International

Security first

MCI GROUP

Terrorism, cyberattacks and other threats – safety became the biggest concern for many meeting planners all over the world. A few years ago we didn’t speak about safety, but unfortunately this has changed dramatically. Do you agree for your region or country? A MCI Group’s view.
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PHOTO: MCI GROUP

“During recent years and months, the subject of safety has gained considerably growing significance. Security has always been a priority for MCI. Our employees get trained in safety matters; in each of our offices, there is a Health & Safety Officer in charge, with the MCI group additionally consisting of safety engineers who continuously adjust our processes to evolving hazardous situations. Beyond that, all our procedures have met the binding requirements of the eSST for the past 10 years. Like this, we are more flexible in responding to potential new risks. Specifically, we took precautions to adjust our security efforts in two main areas during recent months: Firstly, by rendering our existing arrangements visible for the purpose of prevention and secondly, by introducing situation-based redundant security measures, which we additionally use for background operations.”

Thomas Wüthrich, Managing Director, MCI Germany



“Cyber security has become a concern for today's congress organizers all around the world. Cyber bandits use a mix of social engineering, phishing and fake landing pages to fool participants and get their credit card details. They publish professional congress websites, where they announce special offers for hotels. If users leave their email contact to receive further information, the phishing campaign will start with bots sending messages with an alias that will make people believe it comes from the congress secretariat. To avoid it, at MCI we adopted all digital channels to the latest GDPR recommendations, including all important disclaims regarding data protection, and make it really visible.”

Ney Neto, Director of Business Development & Innovation, MCI Brazil



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PHOTO: MCI GROUP
“Safety and security or participants and staff remain a top priority when we organize events for our clients, particularly as the region that we operate in, South East Asia, has experienced some increase in sporadic terrorism activities. We ensure that all our project managers are trained in risk and crisis management and that we align our safety protocols based on risk assessments, for example whether it's high level participants or politically delicate content that may increase security risks. We also work closely with local authorities, for example the Singapore Police Force to set up security checks and scans for the event, and to establish open communications with them to update and be updated on security incidents.”
Zarina Othman, CEM, Director PCO, MCI Group Asia Pacific
 
   

“In our activities as event organizers, risk has always been present at higher or lower levels. However, the perception of this risk was not anchored. In recent years everything has accelerated: The power of the media and the speed of information spread globalized risk and have completely changed its perception. In addition, the wave of attacks in recent years that has affected all regions of the world and new risks immersing, such as cyberattacks that are spreading exponentially, both disrupt the achievements in terms of security and at the same time feed the media. It is therefore imperative for event organizers to change the paradigm and review their security approach.”

Emmanuel André, Global Health, Safety and Sustainability Director MCI Group



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PHOTO: MCI GROUP
“Safety has always been a primary concern for any event we have organized. But the threats have evolved, and so has our response. For example, our dependency on technology has increased over the years, and so our potential vulnerability. At MCI we deploy both preventive and reactive safety plans. Our risk assessment methodology weighs the likelihood of an incident occurring against the impact such an incident would have. This determines the measures we put in place to minimize such risks. As part of our reactive strategy we train our event managers and our management teams, and we provide them with tools and processes to respond appropriately when an incident occurs. Crisis management training is also a standard module in our L&D programs. We cannot fully exclude threats and risks, but we can definitely prepare for them.”
Jurriaen Sleijster, President & COO MCI Group
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