The film and media industry has become increasingly digitized in recent years, with significant sensitive information stored and transmitted through digital channels. This has made the industry more vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can result in the theft or exposure of the valuable intellectual property, personal data of clients, employees, and other stakeholders, and financial losses. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll examine cybersecurity problems in the film and media industry in more detail, discussing the potential impacts of cyber attacks, the specific vulnerabilities of the industry, and the measures that can be carried out to mitigate these threats.
The Impact of Cyber-Attacks on the Film & Media Industry:
Cyber-attacks can have a far-reaching impact on the film and media industry, with consequences that can last for months or even years. The following are some of the approaches in which cyberattacks can affect the industry:
- Loss of Intellectual Property: The entertainment industry relies heavily on intellectual property, such as scripts, treatments, and storyboards. Cyber invasions can result in the stealing of this property, which can then be sold or used by competitors or malicious people in the industry. This can cause significant financial losses and damage to those who create and own this property. A 2020 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that intellectual property theft costs the US economy between $180 billion and $540 billion per year. (Source: CSIS)
- Financial Losses: Cyber-attacks can cause significant financial losses to companies and individuals in the entertainment industry. These losses can result from ransom payments, legal and regulatory penalties, the cost of remediation, and lost revenue due to the disruption of business operations. A 2021 report by IBM found that the moderate expense of a data breach in the media and entertainment industry was $5.72 million. (Source: IBM).
- Legal and Regulatory Penalties: The film and media industry is subject to various laws and regulations related to the handling and storage of. Delinquency to concede with these laws can result in legal and regulatory penalties, which can be significant. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows for fines of up to 4% of a company’s global revenue for non-compliance. In 2020, British Airways was fined £20 million ($27 million) for a data breach that occurred in 2018. (Source: The Guardian)
- Damage to Reputation: Cyber attacks can damage the reputation of companies and individuals in the industry, particularly if the personal data of clients or employees is exposed. This can result in a loss of trust from clients and partners and can affect the ability to do business in the future. A 2020 report by Accenture found that 62% of consumers would likely switch to a competitor if a company suffered a data breach that resulted in the theft of their personal data. (Source: Accenture)
- Loss of Trust from Clients and Partners: A cyber attack can result in a loss of trust from clients and partners, which can have long-lasting effects on business relationships. Clients and partners may be hesitant to work with a company or individual that has suffered a cyber attack, which can result in lost business opportunities. A 2020 report by the Ponemon Institute found that 67% of media and entertainment organizations experienced a loss of business following a data breach. (Source: Ponemon Institute)
Specific Vulnerabilities of the Film and Media Industry:
The film and media industry faces specific vulnerabilities that make it more susceptible to cyberattacks. These include:
- High-Profile Targets: The entertainment industry is a high-profile target for cybercriminals due to the valuable intellectual property and personal data it handles. In 2014, Sony Pictures suffered a high-profile cyber attack that resulted in the theft and release of sensitive company information, including employee data and unreleased films. The attack was attributed to North Korean hackers and caused significant damage to Sony Pictures’ reputation and finances. (Source: CNN Business)
- Fragmented Industry: The film and media industry is highly fragmented, with many small companies and individuals working on a project-by-project basis. This makes it difficult to implement consistent cybersecurity best practices across the industry. According to a 2019 report by the Motion Picture Association, the film and television industry in the United States includes more than 93,000 businesses, with the majority of these being small, independent companies. (Source: Motion Picture Association)
- Creative Environment: The creative environment of the film and media industry can make it difficult to implement strict cyber security policies. Creatives often work remotely and may use personal devices to access and transmit sensitive information.
- The complexity of Projects: The film and media industry often involves complex projects that require collaboration among many stakeholders. This can result in sharing sensitive information across multiple platforms and channels, increasing the risk of a cyber attack. In a 2018 media and entertainment professionals survey, 52% of respondents said that their organizations had experienced a data breach or cyber attack in the previous 12 months. The most common cause of these incidents was human error, such as the accidental sharing of sensitive information. (Source: Irdeto)
Measures to Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks:
To mitigate the risks of cyber attacks, the entertainment industry can implement the following measures:
- Implement Robust Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures: Companies and individuals in the industry should implement robust cyber security policies and procedures to protect sensitive information and systems. This includes implementing strong access controls, conducting regular security assessments, and training employees to recognize and respond to potential threats.
- Use Secure Communication Channels: The film and media industry should use secure communication channels to transmit sensitive information. This includes using encryption and other security protocols to protect information during transmission. According to a 2020 survey by the Ponemon Institute, 56% of media and entertainment organizations experienced a data breach or cyber attack that a third-party vendor caused. (Source: Ponemon Institute)
- Conduct Regular Vulnerability Assessments: Regular vulnerability assessments can help companies and individuals in the industry identify potential vulnerabilities in their systems and applications. This can help them take proactive measures to handle these susceptibilities before they can be manipulated by cybercriminals. A 2018 survey by the Ponemon Institute found that only 30% of media and entertainment organizations conduct regular vulnerability assessments. (Source: Ponemon Institute)
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive systems and applications. This involves requiring multiple forms of authentication, such as a password and a biometric scan, to access a system or application. A 2020 report by Verizon found that compromised or weak passwords cause 80% of data breaches. (Source: Verizon)
- Backup Data Regularly: Regularly backing up data can help companies and individuals in the industry recover from a cyber attack. This includes backing up data to secure, off-site locations to prevent data loss in the event of a breach or ransomware attack. A 2019 study by IBM found that the intermediate outlay of a data breach in the media and entertainment industry was $5.19 million. (Source: IBM)
- Train Employees to Recognize and Respond to Potential Threats: Employees in the entertainment industry should be trained to recognize and respond to potential cybersecurity threats. This comprises training on how to specify phishing emails, report suspicious activity, and respond in the event of a cyber attack.
The film and media industry is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the valuable intellectual property and personal data it handles and its highly fragmented and creative nature. The influence of a cyber attack can be significant, including loss of intellectual property, financial losses, legal and regulatory penalties, damage to reputation, and loss of trust from clients and partners. To mitigate these risks, companies and individuals in the industry should implement robust cybersecurity policies and procedures, use secure communication channels, conduct regular vulnerability assessments, use multi-factor authentication, backup data regularly, and train employees to recognize and respond to potential threats. By taking these measures, the film and media industry can better protect itself from the growing threat of cyber attacks.
How can EC-Council University help with this?
EC-Council University is helping address these challenges by offering Online Cyber Security Degrees that are specifically tailored to the needs of the film and media industry. These cybersecurity programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity principles and practices, including threat intelligence, risk management, and incident response.
Through this cyber security degree online, students learn how to protect sensitive information, detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents, and mitigate the impact of cyber attacks. They also develop skills in ethical hacking and penetration testing, which is used to identify vulnerabilities in a company’s network and systems before they can be exploited by cybercriminals.
EC-Council University’s Cyber Security programs are designed to prepare graduates for a wide range of cybersecurity roles in the film and media industry, including information security analyst, cybersecurity engineer, cyber security analyst, and cybersecurity manager. By providing this education and training, EC-Council University is helping the film and media industry better protect itself against cyber threats and safeguard its valuable assets.