Top Tips for Event Security that Prevent Data Breaches

Data breaches are without a doubt one of the biggest threats facing any company with an Internet connection. When news broke of the Equifax breach a massive warning was broadcast to all those willing to listen. Some of the stats regarding the breach are staggering. 143 million Americans who used the credit bureau’s services had their personal and credit information exposed. The breach, which occurred in 2017, was estimated by the company to cost them 1.4 billion USD with this number expected to rise following numerous court cases been brought against Equifax.

The banking and credit sectors were quick to adopt better cybersecurity measures to prevent such breaches from occurring in the future. Other industries were not so quick to adopt security measures and some have now become an easy target for hackers. One of those industries lagging behind is the meetings and events industry. This lax security posture has resulted despite the fact that WiFi and other internet connections for events and meetings in naturally not as secure as corporate networks.

Increasing Security
Despite connections having to be relatively open and not as secure as others, this does not mean that nothing can be done to prevent data breaches. In fact, in providing temporary internet service for events several tried and tested measures can be adopted. Before instituting what measures to incorporate it is equally important to know why a hacker would look to intrude on a meeting or event.

In the case of meetings, the end goal of the hacker may be identity theft of corporate espionage. Both are still incredibly profitable ventures for hackers. Identity theft should be a worry from the corporate level to the individual as it is almost impossible to prove, once theft and fraudulent loans are applied for and taken, that it was not the business or the individual that took the loan in the first place.

For events, given the number of attendees and exhibitors, hackers will look to target and steal information. Unsecured connections could lead to hackers getting their hands on attendees’ credit card information. If later traced back to an unsecured connection provided by the events company will result in reputational damage as well as legal liability and an entire host of fines that can be leveled at the company.

Work to Secure Devices
In looking to increase the meeting or events security posture devices must be secure. This means that devices used by the company should have an antivirus package installed on them. Further IT departments need to ensure devices are routinely updated. Also, especially for meetings, where the number of individuals is generally less, it is advised that a password manager is used to generate unique, complex, and secure passwords for each meeting.

For events, such measures could prove to be logistically impossible. Attendees and exhibitors should be informed of the best security practices and well as which networks are safe to connect to. Likewise, the event company should have these networks monitored for intrusions.

Work to Secure Networks
While devices can be secured for meetings, one of the best ways to prevent a data breach at an event is to secure the network. This can be done by providing a hidden network to attendees, along with the network name and password. This is not an absolute measure but can go a long way in preventing attendees from logging into malicious networks that may be running parallel to the secure one.

Ensure Hardware is Physically Secure
An often overlooked security measure is keeping the hardware, such as WiFi routers, physically secure. These can be done as simply as locking a router in a closet or drawer. By preventing physical access to hardware an attack vector is denied to a hacker looking to compromise the network.

The advice is also good for attendees and exhibitors. They should not leave their devices, whether mobile devices or laptops, unattended. Hackers have proven on numerous occasions that a physical device left open and unattended is an effective attack vector to further compromise an entire network.

Cybersecurity continues to be one of the major concerns companies should be looking at improving continually. As technology advances so does the need to secure networks and devices. In many cases, this is not a complex matter but involves the adoption of simple measures to prevent incidents.

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