Every meeting professional knows the importance of keeping attendees safe during a conference, but today’s always-connected environments require more than a physical security team. From registration kiosks to open Wi-Fi signals to mobile apps and more, every conference generates a mountain of private information that represents a potential goldmine for online thieves.
“Hacking and stealing of data at conferences has been professionalized,” Michael Robinson, CCE, Senior Cyber Threat Analyst & Professor, Stevenson University, told an audience at one of the most packed sessions at the 2015 PCMA Education Conference. “Your attendees are targets.”
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Combatting Cyber Crime
To make sure the meetings industry is prepared to deal with a wave of hackers, PCMA worked with Robinson to create a new cyber security toolkit that outlines everything from securing on-site computer systems to monitoring potential network hacking and more. There is also a customizable checklist to help meeting professionals make sure they and their security partners are taking the right steps to mitigate against the challenges of cyber crime.
“Data breaches have wreaked havoc on major names like Sony, Target and the IRS,” Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP, Senior Vice President, Education and Events, says. “This new resource is designed to make the complexities of IT security easier to understand and empower meeting professionals with the knowledge that will keep their attendees and their organizations better protected.”
Stealing data can be a very big business for thieves. Credit card numbers, medical records, passwords and more — private information can be profitable. As organizations continue to amass loads of numbers, names and email addresses, hackers will continue to look for easy opportunities to steal them, and it’s likely that cyber crime will continue to make headlines in 2016.
“As everyone becomes more aware of the dangers of cyber crime, it’s crucial that meeting professionals take steps to protect attendees and their information,” Peacy says. “This is a crucial time to make sure that your attendees trust your organization. Let them know that their safety — in-person and online — is the top priority.”
Ready to ramp up your cyber security efforts? Click here to download the toolkit, and be sure to use your PCMA credentials to receive a $30 discount.