Digitalizing the film and media industries have had tremendous benefits for its stakeholders. It has allowed filmmakers and artists to save millions and simplify their operations.
As content creation and distribution have become more democratic and cloud storage has increased tremendously in recent years, cybersecurity has become a significant concern for this industry as it has for many others.
Recent years have seen news more frequently on our news feeds about movie-making and media companies being attacked online by hackers.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was the latest victim of an attack on intellectual property and sensitive personal information.
Amedia, a Norwegian media company, was also affected by a cyberattack. The attack caused the company’s systems to shut down, so it could not publish newspapers. The company also lost considerable advertising revenue, aside from the millions of subscribers it affected.
Cyber-attacks also make it difficult for the media and film industries to deal with the leakage of personal information of staff and users. The safety of products during production and post-production is a significant problem for the industry.
The HBO case is an excellent example of the film industry’s threats. Many episodes of the most famous HBO show, “Game of Thrones” and “Orange Is the New Black,” were leaked online. The latter was the result of a ransomware attack. These examples, unfortunately, are only a small part of the damage that ransomware and cyber-attacks can do to media and film companies.
Let’s look at some of the main cybersecurity-related problems plaguing this domain.
Four Main Cybersecurity Concerns for the Film and Media Industry
1. Increased Reliance On Digital Tools: Film and tapes are no longer necessary. Instead, digital cameras and cloud storage have replaced them. This is a great step forward, but the rise in digital tools such as cloud servers and video editing software in film production and post-production can be a lucrative market for cybercriminals. The industry is becoming more vulnerable to cyber-crime as digital technology, and virtual storage platforms increase in popularity.
This space requires that players pay attention to the cybersecurity infrastructures of cloud platforms and other technologies they use. This can be a crucial part of protecting their intellectual property.
Production houses and media companies are increasingly required to create a strong cybersecurity department with sound policies and procedures.
Also, the team should be trained in cyber incident response to ensure they are prepared for any situation. A solid Incident Response plan and essential Ransomware Readiness checklists are great places to start.
2. Partnerships with external stakeholders: Making a movie or show takes hundreds of people. Every project has multiple external stakeholders, such as sound directors, special effects specialists, engineers, and many other professionals. It is challenging to maintain control over all of these external stakeholders.
Even if servers at the company are secure and well protected, hackers can still find weak links in the chain of professionals involved in the process. Film and production companies need to pay more attention to the cybersecurity of external partners.
External cybersecurity experts such as Virtual CIOs or Virtual Assistants can be brought on board to help evaluate and determine the breach readiness of the production house and its partners.
Film & Media houses will soon have to evaluate the ransomware readiness as well as the overall cybersecurity infrastructure of their partner partners.
3. Unsecured Video Editing Software: Everybody who works with video footage should double-check the source of the software.
This is crucial because hackers have the easiest way to hack into programs’ codes by filling them with malware.
Software downloaded from the Internet should be from an official website. The official website should be used even if you are using open-source software.
4. Cyber threats are underestimated: Cyber-attacks can make your business vulnerable. Although it might seem outdated, many artists and creative houses believe cybersecurity is only a concern for large financial institutions and banks.
This preconception is false. This mistake is made year after year. Even media companies with large budgets don’t make sufficient investments in cyber defenses. This results in leaked episodes, compromised data, and ultimately, loss of revenue.
Film and media companies should start looking into hiring trustworthy cybersecurity professionals. External experts can help you to conduct a cybersecurity check and reduce your vulnerability over time. You can also strengthen your response strategies by using Cyber Tabletop exercises to practice your Cyber crisis response plans.
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