Though behind the scenes, cybersecurity is a star in the media and entertainment industries
Published: Mar 29, 2019
As media and entertainment professionals from across the world gather in Las Vegas next month for the 2019 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, much of the focus (rightfully) will be on how emerging technologies – from 5G to augmented reality – will transform the industry. But for conference-goers, good old-fashioned cybersecurity in media and entertainment should merit just as much attention as they walk the expo floor.
Why? Because offering the most compelling content and the most innovative multi-platform distribution strategies in the world won’t keep customers coming back if they stop trusting your brand. And, cybersecurity is key to trust and stronger brand loyalty. Especially cybersecurity in the media and entertainment industries.
While other industries – well-known retailers, hotel brands and financial institutions – garner the majority of “here’s the latest hack” headlines, the media and entertainment (M&E) industries are far from immune to cyber-attacks and data breaches. A few well-publicized incidents from recent years come to mind, no doubt. Because they are complex entities relying on highly-interconnected vendor ecosystems, M&E organizations have a broad attack surface -- and a treasure trove of valuable information, from customer data to intellectual property. This makes them tempting targets.
A strong cybersecurity program can mitigate the risks to M&E brands. Here are few areas to keep in mind as you head to NAB and strategize for success:
Improve visibility into partner/vendor ecosystem risk: It takes more than a village to create, market, distribute and monetize compelling content. It takes a complex chain of vendors and partners who may or may not be the weakest link in that chain. Before you allow a vendor or partner to access your IT systems or to handle your data or intellectual property, be sure to determine if they have appropriate security controls in place. In a highly-interdependent just-in-time, agile industry, it’s important to remember: if they go down, they can take you with them. You can use services like the Verizon Risk Report to quickly gain visibility into how third-party risk might be imperiling your organization’s security.
Protect sensitive data: Suffer a breach in which customers’ personal and/or payment data is compromised and you’ll tarnish your reputation and a good chunk of your customers, and possibly face financial penalties. Suffer the cyber-theft of intellectual property like a spoiler-filled memo about a highly-anticipated hit-series final, and you’ll lose marketing momentum and the chance to monetize the now-lost buzz. Having a multi-layered cybersecurity program that prioritizes data protection should be treated as a strategic investment for M&E organizations, and not as a dreaded cost.
Commit to availability: A Denial of Service (DoS) attack can knock your brands offline or cause sluggish performance, leading frustrated viewers to quickly move along to a competitors’ platform. There’s always another place for eyeballs to visit if your sites are down. “The degree of certainty that DoS attacks will occur is almost in the same class as death and taxes,” according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigation Report.
With live streaming of sporting events and other in-demand content driving so much revenue, M&E organizations should regularly confer with their Internet Service Providers to assess the effectiveness of their DoS-mitigation capabilities.
Media and entertainment brands thrive when they deliver a memorable customer experience filled with unique and relevant content, high social engagement and data-driven conversational commerce. Cybersecurity in the media and entertainment industries is also a key component to a winning experience in media and entrainment -- even if it happens away from the spotlight and behind the scenes.
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