Is the Meetings Industry Lagging in Cybersecurity?

If you work in a corporate environment, you know meetings are a big part of the job. It doesn't matter whether you work in an office or are a remote employee. Either way, you're scrambling for an open conference room or struggling to hear through the background of a noisy coffee shop. But these are just minor annoyances. There is a much bigger concern lurking in the meetings industry.

Without a robust cybersecurity policy, companies could see their meeting infiltrated by hackers and eavesdroppers. CyberPolicy looks at this frightening prospect and recommends a few solutions for wary businesses.

You're Not Invited
"Cybersecurity is not a priority for most meeting planners, writes journalist Jaimie Seaton for Skift. "But experts warn that it's just a matter of time before the industry is hit with a major breach.

The reasons cyber crooks might want to listen in on your private conversations vary. Perhaps the hacker is interested in stealing your secrets as part of a corporate espionage scheme. Maybe the eavesdropper is a social activist looking to harm your reputation. It could even be a practice hack for a fledgling hacker or script kiddie. No matter the reason, you wouldn't want anyone skulking on the other end of your phone line, would you?

If you are worried about this cyber threat, you need to make a few adjustments to your meeting protocols. For instance, it might behoove you to double check your telecommunication provider to see if the connection is encrypted.

Encryption works to obscure data in transfer so that only the intended recipient can receive and decode it. Think of encryption as a secret language that is translated automatically and in real time. Without this vital solution, you risk exposing your conversations to cyber snoopers.

Next, you'll want to adopt reliable antivirus and anti-malware software solutions. Hackers sometimes use remote-access Trojans or "RATs to do their bidding. As the name implies, the remote hacker can access parts of your computer or conferencing system including webcams and microphones.

To discourage these efforts, many companies use webcam and microphone covers. Although, if you're in a pinch, a simple piece of masking tape does the job.

Another thing to keep in mind is your Wi-Fi connection. "When hotels call their Wi-Fi secure, it's the biggest laugh in the world, says James Spellos, president of Meeting U. That's because data transfers over public Wi-Fi and is entirely visible to cyber spies.

To better conceal your connection over Wi-Fi, ask your company to invest in a virtual private network (VPN). It will protect your devices just as if you were working behind the corporate firewall. This is clearly, a must-have for traveling and remote workers.

Of course, if you are out and about, you should take a moment to check your surroundings. It might sound simple, but you never know who might be listening in. One slip of the tongue and you could reveal sensitive information damaging to your organization.

In the end, the key to good cybersecurity depends on prime technologies, smart user behaviors, and your cybersecurity policy. Visit CyberPolicy for more great tips on staying safe online.

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