Data Security in Events: Why It Should Be an Organizer’s Top Priority
How data security can make or break your event
In 2021, there was a 50% increase in cyber attacks as an attempt to steal people’s data. The trend has unfortunately affected many industries, including the event industry. In planning events, sometimes we do not realize that we are handling a gold mine full of attendees data. But with the increasing attack, we should start being more careful in managing it.
Once data falls to the wrong hands, the consequences can be catastrophic for your event - you can lose your audiences’ trust, or worse, endangering their privacy. But, why exactly is data security so important? How do we ensure data security? Let’s dive into it.
Events and Data Security Comes Hand in Hand
Data security has always been a concern in various industries, including the MICE. However, once the pandemic came, we had to innovate new ways to overcome the challenges it presented - namely physical gathering restriction - by connecting people through the digital platforms. But with it, comes a new risk.
Digitally-powered events open up a new opportunity for organizers to gather event data. With the right tool, organizers can get way beyond just basic information.
We are left with a double-edged sword. On one hand, organizers can use the data as a reference for future events. But on the other hand, the voluminous amount of personal data you hold in your hands can seem tempting for some: cyber threats and data breaches are now the real peril to your event.
When Cyber Threats Turn to Cyber Attacks
In the first six months of 2019, Forbes found that data breaches have exposed a total of 4.1 billion records. The number is certainly surprising, especially when 3.2 billion of those records were exposed in just 8 breaches. With each data breach, people are left feeling vulnerable - privacy exposed, facing the risk of identity theft, or even financial loss.
The largest data breach to ever happen at an event was in 2015, namely at Linux Australia Conference where users’ full name, phone number, and even their addresses was obtained by attackers. If we don’t double down our efforts for data security now, we can endanger our attendees and ourselves as organizers.
How to Ensure Your Attendees’ Data Is Secure
Now that we know the urgency behind ensuring data security, we must pay more attention to it when planning an event. How do we make sure that our event data is secure?
Minimize the collection of unnecessary data
It might be tempting to collect every information possible on your attendees. However, too much data can also mean scattered data that has no real use to enhance their experience or to help you plan your next event.
It also heightened the risk of the data breach threat. Having more information can seem enticing to others with bad intentions, so make sure to only collect the necessary data for your event.
Establish a good policy
Who has access to your attendees’ data? What measures do you take to ensure their data protection? It’s important for you to set clear restrictions and limitations for access. Better yet, keep it limited to only a number of trusted people in your team to avoid any leak of information.
For better understanding on how to create a better policy to protect your most valuable data, you can refer to ISO 27001, the leading international standard on information security. Jublia has also just recently obtained our ISO 27001 certification to better protect our clients’ data.
Transparency to your attendees
Transparency is important to gain your attendees’ trust. Make sure they know that their data is collected, including the purpose of the data collection and who gets to access their data.
Train your team
Once your policy is established, time to make sure your staff is up to the task. You can ensure this by training them how to handle data, how to secure the data, and how to share it within the team. During the training period, it’s best to reiterate the restrictions and limitations just to ensure that only certain people have access to the data.
Make sure you’re working with partners who prioritize data security too
You have now done all you can to ensure data security, but it’s not just all up to you. Your partners, such as your tech providers, are going to have access to your event data too. So be sure to discuss your data security policy and listen to theirs. A good tech provider will be able to provide you with a transparent and detailed explanation on how they handle data - even better when they can prove it through certification and lengthy experience to convince you.
Another important thing to lookout for in a tech provider is one that goes through a regular vulnerability assessment and penetration test schedule to ensure that they stay in tip top security posture.
At Jublia, Your Data Security is Our Top Priority
With almost a decade of experience as an engagement hub, Jublia has empowered various digitally powered live events all over the world. We are honored to be trusted to handle our clients’ event data. However, no systems can ensure 100% security, thus, we make sure that we go through regular Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) and obtain our ISO 27001 certification by following its standards and for a better security posture. We won’t stop there, we will always find more ways to improve and innovate along the way.