Cybersecurity has become a paramount concern in today’s digital age, especially in the events industry.

With more events engaging online and through digital comms, plus world events posing additional cybersecurity threats, it’s crucial that event organizations understand the vulnerabilities they may face and how to mitigate them.

The Current Landscape

The World Economic Forum has listed cybersecurity failure among the top global risks. This points to an urgent need for organizations to bolster cybersecurity measures, particularly when hosting or participating in events.

Typical cybersecurity threats include ransomware, business email compromises, spear phishing, mass data leaks, and inadequacies in security tools. A particularly alarming factor is the average 287 days required to detect and control a data breach.

This underlines the necessity for event organizations to adopt a proactive stance in safeguarding their networks and systems.

Vulnerabilities in Events

Events, whether virtual or in person, can pose various cybersecurity risks. Here are some vulnerabilities to watch out for:

Remote Workers: As more employees work remotely, using their own devices and networks, the risk of security breaches increases. These devices may lack proper security measures, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.

Vendors and Technology Companies: Vendors, venues, and technology companies pose a risk if they do not have robust network security. Before engaging with these entities, organizations should assess their security protocols and look at, for example, whether they have ISO 27001 – the international standard for information security. Its framework requires organizations to identify information security risks and select appropriate controls to tackle them. 

Spear-Phishing Emails: Cybercriminals often use spear-phishing emails to launch attacks. These seemingly legitimate emails trick recipients into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious software. It could look as though a genuine email from someone such as your event director but be something much worse.

Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities to Watch Out for in Events

Mitigation Measures

To reduce the risk of cyberattacks, organizations should take the following steps:

  1. Frequent Password Changes: It is a basic step but often overlooked. Regularly updating passwords can help prevent unauthorized access.
  2. Secure Devices: Ensure that all devices used by employees, especially those working remotely, are secure and have appropriate network security measures in place.
  3. Vetting Software and Vendors: Assess the security protocols of software and vendors before engagement.
  4. Employee Training: Equip employees with knowledge to recognize and respond to cyber threats.
  5. Protection Against Ransomware: Implement measures to guard against ransomware attacks, which can cripple operations and lead to significant financial losses.
  6. Remove Departing Employee Access: Revoke system access promptly when an employee leaves the organization.
  7. Cybersecurity Assessments: Conduct regular assessments to identify and address any cybersecurity gaps.
  8. Incident Response Planning: Develop a comprehensive plan outlining how your organization will respond to a cyber attack.
  9. Network Security Measures: Implement measures such as patching systems, installing antivirus software, performing backups with encryption, implementing multifactor authentication, reviewing user accounts, disabling unused ports, implementing email security measures, network segmentation, and continuous user training.

Since breaches are more a matter of “when” than “if” for every organization, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and proactive in strengthening cybersecurity measures.

By understanding potential vulnerabilities and taking steps to mitigate them, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

Download our guide to help you understand the potential cybersecurity risks to your events and how to mitigate them.  You can also download our Network Security Checklist for free.

Contact us to learn more about cyber threats, how to safeguard your organization, and what to do in case of an attack. We have a team of experienced cybersecurity experts who can answer your questions and provide guidance on staying safe.

With the right measures in place, your organization can rest assured that it is well-equipped to protect itself against cybersecurity risks.