial intelligence and human intuition with logic become necessary for effective strategy design for business.

– Team iView