After conducting a global survey, Mimecast researchers concluded that the year of 2021 experienced a digital cybersecurity pandemic. Data breaches are rising, but what does the media industry do to protect its most sensitive data? This article introduces the idea of storing some data offline to strengthen data security and stay off the criminal’s radar. It is stress-free, affordable and entirely hack-proof when done correctly and securely through a professional IT company.

But perhaps the cybercriminals are not particularly interested in our sector and have so far spared it, making offline storage an unnecessary investment. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The Ponemon Institute discovered the media industry suffered a 92.1% increase in data breaches and ransomware 2020-21.

Digital Marketing and Automations Manager, Leora Pudell believes our industry is the next big target for cyber-attacks, with hackers hitting HBO, CBS, Disney, Netflix, and Sony Pictures, among others. The season 8 leak of Game of Thrones in 2019 was the most high-profile case to date but by no means the only one.

Talking about ransomware, it’s scary to realise that almost half of those who paid cyber criminals failed to recover their data. This happened when season 5 of Orange is the New Black made it online before its intended release, despite criminals receiving $50k.

This year has already witnessed two similar attacks: when the trailer for Mission: Impossible 7 — Dead Reckoning, Part One was leaked on social media and an episode of 50 Cents production Power Book IV: Force appeared online long before its air date. 

So, what can we do to prevent these leaks from happening? It is a complex question now the industry has moved to online workflows, data sharing, and access all cloud approval. Any access point we create to data is a doorway or window these virtual burglars can climb through. It is impossible to step back on the technologies we are using, but it is possible to look at what we are storing, where, and how.

A simple answer is to store data offline, away from the electronic doors and windows. This is particularly recommended for ‘hot commodities’ such as yet-to-be-released content. It can be as simple as taking the edit suite storage offline, a raided drive stack in the corner, or delivering single view links of completed masters for review.

Rumour has it one unnamed media network has reportedly taken the issue very seriously. They employ an I.T specialist who holds, in their very secure office, all the completed project masters in a cupboard, but also makes their own LTO copies for redundancy. Hours before release, this person uploads the masters for transmission. A little extreme? Or just simple and secure? 

Film Locker holds DPP ‘Committed To Security’ certification, delivering a carbon neutral secure data storage and archiving service to all realms of the media industries.

Leaks are upsetting not only to people who make the shows or content but to the fans who heavily invest personally in those projects. So, maybe it’s about time we all looked more offline than online when thinking about cybersecurity.

All references available on request.

Photo by Muha Ajjan on Unsplash