At this point in the digital age, it’s not if you’re going to get hacked, it’s when. Still, you should be doing all that you can to make your meeting a little less hackable. Here are five things you might want to reconsider.
1. Posting your Wi-Fi password all over the event.
Yes, it’s an easy and convenient way to make sure everyone participating in the event knows the code, but you’re also giving complete strangers access to the code. Try instead including the password in registration papers. Make it something easy to remember so that guests can easily share it among themselves, but discourage them from sharing it with people outside the event. And whatever you do, don’t just make it an open Wi-Fi network—anything is better than an open network.
2. Letting speakers plug in unknown flash drives into your system.
Again, we know this is a major inconvenience, but flash drives could potentially pass along malware that disguised as legitimate software. Be up front with your speakers about the situation and ask that they clear their flash drives of any materials that aren’t pertinent to their presentations. You can also set up a virus scanner in a back room before the presentation begins.
3. Allowing staff to download new software.
No excuses. Even if it is only Spotify or something innocuous, your staff members should refrain from downloading software onto your systems. Avoid the potential passing of malware at all costs. Worst case, put an administrator password on your devices to ensure that no downloads can be made without your permission.
4. Not educating yourself on the issue.
There are hundreds of conferences solely dedicated to teaching meeting organizers the importance of cyber security at their events. Put it in your budget to go to one.
5. Thinking it will never happen at your event.
It’s easy to think that the odds of your event being hacked are low, but sadly in today’s world you just never know. So better safe than sorry—do all that you can to protect your event. Understand what sensitive materials need extra protection. Have a plan in place in case something does happen. You’ll be happier when nothing does.