This article was previously published by BeaconLive and is republished here with permission because IACET deemed it to be a resource that is relevant to IACET stakeholders.
Virtual events have become commonplace for most companies because they conveniently and cost-effectively provide on-demand access to employees and customers. However, while virtual events make access easier for attendees, event planners also need to be aware of cybersecurity threats that could impact their company and event attendees.
Hosting a virtual event has many benefits as it allows a wider range of audience members to enjoy the special event compared to in-person meetings. However, in today’s online world, event managers need to consider security solutions to ensure their upcoming events are as safe and effective as possible.
Let’s take a look at how event planners can host a safe event with the right webinar provider to ensure their online event goes without an incident response or other hiccups along the way.
The more popular virtual events have become, the more that security professionals have seen hackers starting to try and hack webinars and online events.
As event planners begin to build their virtual event’s risk management plan, they need to include a security plan that will protect the integrity of the webinar while also addressing potential threat intelligence risks.
If you are planning a virtual event, here are 8 ways you can build a security program into your upcoming event to ensure your virtual event goes smoothly.
Most security leaders agree that one of the top security concerns for event organizers of online events is protecting event content during a presentation to prevent hackers from causing mayhem throughout the event.
Sadly, it is all too common for webinar content to be stolen by hackers and even competitors, and showing a URL during a stream can provide easy access for additional issues throughout the event. The privileged information is then spread worldwide on the internet, usually without proper credit and sometimes without the owner even knowing about it.
According to security personnel, the best way to address this problem is by hiding your video or streaming URL. This helps to prevent unwanted sharing of videos of your virtual event content. Additionally, by taking this step, you will be in control of who accesses your event, and they can’t do so without your knowledge.
Choosing the right platform will ultimately play a major part in defining your virtual event’s success. First, you need to choose a platform that offers security solutions for your attendees and guests. Whether you are hosting a hybrid event, virtual conference, or webinar, it is important that you choose a platform that will meet your specific needs.
In general, you will want to look for a platform that has solid accessibility features, an experienced development team, and a security team that actively monitors your event so you and your staff can focus on providing great content. Beyond that, you will want to choose a reputable platform that comes with good reviews and a user-friendly experience.
It is critical to remind your guests about best practices in security before your special event starts. You can send an email at the time of participant registration or consider a reminder at the start of your presentation or while guests are in the waiting rooms. Since humans are typically the weakest link in any security plan, you should take time to provide reminders and tips to help your attendees stay safe throughout the event.
Some points that you will want to cover include not sharing screens during the event, having the latest security updates on the devices they use for your event, not giving out their email to other attendees, and not accepting any unsolicited chat requests from suspicious parties.
It is important to monitor the guests of your virtual event because you could find attendees who you did not invite, impacting the quality of your services. The best way to do this is to have a dedicated security team checking who is attending the event to ensure only invited guests are part of the online meeting.
Make sure your security professionals are also monitoring for disruptive behavior and foul language and make corrective actions as needed to remove people who are causing issues throughout the event.
You can always use password-protected meetings to improve the security of your events. However, it is best to go a step further and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for added security. This is actually really easy to do with the right event management software, so make sure you check that your event platform comes with proper cybersecurity tools and other security services to enhance your online events.
You can improve the online security of special events by implementing a waiting room where online attendees need to wait before joining the webinar or online event. This waiting room adds an additional layer of cybersecurity protection because your staff and online security personnel will be able to screen guests before they are allowed to participate in the event.
In addition to overseeing guests before they join your webinar or online meeting, the waiting room also gives your team additional tools to determine who should be allowed to attend different presentations of the event based on their credentials. This is just another example of how a waiting room can help you complete a successful event with fewer security threats along the way.
Screen sharing at online events can pose several security risks. For one thing, it puts the participant who is sharing the screen at risk of jeopardizing their own information. Another problem with screen sharing is that it is just one way that your content can end up on the internet, broadcast to the world where you will have no control over it.
The best thing to do is simply turn off the screen sharing feature for your attendees to address this issue. This prevents any unwanted sharing that could damage your event, or its attendees.
Exclusivity can be a great tool when marketing your virtual event. Not only does exclusivity actually boost interest in many cases, but it also qualifies the attendees. This means that the people who end up attending your event will be people who should be there.
Use targeted marketing instead of broader measures that can attract people who have bad intentions, such as hackers.
If you want to have a successful virtual event, start by choosing a platform that will provide security for both your attendees and your virtual content. Providing security online is the best way to build trust with your online audience.
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