It’s prudent to use caution when discussing sensitive topics or secret information, especially in the semipublic setting of a meeting. Art Lesser, president of Merit Security, recommends planners be on the lookout for these 10 threats to meeting security:

  1. Transmission from wireless microphones can be picked up by scanners, allowing meeting details to be heard and recorded from hundreds of feet away.

  2. Telephones with speakers, in hotel rooms and meeting rooms, have built-in microphones that can easily be modified to pick up conversations, from anywhere in the world.

  3. Sensitive documents placed before or left after a meeting can fall into the wrong hands.

  4. Bugging devices can be placed in a room prior to the meeting.

  5. Recording devices on cell phones can be used during a meeting to record and transmit conversations.

  6. Electrical systems in hotels and conference centers often have common wiring that can be altered to send audio from one room to another.

  7. Service staff and non-credentialed personnel that have access to meeting rooms before or during proceedings can plant recording devices and overhear conversations.

  8. Social engineers and information gatherers can access a meeting or place themselves at corporate and social events to glean proprietary data.

  9. The security of wiring for phone, audio and video systems can be easily compromised.

  10. Adjacent rooms can be used to breach confidentiality.

Art Lesser has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Business Times. Merit Security helps meeting planners and companies maintain confidentiality and protect trade secrets.