Cyber Security: Is Your Event Protected?

With so much information being shared at meetings, conventions, incentive programs and special events (e.g., attendee information, attendee email connected to shared Wi-Fi, presentation content shared through Audio-Visual equipment, etc.), are you taking the proper measures to ensure your event is protected? To empower our clients to answer this question and provide greater detail on this topic, we collaborated with Sean Donahoo, CEO of Disruptive Solutions, a Hosts Global strategic partner, to share the following information all event planners to should know about cyber security.

Risk check: Here are 5 sample questions a meeting/event planner should ask themselves during the planning process to ensure their meeting is free from cyber risk:

  • Have I considered what a cyber security incident would do to the reputation of my company, event and client?
  • Do I know the security practices of my vendors, specifically technology vendors?
  • Are my technology vendors securing the services they are providing (e.g., use of encryption, strong passwords and security assessments)?
  • Do I know the potential cyber security threat of my venue, clients or attendees?
  • Is security being prioritized over my event design, form and function?

Have you said “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions?
If so, here’s what Disruptive Solutions recommends and provides as a solution:

  1. Assessment of your overall event or conference risk potential by examining three areas:
    1. Industry – What does the industry of the company hosting the event offer/have that people want? What does this industry do that people want to disrupt (i.e. hacktivism)?
    2. Venue – Is the event venue a soft target (i.e. weak security – physical or cyber)? Are there any parallel threats (e.g., protests, or competitor conferences in same destination)?
    3. VIPs/Keynote Speakers – Is there participation from any personas that carry a message people may want to suppress?
  2. Based on information gathered in the risk assessment, Disruptive Solutions recommends a tailored, on-site event solution that includes active cyber security and threat monitoring during your event. Support should not end there. Post-event reporting needs to addresses all event security details, incidents and future recommendations to strengthen risk avoidance.

This type of service is a fixed-price that is calculated based on the events risk level, length of event, size/complexity of venue and number of attendees. We find that clients sleep easier by avoiding cyber risk and protecting their meeting content and attendees connectivity/experience by spending a fraction of your conference service bill for proactive security measures. Want to learn more? Contact us to integrate cyber security in your next event.

Until then, utilize these tips from the pros at Disruptive Solutions:

  • Include security in your event planning process from the beginning
  • Start asking your technology vendors about their security processes early on by:
    1. Adding necessary items like “encryption” and “daily rolling passwords” into your IT/network provider Request for Proposals (RFPs).
    2. Require conference mobile application and website providers to show proof of security testing and requirements.
  • Don’t solely rely on your IT, network or internet providers to cover event cyber security. Unless they have a dedicated security specialist to service your event, their primary focus is likely bandwidth and connectivity, not active threat monitoring during your event.

Plan boldly & brilliantly

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