The Connection Between Virtual Events and Cyber Security
While the complexity of virtual events increases along with the choice of virtual event platforms out there in the market, event planners and exhibitors can keep the following in mind while picking their event format and virtual event platform.
1. Cybersecurity is everybody's responsibility: the event planner, the event platform provider, exhibitor, sponsor, delegate as well as attendee. Provide a list of do and don'ts and best practices to all participants. If you don't have one, a good virtual event platform provider should be able to provide that checklist to you. Share a code of conduct and maintain the ability to eject anyone from the event who does not adhere to that. Although this might seem rigid in the beginning, it can save the virtual event from embarrassing moments ( picture the zoombombing cases) or a security threat. It is not a bad idea to keep the exchange of personal information between event participants consent-based.
2. Ask your event software provider about their information security/data protection capabilities. Vendors that have a GDPR compliant offerings will tend to be relatively more secure than the ones that don't. Do they use SSL encryption? What cloud security measures do their hosting provider use? Do they offer shared or dedicated hosting? If you are hosting a virtual event let's say in Europe, can they host the data specifically inside Europe? How do they monitor system uptime status and abnormal load? What security services exist within the platform that offer early detection and blocking of network security issues or potential data breaches?
3. Mobile event apps can be great from an engagement perspective, but keep in mind that they are also particularly vulnerable to malware.
4. Cybersecurity starts from the time you send out the invites for event registration. If the registration process takes the registrant to different sites to make a payment, complete their registration, etc. ensure that those connections and hand-offs are secure. Automation and integrations are important but sometimes it might be a good idea to limit the number of integrations. If you are hosting a GDPR compliant virtual event, it is important to ensure that all the associated controllers and processors are also GDPR compliant. Personalize all communications and make sure that the registrant is informed that the links and the communications are not to be shared with anyone else. Individual links and communications also help in tracking and isolating later if required.
5. Hackers use social engineering to hack into systems and steal information. While personalized emails and links are good steps towards securing your online event, adding Two-Factor Authentication makes it more secure. Two-Factor Authentication requires two pieces of evidence to prove one's identity. e.g., login access will need security code sent on email plus security code sent on mobile.
6. Limit the number of presenters and stay in control of who can access what. You can control what attendees can gain access to - video rooms, chats, polls, QNA, etc. based on their ticket type. It's a good idea to have a meeting host or moderator inside public breakout rooms to maintain protocol and prevent the leakage of any sensitive information. By default, mute all attendee’s microphones and allow cameras only if manually enabled. If you have a social media wall built inside your virtual event exercise some due diligence on how it can be accessed and what can be posted.
7. Always pre-register the event so that you know in advance who is attending and avoid last-minute random attendees. Lockdown the time of the live event, agenda items, ticket types, speaker list, etc. well in advance. Use unique and encrypted links for all participants that expire after usage.
As the virtual event industry continues to grow it becomes more lucrative for hackers who are also growing smarter by the day. Observing some due diligence while planning your next event and choosing your virtual event platform carefully might take a few more hours or days but save you a whole lot of trouble later if anything goes wrong. Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org for more ideas and best practices on securing your next virtual 3D event!
All-in-one virtual & hybrid event platform, that allows event planners to host branded immersive events. EventEngage covers all virtual & hybrid event requirements from registration microsite, EDM , payment integration, registration workflow, agenda, virtual lobby, virtual expo hall, virtual booth, live chat poll & QNA, live & recorded streaming, translations, business card, real time analytics & more
Copyright © 2021 EventEngage LLC. All rights reserved.