Cybercrime is expected to cost businesses $6 trillion per year by 2021, according to information security firm Herjavec Group. Victims, however, aren't limited to obvious candidates like banks and retailers. They also include meetings and events.
"There are … many unique information security and privacy threats within the meetings and events industry, including: hackers and other malicious actors on wireless networks; malware being spread through Wi-Fi; and skimmers placed in USB chargers, ATMs, credit-card readers, etc., that exfiltrate data from the devices/cards using them," cybersecurity expert Rebecca Herold, founder and CEO of The Privacy Professor, tells Successful Meetings.
To protect their events and their attendees, Herold says meeting planners should check off every item on the following to-do list:
• If providing Wi-Fi or hardwired network access to the internet or other network, ensure there is a security connection required.
• Implement encryption on the networks provided.
• Ensure USB chargers, ATMs and credit card readers are secured.
• Provide signage or other communications to attendees reminding them of security controls.
• Collect the minimum amount of personal data necessary to support the purposes of the meeting/event.
• Ensure vendors and others attending know that they must implement security controls.
Concludes Herold, "No industry can think that it has no information security or privacy issues that it must address. There are many people involved in the meeting and events industry, which inherently creates many data security and privacy risks that must be mitigated for each and every meeting and event."