The virtual format to carry out all kind of events stars the new normality since the irruption of the Covid-19. Conferences, webinars, work meetings, fairs, trade events, etc., have been digitized, becoming virtual or hybrid events. It has been a breakthrough and the solution to respond to current needs, but beware of cyber-risk! In this article we will talk about cybersecurity in online events. We must be conscious of its importance -if we are not yet- and be prepared to avoid cyber-attacks and their consequences. Because they can affect, both attendees to expose their personal data, and organizers, damaging their reputation and causing serious economic losses.
If when events were face-to-face cybersecurity was already important, due to the simple fact of having some parts digitized, now it is even more so. Many companies have become users of live streaming platforms for their events without valuing what platforms, features, and actions they should conduct to minimize the cyber-risk.
What should we watch to take care of cybersecurity?
Threats are various, managements like the online registration process, the use of an app for the event, and the sending of e-mailings, are examples of vulnerable hotspots for cybercriminals. Even videocalls that are so widely used in the day-to-day life of most work environments, however harmless they may seem, can pose a risk.
Cybersecurity in online events must take special care to protect important private data such as: bank accounts, employee or assistant data, personal and/or work passwords, and any confidential information.
According to recent studies, more than 90% of cyber-attacks are carried out through e-mail. The most common fraud in this sense is known as “phishing”, which consists of impersonating the identity of an organization and deceiving its users by requesting them confidential data (like banking).
Recommendations to take care of cybersecurity in online events
Analyze the risks of the event
Firstly, we need to be clear about what we need to protect, what data is going to be at stake and where it is. Only if we analyze the risks well, we will be prepared for possible cyber-attacks. It seems obvious, but sometimes the simplest or most logical things are what we overlook.
Protect the access to the event
Whether if the online event in question is a conference, a meeting, a webinar, etc., its access must be protected. It is recommended that the password be at least 8-10 characters and that I combine letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. And of course, this password is only shared with the people/users who will access the event.
Reduce the online data
If we minimize the data that is handled in an online event, logically, we will reduce the amount of data that can be lost. One of the recommendations in this line is to integrate all the digital platforms to use in a single system protected with a single password.
Protect the connection network
Some of the cybernetic attacks occur in connection networks because they are unprotected. In cases where the ISP does not take the appropriate measures, cybercriminals can hack the network connection, and thus have access to the connected devices and their connection session. So, protect your network connection to avoid this simple and common cyber-attack. In addition, with the help of tools specially designed to monitor virtual activities or events, you can control the devices and the network connection during their broadcast.
Value cybersecurity as well as organizer
If the organizers of the event do not value cybersecurity as much as the person responsible, we have a problem. Make sure they treat the issue with the importance it deserves, implementing the necessary strategies to protect all the data of the users of the event. All the organizers and staff of the company that is involved in the event should receive the relevant training in cybersecurity, to have controlled the risks and protocols to follow.
Communicate good cybersecurity practices to users
Some of the recommendations we have mentioned can be included in a communication addressed to the attendees/users of the event. In this way, we will warn them of the possible cyber-attacks that may occur if they do not consider them. We must remind them of the importance of having a firewall and antivirus on their devices and tell them to avoid using public networking. If tickets or registrations to the event are sold only at an “X” price and through the website of the event, we must include it in the communication, because a cyber-attack can consist of creating another online space to sell fraudulent tickets.
It will be key to use a suitable language that conveys peace of mind and confidence, as it is a delicate issue that can convey the opposite if we fail in the way of communicating it. The safety of the attendees and that they perceive this feeling will be decisive for the success of the event.
Choose well the platform of online events
This point will be crucial. Choosing the right digital platform means that, apart from technically meeting the required needs, we make sure that your security system is robust, as well as that it conforms to the data regulations in force at the time. In addition, our digital platform provider should perform the necessary system checks before starting the event.
And so far, our recommendations. Do you feel more prepared to control the cybersecurity of online events? We hope it helped you!