Meeting Planners: On Site Protection


By Mickey Murphy

Information security. Identity theft. Black hat hackers. This all sounds like three-alarm lingo from some old DC comic book: “Immediately sign over all of your wealth, or I will hack you and steal your identity!” What do these oblique, non-intuitive terms mean? Here is how Wikipedia defines them: Information security — “Protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction.” Identity theft — Fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else in order to steal money or get other benefits.” Black hat hackers (also known as crackers) — “Hackers who specialize in unauthorized penetration” of computer systems, as opposed to white hat hackers who test computer systems for companies to determine their penetrability.

However we characterize them, information security, identity theft and so on represent major challenges today.

A prime example of consumer vulnerability came last year when federal authorities indicted three men on charges of hacking into computer systems at numerous Dave & Buster’s restaurants and stealing

credit card information. The federal government accused the men of stealing “Track 2” magnetic stripe data — which includes account numbers, expiration data and security codes — from customers’ credit cards, and then selling this information to others who used it to make fraudulent purchases.

And as this article was being written, an e-mail message showed up on this writer’s computer stating that I had purchased something over the Internet for $423.98. I had not. A subsequent check indicated that the message was fraudulent, and that the senders were “phishing.” This is a fraudulent attempt to acquire sensitive personal information by masquerading as a trusted entity via an electronic communication.

Read the Meeting Magazine’s full article on Meeting planners controlling Information Security.