Event Data Security in the Digital Age: Protecting Attendees and Insights
Part of running a successful event is making sure that all attendees have a safe and fun experience. As a result, event planners have to take special precautions in protecting event data.
In doing so, they can reduce the risk of malicious attacks from cyber criminals and keep their reputations intact. Nonetheless, event data security isn’t a simple task. It requires a great deal of event management, innovation, and modern technology to keep threat actors from compromising user data.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about event data security so you can avoid a data disaster.
What is Event Data?
Event data is any information you collect from your attendees. This data can include:
- Payment information
- Home addresses
- Phone numbers
- Birth dates
Event managers regularly collect this information to verify event attendees and provide them with a personalized experience. For example, virtual event managers will require attendees to buy tickets online.
To do so, they’ll collect their payment information through a payment gateway like PayPal or Stripe to issue virtual passes. If this data falls into the wrong hands, an unsuspecting person can become a victim of identity theft.
Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of event managers to make sure all event data is safe and secure.
What is Event Data Privacy?
Event data privacy is keeping personally identifiable information (PII) secure. Since many people use the internet to give away their personal information (in exchange for something of value), it’s never been more prevalent to keep this information secure.
In fact, 4,000 new cyberattacks happen every day. This equates to one cyber attack taking place every 14 seconds. Hackers target companies, big and small, to find security vulnerabilities in their data storage.
Therefore, it’s the job of an event manager to stay one step ahead of cyber threats and practice effective event data management techniques to prevent security incidents. Preventing security incidents can be done by effectively incorporating Opsgenie alternative software.
Why is Event Data Privacy Important?
No matter the event, planners collect personal data essential to a person’s livelihood. They’re entitled to have their data rigorously protected to whom they entrust their information.
With that said, here are all the benefits of employing an event data privacy strategy:
- Protect important customer data: You must keep all customer data secure. Practicing event data security protocols will help you fulfill this obligation to your customers.
- Encourage trust: Showing your customers that you care about the security posture of their data is one great way of building a rapport with them.
- Stay compliant with data privacy regulations: Often, you’ll be legally bound to protect event data. Staying compliant with event data privacy regulations can save you the headache of facing legal repercussions.
- Make an Ethical Decision: Your customers trust you can keep their data safe. Neglecting this duty means breaching their trust in your company.
TL;DR: Event data privacy is a requirement that companies must prioritize. With proper event data security in place, you can make your events a safe and exciting place.
Event Data Security: Best Practices
Now that you know the basics of event data security, let’s cover some techniques you can use to keep your customer data safe and secure.
Understand the Legal Requirements
Data privacy has become a serious topic in the 21st century, prompting legislators worldwide to create regulatory standards that keep data collectors in check.
For example, the European Union (EU) has recently passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets strict standards for how people and businesses can collect, store, and process personal data.
On top of that, California, Australia, and Canada have a variety of data privacy laws to regulate data transmission to prevent potential threats. If you serve people in these regions, you should be mindful of these compliance requirements to avoid penalties and legal troubles.
Be sure to consult a lawyer or data protection officer to make sure not only your event but also your communication is compliant with the latest data privacy regulations (i.e. staying on top of GDPR guidelines for email marketing).
Almost all data privacy regulations require companies to tell people what data they’re collecting, why they’re collecting their data, and how it’ll be used.
These policies respect a person’s data privacy rights, keep them informed, and prevent security incidents and advanced threats.
Also, if your security information management process changes, you should reach out to your customers via mass mailing to keep them informed about the updates.
Only Collect the Data You Need
To reduce the risk of security threats, you should only collect the information you need to run a successful event. This process is called data minimization, or simply the process of only collecting the necessary data.
For example, if you’re running a virtual concert, you may only need to collect names and email addresses. However, collecting phone numbers and social security numbers is likely unnecessary.
Reducing the data you collect from customers can limit the impact of a data breach and other malicious activities. On top of that, you can reassure customers you’re only collecting information that serves a purpose.
Secure Your Data with the Latest Technology
There are many ways to keep customer data secure. Modern technology, such as digital encryption, helps to protect event data from unauthorized access.
Or you can invest in Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems that do all the heavy lifting for you. These tools analyze event logs and provide real-time monitoring, threat monitoring, event correlation, and incident response.
Other security solutions include artificial intelligence, passwords, firewalls, and security protocols like two-factor authentication (2FA).
Before you invest in security orchestration, make sure to keep these considerations in mind:
- Develop a notification plan for contacting customers in case their data has been compromised.
- Create an event data backup and recovery plan in case of a security breach.
- Train your employees on how to collect and process event data.
- Restrict event data access only to people who need it.
Following these principles makes it possible to get the most out of the technology you plan to use for event data security.
Create a Data Deletion Plan
It’s very rare for companies to keep event data for the long term. Most keep customer data for reporting, accounting, and marketing purposes.
Once these processes are finished, it’s important to delete your data to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Only Use Reputable Payment Gateways
If you’re collecting payments online, you must make sure you’re using reputable payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe.
Or, you can’t go wrong with reputable event management software like InEvent (which integrates these secure gateways into their ticketing systems).
If you’re working through your website provider to take online payments, make sure they are using the highest level of encryption to protect customer data. The most common encryptions are SSL and TLS.
If customers notice that your website doesn’t have encryption, their browser will inform them through a notification.
Not only is this embarrassing, but it’s also detrimental to your online reputation.
Document Your Data Privacy Policies
For customers, they’ll know you’re taking their data seriously and understand how you’re using it.
Implement a Rigid Access Control System
Access control is a security measure that dictates who has access to important data or technology. In the case of event data security, setting up an access control system is paramount.
Specifically, you should deploy a role-based access control (RBAC) mechanism. Generally speaking, this system will define permissions granted to roles throughout your security team, such as administrators, organizers, general employees, and customers.
This strategy guarantees that only the right people on your security team can access customer data.
Plan Ahead for Disaster Recovery
A data breach can happen to any company, no matter how well-prepared they are. With persistent threats, every event planner should create a disaster recovery plan and incident response plan.
A disaster recovery plan explains how you’ll inform customers of a data breach and what measures you plan to take to placate them. Having a disaster recovery plan is about transparency and protecting the trust your customers place in your security event management.
Event data security is a serious issue, especially in today’s digital age. While the Internet provides the convenience of registering for events within a few minutes, security remains a top priority.
To create and promote an exciting event, you should keep all of these considerations in mind and keep customer data safe. That’s all for now, event organizers! Here’s to a fun and safe event!