Cybersecurity in Web3 – will the new net cause new problems?

The new Internet generation – Web3 – is opening up countless exciting opportunities. However, opportunities often come with risks. So, how does Web3 fare from a cybersecurity perspective? This story has the answer.

Cybersecurity in Web3 is a topic of the future.
Image: blacksalmon/Adobe Stock

Cybersecurity in Web3: what lies in store for us

Generally, there’s no reason to panic, because Web3 is much more secure thanks to its revolutionary blockchain technology. Decentralized network structures will make targeted attacks, data manipulation, and fraud attempts in the online world more difficult and in some cases even impossible. Nevertheless, the new Internet generation also gives rise to new security-related questions.

Just a heads-up: this article contains some Web3 terms you may not have heard of before. If you’re dipping your toes into the topic, we recommend our story “The most important Web3 terms at a glance”.

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Data protection – still an important issue in the future

IT managers, legal experts, and many other professionals need to get to grips with the unique aspects of Web3, and there are still lots of answers to be found – answers to security questions arising from the decentralized principle of Web3. These include data protection considerations. Although Web3 reduces data protection risks by means of data minimization, pseudonymization, and anonymization, the blockchain, which is open and transparent for everyone to see, is extremely problematic in terms of data protection law.

For example, who is responsible for ensuring that the network meets data protection regulations? Specific operators or all network members combined? Who controls how and for what purpose personal data is allowed to be processed in the blockchain? What’s more, who should be held accountable in the event of data protection breaches, and to what extent will current laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) still apply in the future? From a legal standpoint, these questions have only been broadly clarified so far and will no doubt keep the compliance departments of companies on their toes for a long time to come.

When it comes down to it, there are many other unanswered legal questions surrounding Web3. The ownership status and authenticity of assets can be excellently visualized via blockchain, but matters relating to consumer protection and the legal security of individuals will have to be clarified in the future.

Cybercrime: will the usual scams and tricks simply be repurposed for Web3?

Although blockchain technology offers unprecedented security advantages, one factor could be its downfall: humans. Even the best technology isn’t immune to criminal activity and fraud attempts. Blockchain networks are particularly attractive targets for cybercriminals due to the digital and often tangible assets managed on them.

  • For example, attacks targeted at smart contracts could compromise the functioning of blockchain networks.
  • We’re also already seeing the use of social engineering fraud methods, such as ice phishing. In this case, users are tricked into transferring their tokens to criminals.
  • In addition, malware is already being installed on computers in order to take over someone else’s computing capacities for illegal cryptomining. This is also called cryptojacking.

Who knows what criminals will have up their sleeves in the future.

Decentralization raises questions about cybersecurity in Web3

As is the case with data protection, accountability needs to be clarified for cybercrime. How can criminals be brought to justice for offenses committed in an anonymized network, and to what extent will it be possible and permitted to have regulatory bodies in a decentralized system? Those are all legal and fundamental social issues that go way beyond the remit of IT managers. The task for the coming years and decades will be to find the appropriate answers. We can only hope that this web will be untangled for us.

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