“In 2015, there were 38% more security incidents detected than in 2014” as reported by PwC, The Global State of Information Security. And that number may continue to grow unless privacy and security becomes a bigger priority for the events industry.
As event professionals, we are often more concerned about the participant experience (hotel accommodations, meeting room setup, and food and beverage) than we are thoughtful about participant personal data. As a former corporate event planner, I’m guilty. I spent more time anticipating client’s onsite needs, ensuring the speaker was comfortable with the room set, and securing space with natural light, then I considered information security.
It was a naive approach. I guess I assumed it wasn’t my responsibility or that my infosec team was diligent, even though I played a role in sourcing new event management systems or mobile apps. A decade later now at SpotMe, the trusted event app platform and global app partner for high-stakes events, it’s quite the opposite and the app is an integral part of the digital event experience.
Event professionals from Intel, PwC, Red Hat, SAP, Novartis, and Roche rely on SpotMe to not only drive ideation, networking, team building, strategy rollouts, and education, but also to provide the highest level of data protection. Security reviews, rigorous questionnaires, and penetration tests are part of everyday enterprise conversations and in 2016 alone, we have completed more than 60 security assessments with our Fortune 500 clients. I see first hand how event professionals, who can speak the language and understand the challenges, have a strategic role in their organizations and are prepared for the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Answer the following questions to gauge how proficient you are, and if you can’t answer these questions, keep reading to find out how you can start to make your data systems more secure.
Today protection of attendees extends beyond physical threats, it’s our responsibility to protect attendees from cyber attacks and identity theft. Familiarize yourself with the language, hazards, and measures to mitigate risk. Address data privacy and data security as distinct issues, and disclose your data privacy efforts to your participants.
A tasteless meal, a horrid speaker, or distrustful sleep can be forgotten, but a security breach can have more lasting consequences for your participants and your organization.