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Festival and Event Data Threat Trends in 2022.

Andy Robertson

The quantity of data collected by event and festival organisers is vast and with more transactions and information exchanged online the risk of attack form hackers is increasing. Having the right data protocols and cybersecurity measures in place is key to protecting that data which in turn protects event-goers and organising entities too  

Security risks are increasing and this was highlighted in a study by PwC last year which showed that more than half of those surveyed expect a surge in reportable incidents in 2022. As result 69% of organisations predict they'll increase their investments in cybersecurity this year. Aside from any potential financial loss a breach of data can have a significant impact on reputational damage too.

Data Collection.  
Event organisers collect large amounts of data from customers and ticket buyers. This data is essential for organisers to collect revenue as well as profile and understand more about their customer’s demographics. Simply registering for a newsletter, for example, can mean collecting customer’s personal information. For financial transactions, whether it’s for tickets, merch or virtual show subscriptions, bank account and associated transaction details may be collected. too These online transactions themselves can be open to hacking as well as the location of stored databases.

Common Threats. 
The bulk of cyberattacks are financially motivated and ransomware is a key threat for such attacks. Ransomware attacks target the organisation’s data which often involves hijacking customer databases until a ransom is paid, usually in cryptocurrency. Attacks to obtain financial transaction data usually target consumers and can be instigated both offline and online. Stealing someone's smartphone to access their purchase behaviour and data is common as is simply using a camera to capture someone's password as it’s being typed. A significant threat still comes from phishing attacks where fake emails from synthetic identities are sent to customers that allow hackers to infect customer’s devices with malware that can spy on and capture bank account details for example.

Employing the services of a cybersecurity specialist can help to identify risks and take action to protect the organisation's data. When considering any ticketing supplier or payment gateways for financial transactions ensure that due diligence is performed to check that the supplier’s security provisions are in line with current cybersecurity practices and guidelines. Simple provisions that help improve security can include restricting access to data to as few people as possible, having a robust password and authentication process in place, keeping physical servers secure and limiting public network access and most importantly ensuring that the most up to date firewalls and security monitoring software is used.

Most countries operate strict GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) policies and all event organisers should ensure they have appropriate policies and procedures to comply with any prevailing regulations. Failure to provide a secure online data environment can lead to hefty fines for any data breaches, making it even more important to ensure all event data is collected and stored securely.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Photo by Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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