5 unique security risks faced by post-production houses

In recent years, costly cyberattacks have rocked the film and TV industry, crippling big names like Sony. It follows, therefore, that production security at every stage now finds itself in the spotlight.

Big names in the industry are always the ones that hit the headlines, but smaller players involved in the production supply chain are often the source of the breach or attack. With so many moving parts in the film production process, it’s more important than ever to have a thorough digital and physical content security plan to secure valuable assets while passing through post-production. Here are five of the biggest security risks to post-production today:

  1. Remote working is the norm

Remote working is a potential cybersecurity issue for all companies, but post-production are particularly vulnerable without certain security protocols. For instance, accessing sensitive production data on a server you host could be compromised if the user is on public wifi, or even their home wifi network.

The more devices spread across a bigger geography, the harder it is to monitor them for unusual activity, make sure they’re patched and up to date, and shut down any breaches. We now recommend VPNs and remote monitoring as a minimum.

  1. Freelancers are the workforce

Productions revolve around nebulous amounts of freelancers at every stage. Specialist contractors often join a particular project, see their portion of the process through, and then move on to the next project. That degree of flexibility is vital to keeping film and TV productions supplied with the very best technical talent. It also means that production and post-production outfits can look very different one month to the next.

It’s a significant security challenge for relatively small companies. On the one hand, policies like bring your own devices (BYOD) mean there’s little financial outlay to scale up a team, and freelancers often supply or hire their own tech. But that’s also a known gateway for cybercriminals. Working remotely and accessing systems held elsewhere, connecting to public wifi, and using unencrypted, unsecured personal devices to handle production data could all be leaving your organisation vulnerable.

  1. Distributors and studios have different security protocols

We’ve written about Netflix’s challenging security guidance and gradings previously. Since then, security protocols have continued to evolve, with different distributors, studios and networks demanding variations on similar cybersecurity measures. It’s understandable, given recent attacks and the scale of the threat facing a very public industry. The onus is always on you – no matter how small your post-production business – to comply as part of a wider supply chain.

  1. Enterprise-level security is out of reach

A defining characteristic of post-production outfits is their company size (usually small) against the size of their data requirements (enterprise-level). While on paper, they may not have many ‘seats’, the use of freelancers probably swells staff numbers with every incoming project. That ebb and flow of numbers, yet huge reams of sensitive production data, often means post-production houses are left scrambling for enterprise-level IT solutions without the enterprise-level budget. It’s a known cybersecurity vulnerability, with cybercriminals targeting smaller firms in a wider supply chain to access sensitive data.

  1. There’s often no in-house IT team

As we’ve just said, post-production houses tend to appear small on paper but have big, enterprise-level IT needs. Despite this, we know that most have only one – or none – dedicated IT staff. That leaves your outfit vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches purely by not having the latest tech – hardware, software and networks – or the in-house capability to deal with an issue fast if and when it happens.

That’s where we come along. We’ve been working with London’s creative small businesses for years, helping to keep them secure, flexible and resilient. And, because of our background and experience, we know the challenges faced by film and TV companies. That’s why we’re perfectly placed as your outsourced specialist IT team. Contact us today for more information.

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