Why is data security important? 

Unlike any other, the virtual space is where data protection is most important. Cyber threats are common in every digital space and when we talk about virtual and hybrid event planning, safeguarding your environment for all attendees and stakeholders is the most critical. Since attendees connect from various geographical locations on different networks, there are increased chances many of them may not have a secure network. Several attendees connect through wireless hotspots which are not safe, or even use weak network credentials. All these contribute towards creating an unsafe environment for virtual events.  

Why is data security gaining more importance today?  

Cyber threats are a live and immediate threat primarily due to the digital footprint we leave behind and all of the transactions we conduct (financial or otherwise). When you add the context of events, where your data is shared with several channels involved in the event journey, there is potential for many vulnerabilities. This issue is now gaining more attention due to the rapid adoption of remote work culture, frequent and longer streaming of video conferences, and growing popularity of virtual events.   

Interesting fact: According to Forbes, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a 1000% exponential rise in the frequency of virtual and hybrid events. And so, data protection becomes all the more important. 

Role of a good event tech platform 

A reputed event tech platform has a dedicated team that looks after the data security aspect – good data stewards. Having the right technical team with a cyber security overview can protect you from malicious cyber activities and other data threats. Since events involve so many people coming together on a single platform, it’s helpful if a dedicated technical team has controls and prevents any unauthorized access or leakage. Furthermore, such a team can implement solutions or safety nets for unsafe networks or device connections. A good event tech platform not just takes care of the above-mentioned aspects, they also present guidance for best practices.  

Additionally, if you want to know how to attract sponsors for your next event, check out Eventcombo’s 5-step guide.  

Laws and regulations on data protection 

According to The World Bank ID4D, data protection is a 360-degree approach to a system that includes safeguarding technical, legal, and administrative aspects. This is crucial in order to protect user data, along with users’ right to privacy. Since in a virtual setting hundreds or thousands of individuals come together from different networks and geographical locations, they must be aware of how their collected data may be used.  

  1. Collecting ‘minimum necessary’ data: Personal data of event attendees must only be collected where it is required, as it creates a threat to privacy. It’s also important to avoid unnecessary collection of data. Data collected should be bare minimum, only to fulfil an intended purpose.  
  2. Data usage and collection: Consent should be requested from an individual before collecting and using their personal data. Also, the data should be collected and used on the basis of contractual importance, legal obligations, and protection of public or any legitimate interest. 
  3. Storage timeline: Data collected should not be stored for longer than necessary. This also includes transactional metadata. People should be informed on how long their data will be kept with the organization.  
  4. Transparency, fairness, and accuracy: Data collection and its usage should be done in a fair manner. Furthermore, the collected data should be up to date and analysed for inaccuracies.  
  5. Respecting user privacy: Overall, privacy by design should work towards empowering users, making it user-centric. Organizations should have appropriate measures in place to protect the interest of individuals and provide user-friendly options.  

According to the US Consumer Data Privacy Laws a company should take consent from a user, asking if they may share or further sell the data to any third party. It is not a user’s responsibility to spend hours on opting out of private data collection whenever they use any service. The laws further indicate that a company should collect only what is required and not anything more.  

Improving data security during virtual events  

Network Protection  

It is a common observation that most cyber-attacks are aimed at networks, since almost all company meetings, webinars, and meetups happen there. Often, these networks are not protected, especially in case of a private connection, giving hackers the opportunity to access your computer, data, and other sensitive information.  

Track and monitor all event activities 

It is important to keep a track of all the activities during virtual event sessions. These activities might be related to software, tools, networks, and connections. Many event tech platforms offer tools to track any kind of malicious activity. These are usually a part of the package that you have opted to host your virtual meetup. Otherwise, there are also separate tools to monitor such activities.   

Keeping track of all cybersecurity measures 

If you are hosting a small virtual get-together with your friends, chances are slim that you will be opting for an event tech platform. But if you are a part of an online concert, webinar or any bigger virtual/hybrid event, it is important to make people understand the importance of cybersecurity measures. Ask questions to your event planners about all the necessary security steps they will take towards data protection in a virtual space. Any event tech platform should go above and beyond to protect all the attendees who are or will be a part of the virtual event.   

Are you searching for a great event tech platform? Here are the USPs you must look for!