Security and Privacy: Why They Really Do Matter in the XR Space

Concannon XRVR and AR Security and Privacy: Why They Really Do Matter in the XR Space
XR Security and Privacy

Security and Privacy: Why They Really Do Matter in the XR Space

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, we’re presented with new opportunities and challenges to address. Advances in extended reality (XR), for example, have provided users with the ability to either enhance their existing environments with content and data or fully immerse themselves in a virtual, interactive setting. 

For businesses, leveraging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology offers many valuable applications – from onboarding and training to driving workflow efficiency. But as with any digital tools, these revolutionary systems require a renewed emphasis on privacy and security to ensure all parties remain protected. 

As we look towards the future and the growing adoption of XR-based technology, it’s pivotal to think ahead about security needs and ways to build safe immersive environments moving forward. 

Eye & Movement Tracking

Utilizing eye tracking in the virtual reality space can facilitate dynamic focus for the end-user, boost accuracy and improve the overall user experience. Many industry experts believe eye tracking can ultimately increase security. For instance, biometric scans can be used to access private data or log into your account – eliminating the need for a traditional username and password. 

In the same breath, capturing biometrics creates a concern around potential data breaches and the protection of personal information. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, there are several ways to approach challenges surrounding the collection of biometric data, including “safeguarding data using encryption, anonymization, autodeletion, or adding user access and control of the data and audit trails. Policy-focused suggestions included enforcing compliance with existing privacy laws, restricting the use and sale of data, and informing users about risks using similar devices.”

Cybersecurity & Regulations

Extended reality devices promote connectivity and collaboration through the Internet of Things (IoT). Whether an organization is discussing sensitive information during a meeting in a VR setting or a consumer is using their Oculus headset to make a purchase, data captured in the XR space naturally fuels concerns surrounding cybersecurity. 

What if malware or a cybercriminal accessed confidential data, such as company financials or a business account? The key is to take measures aimed at proactively safeguarding data from outside threats through the implementation of targeted security regulations. 

Establishing enhanced protocols, like a two-factor authentication process, is one solution for staving off potential security issues. Another is to treat XR like any type of enterprise software and integrate the technology into your organization’s security information management system. By doing so, you’ll effectively ensure data is properly encrypted and device usage is captured for reporting purposes. 

Keeping Your Enterprise Team Secure

Whether a business is leveraging Realwear’s HMT-1 units to improve patient care or provide remote support to industrial field technicians repairing equipment, it’s imperative to establish organizational-level policies to protect the company and end-users from potential cyber threats. Just like cameras, desk phones and similar office equipment, these tools must be encrypted from the ground up. 

XR device manufacturers have their own built-in security capabilities, such as encrypting data that’s transmitted between servers, to comply with industry standards. That means your organization must ensure firmware and software upgrades are applied on a timely basis as new versions are released. It’s equally important to set permissions and make granular decisions surrounding how information is captured and shared. 

The majority of organizations have implemented training protocols for safely navigating remote collaboration tools in the wake of the pandemic’s work-from-home policies. The same type of training should be provided on how to safely operate AR and VR devices. Ensuring employees have a secure internet connection and providing (and maintaining) resources – like a best practices manual or video tutorials – is a key piece of optimizing security. 

As technology advances, so does the need to address new security and privacy concerns. The rise of XR devices is no different. Developers are constantly strengthening protective barriers to mitigate risks and ensure the future of AR and VR technology is safe for all end-users. 

To learn more about how the experts at Concannon are maximizing safety in the XR space while helping businesses drive forward progression, contact our team today.

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