5 Tips for Protecting Yourself From Cyberattacks

By Matt Swenson, May 15, 2017

Michael Owen, managing partner at EventGenuity LLC, sums up the vulnerability we all have to cyberattacks like the ongoing global ransomware crisis on a daily basis: “Convenience is the enemy of security.” In the world of the Internet of Things—where car keys, refrigerators, microwaves and even electric wheelchairs are vulnerable to hackers—business travelers are perhaps the most at risk.

Consider these facts:
> Airports acknowledge their wireless systems are not secure.
> Data swipers have victimized Uber customers.
> Public USB ports in hotels and convention centers can’t be fully protected.
> The basic idea of having insurance is a source of public debate.

Despite these details, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself, or an attendee, to give up things now considered essential—we all need to charge our devices, after all. The key is to minimize risks. “You can’t prevent everything,” acknowledges MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, CMP, CMM, who, like Owen, regularly leads conference education sessions on security. Implement the duo’s five tips to minimize your personal cybersecurity risk—your data will thank you.

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Bobrow says 16 years after 9/11, and 11 years since Hurricane Katrina, more than 50 percent of the planners she works with still don’t have an emergency plan. “It’s not sexy,” she says of security. That makes cybersecurity education sessions, in particular, a tough sell to attendees. But Bobrow and Owen say they’re worth it, not only to learn how vulnerable you are, but also how to protect attendees at your events.

2. SET PRIORITIES.

Because you can’t (and shouldn’t plan) for every possible danger, Bobrow suggests planning contingencies for scenarios most likely to occur. For instance, you probably don’t have to worry about a hurricane in California, but earthquakes, fires and floods are a real concern. Owen notes this philosophy extends to data. What information might hackers be most interested in? The most likely answer is personal information like social security numbers. If you need to have a list with coveted information, place it on a device you won’t plug into a public outlet or connect a USB cable to.

(Visited 155 times, 1 visits today)

A successful meeting planner presents a self-care guide that calls for plenty of “you” time.

Posture, lighting and snacks are part of the ways to maintain wellness at work.

No one wants to waste time during meetings—follow these 5 steps to make your time spent more effective.

Following these six steps to create a zero-waste event.

Adding to your rotation of industry podcasts could take your business to the next level.

The golden formula for all meetings, incentives and event professionals is as simple as SOUP.

Spa isn’t only for incentives anymore—and it doesn’t have to break the budget, either.

Here are four ways to incorporate mindfulness into meetings.

Here are the latest trends to help you combat stress during your workday

Here are our picks for Florida’s best accommodations for meetings, conferences, conventions and retreats.

The best social media practices for meeting planners to engage your event attendees from start to finish

The Latest