Life seems to move exponentially faster with each passing month. And while many recent innovations serve to illustrate that point, few match the nonfungible token (NFT) for the breathtaking speed with which it went mainstream.
The global market for NFTs has grown to over $40 billion in 2021 and attracted stars like Tom Brady and big brands like Coca-Cola and Nike. Meanwhile, many consumers are still trying to figure out what NFTs are and why they even exist.
Cybersecurity always lags behind the digital innovations it’s designed to protect – and therein lies the problem. The faster technology innovation becomes, the bigger the window of opportunity for cybercriminals to swoop in and exploit the vulnerabilities. Brands are destroyed, CEOs fired, customer identities swiped and sold on the Dark Web, bank accounts raided, and credit destroyed. With NFTs, we’re in that window now and we’re seeing seven primary ways that cybercriminals are exploiting the situation.
NFTs represent a great opportunity for brands to build lasting loyalty with their customers. Some experts even predict they will become the central digital touchpoint between brands and their consumers. The possibilities are exciting and perhaps by then, NFTs will be mostly safe. But in this chaotic, early window where vulnerabilities are everywhere, they do pose serious risks.
Companies, as well as executives, would be wise to allocate resources to monitoring and mitigating these types of threats. Employees that handle digital assets should also be trained on how to avoid phishing attacks that target them specifically.
Someday, it will be safer to play with NFTs, but until then, we’re living in the Wild West. Brands should be vigilant to ensure sites and listings promoting NFTs for sale are legitimate and not being used as an instrument by fraudsters to swindle customers out of money.
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