Security Risk, Efficiency, and Optimizing Production

A weathered, blue door locked with a large chain and a padlock.

Throughout media production, many M&E businesses will find themselves experiencing a challenging tug-of-war: security risk vs. efficiency. For businesses that work with valuable content, a complex supply chain with a wealth of partners and collaborators, this struggle is all but inevitable. IT and operations personnel are concerned about ensuring the security of content that — should it leak — could be financially damaging and a major blow to an enterprise’s reputation. Meanwhile, creatives who work on the content just want the freedom to send, edit, and communicate about it in the easiest way. Unfortunately, the wrong technologies and processes can slow the creative process causing friction between the groups.

There are a number of key factors that will help M&E organizations actually achieve the optimal balance between these two demands (which are not as adversarial as they might initially seem), but one of the most crucial is flexibility.

Be honest about your security risk

Understanding the unique and vital challenges your business is facing with regards to these issues is absolutely essential as, if you can’t understand the problem, finding an actual working solution will be close to impossible.

“Risk is in the eye of the beholder,” says Ryan Salazar, editor-in-chief at Broadcast Beat and the cohost of Broadcast Beat and Signiant’s most recent webinar discussing how security and efficiency interact. “Disney’s risk is perhaps different than a local advertising agency. And, not all risk is financial.”  This is to say that it’s vital for media organizations to understand what challenges they specifically face before adopting a given solution. After all, the tools that work for a massive studio with dozens of partners may not be suited for a smaller business that keeps all of its production in house. When organizations adopt what they imagine to be a blanket solution, having not asked what they individually need, both security and efficiency are liable to suffer.

Needs change…so do solutions

The realities of security and efficiency are complex, and ensuring that each adapts to the other can be a complicated process for those businesses that take the success of their approach for granted. As a number of our guests discuss in the webinar, and as we’ve explored in our breakdown of their insights, conscientious and adaptable solutions are essential.

Just as not every organization will need to strike the same balance between efficiency and security, individual organizations will not always adhere to the same balance perpetually. As organizations grow, evolve, and restructure their workflows the ways in which they seek to promote security and efficiency will have to remain dynamic, lest an old model suddenly prove dangerously unfit for a new scenario.

At the end of the day, there’s really no single answer for whether security or efficiency should dominate workflow approaches, and there are likely people with vastly different opinions within every organization, even every department. Ultimately, the key to coming out of this tug-of-war as successful as possible is remaining flexible and dynamic. But risk is merely one consideration when it comes to balancing security and efficiency. To learn about others, check out our article summarizing the webinar that brings in the voices of other industry professionals. Hopefully, their insights help elucidate what security and efficiency tug-of-war actually looks like, and whether it’s possible to attain a mutually beneficial equilibrium for production.

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