The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, an IBM study suggests. If the average breach costs that much, it should be unsettling enough for every organization to consider its cybersecurity protocols carefully.

The events industry has benefited a lot since the advent of the internet. Event professionals are always looking for ways to make the attendee experience better: and technology has often been at hand to provide that extra edge. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the integration of tech into event management, with web-based event management software taking a leading role in the industry.

More tech, however, has come with an insidious side-effect: cybercrime. As more businesses move towards remote services because of the pandemic, an increasing number of individuals see this as an opportunity to make quick cash. Cybernews states that the activity in hacker forums and websites shot up by 66% in March alone last year. Verizon reports that a whopping 86% of security breaches were financially motivated.

But should event management software companies be concerned as well?

Cloud-based event management software organizations have to. Here’s a real-life example of what can happen: Peatix, an event management platform, came under attack in November 2020. Data belonging to over 4.2 million users was leaked on various hacker groups as well as Instagram and Telegram, ZDNet reports. Sensitive information like full names, emails, and passwords belonging to people mostly of Asian descent was publicly available, the tech news company said.

Importance of Cybersecurity in the Events Industry

As the technology companies and individuals use in daily life progresses, the hacker’s arsenal also grows with it. The more personal data a company collects (something almost unavoidable in the events industry), the more it exposes itself to targeted cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is vital in protecting individuals from identity theft, personal safety risks, and other malpractices.

Cybersecurity is also crucial to avoid losses to the company. Companies spend millions of dollars in damages due to hacks and breaches. Smaller companies may not even survive the impact of getting breached since the company has to pay for fines, data recovery, compensations, among others.

How to Keep Events Companies Cyber Secure

Cybersecurity is already big in 2021 and is expected to grow throughout the rest of the decade. Data is at the core of every event management’s operations, and these files must be kept secure. Some of the methods that can help boost the security of consumer data include:

              • Encryption of sensitive material sent over the internet. For sensitive data such as user names, passwords, and credit card information, SSL certification is essential to make sure the data is not compromised on its way to the recipient.
              • Practicing proper password management by using strong passwords and storing them in a secure, encrypted place.
              • Protection of user data within the servers using technical tools like data encryption, firewalls, and antivirus software.
              • Raising awareness of how to avoid phishing and other social engineering hacking methods.
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