There’s a lot to consider when it comes to security in today’s fast-growing, interconnected world of event technology. Today’s all-too-frequent media reports about data breaches involving the personal data of millions of people underscore this point. So, it’s important to recognize that today’s security risks could cause major problems, not only to your meetings and events but to your brand. Although it’s challenging to cover every angle in a single blog post, here are a handful of risks event planners shouldn't ignore.
If you’ve ever been on a slow website, you know how frustrating it is. Usually, this happens because websites are poorly designed or operate on inadequate technology. What if your event registration website repeatedly crashes? What if the onsite attendee check-in systems run at a snail’s pace? Attendees get angry. Systems that support your events need to be built with resiliency from the start, not as an afterthought. That way, they'll be able to withstand spikes in usage, provide redundancy, and avoid other conditions that can lead to technical service degradation or downtime.
There are malicious actors intent on inflicting financial and reputational harm or who try to disrupt businesses in any way they can. Many of these hackers specialize in orchestrating denial of service attacks and web defacements against high-profile websites. They also specialize in discovering and taking advantage of security weaknesses that may expose sensitive information and personal data. Therefore, it’s important to have robust technical security controls to safeguard your event technology. That way, you can prevent hackers from stealing event and attendee data, disrupting your event, or harming your reputation.
Today, more and more laws and regulations apply to how event and attendee data is collected, processed, and secured. Given that non-compliance with data privacy and security standards may lead to hefty financial penalties or loss of customer trust, you don’t want your event procedures and technology solutions to be out of compliance. Have you evaluated whether they are PCI compliant (so that they safely process credit cards)? How about whether they adhere to other common security certification or accreditation frameworks, like SOC 1 / SOC 2 or ISO 27001? (And if you aren’t familiar with these frameworks, check out this blog post).
Using outdated technology exposes your event to the risks of downtime and hackers. Though it may be expensive and time-consuming, make sure that your event technology is well maintained with the latest versions of software and security patches. Doing so reduces the chances of a disruptive security incident that can lead to reputational and financial harm and improves performance and resiliency of the technology solutions that power your event.
Many event technology providers don’t have the resources to proactively guard against the risks described above. Many don't actively monitor for security threats and provide an adequate response to potential incidents before, during, and even after your event. As in sports, a good offense is often built around a strong and responsive defense. So, it’s important to evaluate the monitoring and incident response capabilities across your event technology solutions and service providers.
In the event technology ecosystem, being aware of these security risks and taking steps to manage is critical. Be sure to keep these risks in mind as you plan and carry out your event. Demand a higher level of security competency from your event partners and vendors. It may make the difference between a successful event and a catastrophic one.
Want more? Check out Event Security is Now More Important Than Ever.