The start of the 2020s was obviously a difficult time for the entire world. Industries suddenly found themselves having to run businesses from their humble homes. However, people still wanted some form of event to attend, and that’s when virtual events really started to pick up steam.
Whether it’s a simple live stream announcement on Instagram or a full-blown hours-long event on Twitch, online events have become an interesting side effect of the pandemic. Even as the world slowly finds some normalcy, virtual events have proven themselves a legitimately effective alternative to live events.
Still, with every new innovation comes a new host of problems, and virtual live events are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. During this time, it’s important for business owners to properly implement cybersecurity measures. If a virtual event gets sabotaged, then the mistake will be seen by a huge chunk of your market.
What Threats Do You Face?
Cybercriminals are very quick to spot any vulnerabilities, and virtual events to them are essentially a buffet if left unprotected. Whether by pretending to be attendees or simply waiting for the right time to sabotage during an announcement, these hackers will find a way to make your live event a nightmare.
There are relatively harmless hackers known as “stream bombers” who will simply spam inappropriate comments, and with a good moderation team, they should be gone quickly. However, even more, worrisome are cybercriminals who may end up wresting control of the event from the business’ hands.
One such example of this is when YouTuber Joel G, the creator of a hit web animation series “ENA”, had their account hacked by a supposed “Crypto News” hacker who wanted to hijack the creator’s massive audience for their own ill gains. Thankfully, they were able to get their channel back, but this is only one of the many victims of cyberhackers.
Why Cybersecurity Is Essential For Online Events
Here are the main reasons why online events need the best cybersecurity measures:
Online events are gateways for hackers to find weak spots in your company’s online infrastructure. While the layperson might not see anything off, live streaming tells hackers a few things. One is that the business has an online account on a public platform, which means it has an email, and that email is connected to several work accounts.
A simple announcement could very well lead to a breach of the entire company’s data. If this sounds like a stretch to you, then you may not be taking the security of your live events seriously. During these events, make sure to not give any hackers in the audience a way to find out any information about your social media accounts.
As anybody with experience in virtual event production can tell you, what happens at live events dictates how audiences will see you moving forward. You could have dozens of good, maybe even great, online events without incident, but if one of them gets hacked, your business could very well develop a bad reputation.
Nowadays, bad news spreads like wildfire, and the negative always tends to stick out over the positive. While recovery from such an incident is definitely salvageable, prevention is always better.
Using the right live-streaming service or simply encrypting your accounts normalize a culture of safety within your business. The biggest weak point of any system has and always will be the user. Think of it this way; If a person always leaves the door open when they go outside, then eventually, someone else will come in.
If they make it a habit to close the door when they leave, then the risk of somebody entering their home decreases significantly. Even if the thief is a master at unlocking, those few seconds they spend fiddling with the door could be the time needed to catch them. This is what normalizing safety looks like.
Affects The Bottom Line
As any level of risk assessment will tell you, being hacked because of a promotional live event affects all levels of business, but most especially the bottom line. Reputation, personal privacy, and the loss of potential leads after a high-profile hacking incident are real worries and should be taken as such.
Cybersecurity is one thing that a modern business should never cheap out on. This doesn’t mean shelling out for the most advanced NASA-tier cybersecurity, it just means making sure that all your bases are covered. Live events should never become the “test run” of your cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity remains one of those things that many businesses know is important, and yet refuse to actually take seriously until it’s far too late. Online events in particular have made everyone warier of cyberattacks, especially when they can be done so publicly. Businesses should start their cybersecurity plans now, not later.