Heading to PACK EXPO International in a few weeks? You’ll want to keep the following in mind to ensure a safe and secure experience while at the show.
A guest wireless network will be available for you to use while you are on-site at McCormick Place. The network should operate at 10M bandwidth, which should work well for things like e-mail, web browsing, and instant messaging. While this network is configured such that individual connected devices are segregated and not allowed to communicate with each other which should provide a reasonable level of security, please use caution when using this network as it is a public unencrypted wireless network. If you have tools that you can use to increase security such as a VPN connection or secure browsing through Cisco Umbrella, please consider using them. If you have the ability to tether your devices to your cellular phone for internet, this may also be a good and more secure option for internet access.
Please remember that McCormick Place is a large venue with thousands of people transiting every day between exhibitors, attendees, support staff, and contractors. Do not leave your phones, tablets, laptops, or other devices unsecured out in the open in your booth or in meeting rooms. If you have a cable lock available to you, it may be a good idea to use it to secure your devices so they can’t walk away.
Malware attacks are on the rise, and one of the easiest way for hackers to install malware on your devices is through USB devices. Please do not plug in any USB drives or devices that you are unsure of where they came from. If you find a USB drive on the show floor, it’s best to leave it or throw it away!
In many venues and hotels, it’s become common to make USB or USB-C ports available for easy charging of mobile devices. Unfortunately this presents a risk of hacking and device compromise as these USB ports can use your data cable to connect directly to your device. The safest way to charge your device on-the-go is via a portable battery, by plugging it into your computer, or by using a power brick to plug your cable into with a traditional electrical outlet.
PACK EXPO is a very busy time for everyone. It’s easy to gloss over an e-mail or text message when things are moving quickly and simply click or tap on a link that comes in. This is exactly what cyberattackers want, to catch you while you’re not paying attention. Pay extra attention to these incoming messages and be sure to scrutinize links or requests for information or gift cards, especially if you’ve promoted that you’ll be traveling and at the show.
Thanks for your attention and we hope you have a safe, enjoyable and productive PACK EXPO! If you’ve got a show-specific cybersecurity question before or during the show, feel free to e-mail us at [email protected].
To view other PMMI CyberHealth content, visit pmmi.org/cyberhealth. Got a more specific question? Email [email protected]. Be sure to also opt in to the CyberHealth e-newsletter to get cybersecurity updates straight to your inbox.