How Safe Is Your Content?

A man in a ski mask working on a laptop and looking menacing. There is binary code behind him.

Yesterday’s big “meta hacking” story that WikiLeaks has apparently released thousands of documents describing C.I.A. software for hacking smartphones, computers and even “smart” TVs is a timely reminder of the importance of security in our hyperconnected world.

Most Media & Entertainment professionals will remember only too well the cyberattack on Sony Pictures in 2014 – believed to be tied to the North Korean government –in which a mass of sensitive and confidential company documents were stolen and posted online. The fallout from this hack went well beyond the M&E industry, acting as a wake-up call to businesses of all kinds as to their vulnerability to cyber-criminals and digital adversaries. But the media business, in common with many other industries (engineering design, software, genomics, etc.) whose primary products and intellectual property are themselves stored and moved as digital data, is especially sensitive to cybersecurity and data theft concerns.

Recognizing this, data security has always been at the core of Signiant’s approach to developing our software. Secure design principles are baked into our process from the very beginning of every new product and feature we develop, and we engage a 3rd party security auditor to ensure that we remain up to date on current threats and best practices. This security focus was already in place 10+ years ago when we launched our first product, Manager+Agents – still the industry standard for automated system-to-system large file movements across media enterprises. And the commitment to security remains critical to the success of our cloud-native SaaS products, Media Shuttle and Flight, our ground-breaking solutions for person-to-person and system-to-cloud file movements. Ensuring our customers’ valuable data is secure throughout the entire lifecycle is absolutely fundamental to Signiant’s design philosophy, wherever that data may be going – to the cloud, to a remote office or data center, or to a customer or partner on the other side of the world.

In light of current events we want to draw attention to an article, “Secure Design in a Hyperconnected World”, that appeared in M&E Journal’s Fall 2015 Edition. In that article our CTO, Ian Hamilton, discusses the core secure design principles that all software developers should adhere to, and offers a timely reminder of the challenges of ensuring security in today’s ever more interconnected world. Solutions are increasingly expected to be both secure and yet also be user-friendly. Balancing these demands, while also providing business value and flexibility, requires informed, comprehensive and pragmatic approaches. There are unique challenges in the Media & Entertainment world, with consumers demanding more and more content, wherever and whenever they want it. And as the cloud increasingly becomes both a dominant distribution platform and a vital extension of the company’s IT infrastructure, getting this balance right is ever more critical to success.

Suggested Content

Essential security considerations: Get everyone on the same page and work together. Your first step, and best place to start. Educate yourselves, your clients, your coworkers and management on the risks and options. Recognize that every production is different and unique. Access, functionality and security are all important. Success requires all three, not just two. Recognize there is a technical side and a very big social side. Recognize that security protocols cannot hinder productivity. Put teams together that collaborate well. There will be a lot of learning on both sides. When choosing technology, first find a partner with a security-first mindset.

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