Online Events Security: Five Easy Tips To Secure Your Virtual Events From Cyber Threats

Lauren Katangulia is the Senior Communications & Marketing Manager at Irembo Ltd.


Virtual events have gained popularity in recent years. They have proven to be low-risk, budget-friendly and an effective way to hold events while having people worldwide attend. However, unscrupulous elements of society could channel their focus on breaching the security of these events.

Hands up if you have ever heard or experienced Zoom-bombing. Zoom-bombing is the unwelcome, obstructive interference to a virtual meeting by internet trolls. It is one of the many security threats virtual events are facing. it is of paramount importance for every event planner to make sure your event is safe for your attendees.

Here are five easy steps to secure your virtual event from cyber threats:

1. Restrict Access

Know who should come to the event and who must not. Like physical events, you try to know who is attending the event, so must it be for online events. Your event must have pre-registration and should have individual links for each attendee. It is thus easy for an event’s planner to track the activity and data of each link. Be clear to your attendees about the nature of the links. Let them know they should not share their links with anyone else.

2. Code of Conduct

Let everyone who wishes to attend your event know the code of conduct during the event. Include the code of conduct and the terms and conditions.

You can also customise the message in the waiting room to include the code of conduct. This makes it clear to everybody what is expected of them during the event.


3. Communicate/ Educate the Attendees on Cyber Security Practices during Events

What seems straightforward to you as an event planner might not be so obvious to the attendee. It is important to let your attendees be aware of the best security practices. Tell them about:

1. The importance of using private WIFI when logging into an event as opposed to public WIFI which is not secure. Hackers can position themselves between the attendee and the access point

2. How they must keep their antivirus and firewalls up-to-date.

3. How they must be conscious of unsolicited chats during the event. They must not give out personal or sensitive company information to other attendees.

4. Two-factor Authentication

This is a method that attempts to verify the identity of an attendee by asking for two sources of evidence, rather than one (which is usually a password). This double authentication method is essential. Cybercriminals are looking to breach networks using stolen credentials.


5. Close Access to the Meeting

If you do have a troll problem while the meeting is ongoing, it might be best to close off access to the meeting. It’s best to communicate about locking the meeting with your attendees prior to this time. This way they are aware and there will be no surprises when they cannot log in after you have locked the meeting. This will also help also block out removed trolls from rejoining.


What to do when Zoom-bombed:

1. Do not panic

2. Switch off the cyber attacker’s video and audio

3. Remove the threat from the event

4. Block removed participants from rejoining

5. Apologise to your attendees reassure them and continue with your event.

It is in the best interest of event planners to continue learning about cybersecurity. This, as seen in the article, will help you to protect your and your attendees’ information. It will also promote a smooth flow of your event with a low risk of trolls zoom-bombing your event.


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