The novel coronavirus has caused all of us to make changes both in our personal and professional lives. Daily, more people are having to turn to new technology to support their business. The National Football League (NFL) is no exception. The 2020 NFL draft is being held digitally for the first time ever right from the homes players, coaches, and owners.  

Amidst multiple concerns around popular video conferencing apps such a Zoom the 2020 NFL draft is certainly a high stakes test of an organizations ability to operate virtually. Hosting an event of this magnitude in the public eye with little room for error involves a wide range of security concerns. According to the NFL, the 2018 NFL draft averaged 5.5 million viewers through traditional outlets. This year with so many people quarantined to their home, the expectation is even larger.

The NFL has reason to worry, just last year NFL Twitter accounts were hacked by the Saudi hacking group, OurMine ahead of the 2019 Superbowl. And this year, they are using a customized version of Microsoft Teams to cast their virtual picks and Zoom conferencing for internal communications. And, internal communications within each team was facilitated through Zoom conferencing.

From politics to sports to university classes, as COVID-19 continues to change our world, the trend will continue to push large and important events online. With that, cybersecurity must be a priority in the minds of leaders making these events happen.

Virtual events involve a number of risks, but those risks can be identified prior, and a proactive plan can be implemented to reduce or mitigate them. Securing a virtual environment to prevent a threat eliminates risk of business interruption and prevents brand damage. But above all, understanding the risks associated with virtual events requires understanding the mindset of bad actors and assuming that a cyberattack can and will happen.

Virtual events are married to risks, but those risks can be identified prior, and a proactive plan can be implemented. Securing an environment eliminates business interruption. So, understanding the risks associated with virtual occasions requires the mindset of knowing that a cyberattack can and will happen.

Simple security measures should be put into place for both small business and business like the NFL.

  • Enable multi-factor authentication for each account being used for any teleconference event
  • Add a meeting password that must be entered by attendees before entering the waiting room
  • Enable the waiting room to make sure an uninvited guest does not join the call
  • No prevention is completely effective so have a response plan – an incident response plan is critical even for breaches involving teleconferencing
  • Finally, there are some conversations that just should not live on these third-party applications. Just like with an email, be aware of what you are talking about and the possibility this information could be recorded

Cybersecurity attacks happen to everyone from NFL superstars to heroes like nurses and doctors in our communities daily. Having the right partners when an attack occurs is just like having a star Linebacker. Offense may win games, but Defense wins championships.

For more information on how to secure your environment, visit or email [email protected] to speak with a cybersecurity professional.

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