In the world of event planning, where attention to detail is key, cybersecurity and data privacy often take a back seat and can expose event planners and their clients to significant threats. Here are the top five often-neglected threats that every event planner should be aware of:
1. Weak Wi-Fi Security: If you rely on your venue’s public Wi-Fi, you could be putting your event at risk. These networks are a breeding ground for cyber threats and prime targets for hackers looking to intercept sensitive data, like your client information and attendee credit card details. Add the small cost of secure Wi-Fi to the budget and secure your event with encrypted and password-protected access.
2. Vendor Vulnerabilities: On any given event, you will collaborate with many different vendors, and these partners may not have the same data protection measures in place. Ask them how they handle and secure your data as part of your planning conversations. It’s your right to safeguard your information. This is particularly applicable to venues, AV and registration providers.
3. Neglecting Physical Security: While digital threats are a significant concern, physical security often goes unnoticed. Leaving laptops or documents containing sensitive information unattended can lead to data breaches. Create simple “laptop security protocols and ensure that event staff are trained to protect physical assets.
4. Emailing Data: Event planners collect and manage vast amounts of attendee data, including names, emails, payment and health-related information. Emailing these lists pre-event to staff, registration providers, etc., is common, but emailing them is like putting them in a bag and leaving them outside your door. Never email attendee lists. Adopt a plan to use encryption and password-protect files, keep them on secure drives and do regular data purges.
5. Social Engineering Attacks: Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are using social engineering attacks to gain access to sensitive information. Your team may unknowingly share valuable details through seemingly innocent conversations on email or social media that can put your event at risk for physical theft, event crashing and data hacks. You can train your team to keep a zip-lip policy online pre-event and to keep your clients and your company safe.
I hope these simple tips help you keep your events safe and memorable for all the right reasons. Stay vigilant, stay secure!