10 Data Protection Tips for Meetings and Event Professionals


Recent prominent incidents of data breaches affecting major players in the hospitality industry have made data security a pressing concern for the meetings and events sector. Even if you diligently safeguard your organization’s data, including that of attendees, sponsors, vendors, and others, your security is only as strong as the weakest link in your data chain. Do you know the security measures of your third-party partners?

Here are 10 data protection tips to prompt consideration about data security amidst uncertain times while understanding that no system is entirely foolproof:

1. Understand Your Data Landscape

Maintain awareness of the data you possess, its locations, and with whom it’s shared, regularly updating this information.

2. Assess Risks

Identify potential risks and determine your tolerance level for them, documenting your risk management decisions.

3. Establish Policies and Procedures

Have necessary policies and processes in place, ensuring they’re regularly reviewed and updated as required by law.

4. Avoid Overconfidence

Don’t assume your organization won’t attract regulatory attention or malicious actors; implement appropriate data protection and cybersecurity measures regardless of perceived risk.

5. Vet Third-Party Partners

Verify that organizations or individuals you engage with have adequate security measures through methods like security questionnaires.

6. Manage Data Sharing

Implement suitable data-sharing agreements when sharing data with other entities like sponsors or suppliers.

7. Navigate Cross-Border Compliance

If operating across multiple jurisdictions, ensure compliance with relevant data protection laws in each area of operation.

8. EU/UK Representation

If operating in the EU or UK without a legal entity there, consider appointing a representative to handle data privacy matters in those regions.

9. WISP Compliance

Ensure you have a Written Information Security Program (WISP) in place, a legally required document in many states demonstrating your data protection policies and procedures.

10. Provide Comprehensive Training

Regularly train all staff, including board members and senior management, on their obligations under data protection laws relevant to their roles.

Further reading

To learn more about how to safeguard your data from malware and cyberattacks, read Too Late, You’re Hacked! – Defending Your Small Business’ Computers and Networks or Too Late You’re Hacked! A Quick Guide written by Tony Zafiropoulos, a Certified Information Systems Auditor and Certified Ethical Hacker.

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