In this fast-paced global business environment, the event industry has also been quite affected by the growing rate of Internet adoption and technological advancements, particularly in the areas of performance optimisation, product and service offering. Moreover, this is evident by the new roles that keep emerging within the event workplace.
As event professionals are intently focused on improving the overall experience for their attendees, this sought-after goal has resulted in the frequent incorporation of technology for assisting with gathering valuable data. Companies are more and more interested in information regarding their attendees’ profiles, venue & location facts, social media exposure, feedback, etc.
With technology, connectivity and innovation on the rise, we see various means for greater engagement and impact coming to the surface. Bespoke apps, wearable technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions and Intelligence Amplification (IA) are only a few indicative examples of how pioneering technologies have immersed into our business.
The weight of such technological advancements falls upon both attendees and event professionals. In more detail, attendees can nowadays enjoy fully customised and unique experiences throughout the event’s life cycle, whereas event professionals are able to measure ROI more accurately and analyse data for making the right decisions concerning their future activities.
This rise of innovative solutions highlights a notable increase in data capture, however, it also harbours hazardous risks. From 3rd party data exploitation, to data exchanges and exponential numbers of entry points into networks due to the explosion of Internet of Things (IOT), event professionals are now facing more complex challenges for securing their events and audiences from cyber attacks (see the different types of hackers and what you should expect from each one in Part II).
As this type of conduct falls well within the ‘cyber crime’ category, it should be addressed as an issue of higher importance at the earliest stages of event planning and production.
Combating cyber risks is actually a non-stop process, as there is a constant trickle of intrusions happening throughout the event’s life-cycle (from initial registrations during the pre-event phase to social media interaction during the post-event phase). It goes without saying that these threats vary from ‘simple’ event data breaches to high-scale system attacks and potential acts of terrorism.
Looking at the ever-growing shift to digital innovation and further incorporation of technology, the risk of obtaining sensitive information through online security breaches will keep growing if safeguards and strict security measures are not in place. Ultimately, event professionals are required to assure that their events are secure, as cyber security is becoming more and more a big part of their responsibilities.
For staying ahead of the game, it becomes critical to implement a data security strategy to protect your event’s data, your customers’ and attendees’ data as well as secure all 3rd parties transactions. These are some key questions event professionals need to have clear answers to, before mapping out and deploying a concrete event cyber security strategy:
- Is your event at risk?
- Is your event secured?
- Where are your event’s vulnerabilities spotted?
- Would you know what to do in case of a cyber-attack?