Technology is a vital part of everything – from our personal life to business and government functions. Over time, more and more business operations have shifted online as storing data and information electronically is cheaper, faster, and in some regards, safer. The need for cybersecurity has become apparent in the past years. As more businesses fall prey to cyberattacks, like when hackers threatened to erase all data from Apple devices, there is a need for them to be better protected and equipped with defenses.
You might think that you have nothing of great value in your event, however consider your attendee lists, their personal data and even payment details. If that is accessible then it is of high value to hackers. During the Coronavirus pandemic, where most conferences that haven’t been postponed or cancelled have shifted online, increased cybersecurity for events is now more necessary than ever.
Here are some precautions organisations can take to protect their event, their customers or members, and their information in the case of an attack.
1. Always Keep A Back-Up
The critical part of recovery from a cyber-attack is to have a back-up; otherwise, you run the risk of losing all your data. All systems should be backed up regularly on either external storage devices such as a USB or an external hard drive. An alternative is uploading everything to the cloud, which can prove to be more efficient and oftentimes automated. While planning an event, there is a continuous influx of new information, and storage on the cloud can be programmed to run automatically.
2. Use Secure Passwords
Businesses need to be aware of the dangers of using passwords that can easily be hacked. A useful trick is to use phrases instead of words. A long sentence such as, ‘This event will definitely be a success.’ includes capital letters, spaces, and punctuation. This makes it hard to hack through even the most complex hacking programs. Another useful tip is to use Two Factor Authentication, which further increases your network security and decreases the likelihood of your system being hacked.
3. Employee Training
Untrained employees can unknowingly compromise business information. Informing employees of the dangers of hacking and the ways that the business can be targeted will make them more vigilant in cyber safety. They will learn to recognise bad email attachments and learn to identify compromised websites or data.
Most functions of our life are now conducted through our smartphones, and extremely sensitive information is stored on them. The need for cybersecurity is sometimes given little importance by event planners, perhaps due to their lack of awareness regarding the need to be protected. Businesses tend to put all the responsibility of protection against cyberattacks on the venue, putting them and their attendees at risk.
These are the two primary reasons an event planner needs to invest in cybersecurity for their events:
As evidenced by many breaches, hackers pose a considerable threat to businesses. When planning an event, organisers collect personal information about their attendees, such as their names, phone numbers, and addresses. In some cases, they even receive their payment information, such as when tickets are purchased online through their website. Organisers have the responsibility to protect their attendees and their data at all costs. In case of even a minor cybersecurity breach, the reputation of the company can suffer greatly.
To combat this, the first thing a business needs to do is to identify all the areas in which they are vulnerable, look at all possible threats that might occur, and locate the areas that hackers are most likely to target during the event. This might be the list of attendees, and their personal information, or the controls to the event’s security system. They should increase their security proportionately in those areas, and consulting a security firm can be highly beneficial in that regard.
At a time when many big companies that invest in cybersecurity have fallen victim to viruses, it’s a cause of great concern for smaller businesses as well since their lack of protection makes them even more susceptible. It’s something that can easily be overlooked because it’s not a problem until it happens. By the time it happens, the damage is done, and it is too late to do anything about it.
A lack of employee education surrounding viruses can subject your company to attacks that can easily be dodged if proper training is in place. Viruses can damage files and corrupt or delete data, and unless there is a back-up, that data is lost forever. A virus downloaded on one computer can corrupt all devices connected to that server.
If something like this happens, it is a catastrophe for events. All your data from the list of attendees to the finances can be lost.
Nectar Creative Communications knows the importance of cybersecurity during events and takes all precautionary measures to protect their clients’ data. You can find out more about our event management security by calling us today on 1300 878 815 to discuss your needs for the upcoming events.