As the world becomes increasingly digital, the media industry is not immune to the effects of cyber security threats. Ensuring that sensitive data and intellectual property are secure while protecting against potential breaches is essential in today’s landscape.
We explore the growing importance of cyber security in media and communications, common cyber threats to watch out for, best practices for securing media and communications systems, and the role of government and industry regulations in cyber security.
The growing importance of cyber security in media and communications
With the rise of digital media platforms and the increasing role of social media in spreading information, ensuring the security of these systems has become critical. As media companies increasingly rely on digital technologies to store, create, and distribute content, they become more vulnerable to cyber attacks. These attacks can be detrimental to a company’s reputation and financial well-being.
The rise of digital media platforms
The shift toward digital media platforms has increased the number of entry points that cyber attackers can target. From streaming services to social media platforms, each system is another potential target for an attacker. It is imperative for media companies to assess potential vulnerabilities and maintain the highest levels of security measures.
One of the challenges of securing digital media platforms is the constantly evolving nature of technology. As new technologies emerge, companies must adapt and implement security measures to protect against potential threats.
This requires a commitment to ongoing education and training for employees, as well as a willingness to invest in the latest security technologies. Here’s an article we recommend reading about actionable threat intelligence and how it’s essential for effective cyber security strategies.
The role of social media in spreading information
Social media has given individuals and organisations the ability to communicate with millions of people instantly. While this has provided many positive outcomes, it has also increased the risk of cyber threats. Social media platforms have become a primary means for spreading phishing attacks and social engineering schemes, which can be very difficult to detect and prevent.
One way that media companies can protect against social media threats is by implementing strict policies and procedures for social media use. This includes training employees on how to identify and avoid potential threats, as well as monitoring social media activity for suspicious behaviour.
Protecting intellectual property and sensitive data
Securing intellectual property and sensitive data is crucial for any organisation. In the media industry, ensuring the protection of copyrighted material and trade secrets is especially important. In addition, protecting personal information, such as credit card numbers and personal identifying information, from a breach is vital for maintaining trust with the public and avoiding legal consequences.
Media companies can protect against data breaches by implementing strong data security protocols, such as encryption and access controls. It is also important for companies to regularly review and update their security measures to ensure they are keeping up with the latest threats.
Cyber security is becoming increasingly important in the media industry as digital technologies play a larger role in content creation and distribution. Media companies must be vigilant in protecting against potential threats, including those posed by digital and social media platforms.
Media companies can protect their reputation and financial well-being by implementing strong security measures and staying up-to-date on the latest threats.
Common cyber threats in media and communications
Media and communications companies must be aware of several types of cyber threats and take steps to prevent them. Here are some of the most common:
Phishing attacks and social engineering
Phishing attacks and social engineering schemes are common ways attackers access systems. In these attacks, attackers will send an email that appears to be from a trusted source, often prompting the recipient to click on a link or download a file that contains malware. These types of attacks can be very convincing, and training employees to recognise and prevent them is important.
Ransomware and malware
Ransomware and malware are malicious software programs that can cause significant damage to a company’s systems and data. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. Malware, on the other hand, can cause damage to systems in various ways, such as deleting files or stealing sensitive data. It’s important to keep antivirus software updated and regularly scan systems for potential threats.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
DDoS attacks are a type of cyber attack that involves overwhelming a company’s systems with traffic to the point where they become non-functional. These attacks can have significant financial and reputational consequences, as they can cause major disruptions to a company’s operations. Strong network monitoring measures can help detect and prevent these types of attacks.
Insider threats and human error
While many cyber threats come from external sources, insider threats and human error are still significant sources of vulnerability. Malicious employees can steal sensitive information or cause damage to systems, while careless errors, such as using weak passwords or falling for phishing attacks, can also cause significant damage. Employee training and awareness programs can help mitigate these risks.
Best practices for securing media and communications systems
There are several best practices that media and communications companies can follow to help secure their systems and data. Here are some of the most important:
Implementing strong access controls
Ensuring that access to systems and data is tightly controlled is crucial for preventing unauthorised access. This includes implementing strong password policies, two-factor authentication, and limiting user privileges based on their job roles.
Regularly updating software and hardware
Keeping software and hardware up to date is an essential part of maintaining security. Many software updates include security patches that address vulnerabilities, and using hardware that is no longer supported can create security gaps. Regularly reviewing and updating systems can mitigate these risks.
Employee training and awareness programs
Training employees to recognise and prevent cyber threats is a critical component of any cyber security strategy. This can include regular training on topics such as phishing and social engineering, as well as ongoing education on emerging threats.
Network segmentation and monitoring
Segmenting networks into smaller subnetworks can help limit the damage that a cyber attack can do. If an attacker gains access to one part of the network, they will be less able to navigate to other areas. In addition, monitoring network activity can help to detect and prevent potential threats.
The role of government and industry regulations
The media industry is also subject to various government and industry regulations that require companies to maintain certain levels of cyber security. Here are some of the most important:
Data protection laws and their impact on media companies
Data protection regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require companies to protect personal information and provide transparency in how this information is collected and used. These regulations can have significant consequences for companies that fail to comply, including large fines.
Compliance with industry-specific standards
Many media companies also have industry-specific standards requiring certain cyber security levels. For example, the Motion Picture Association of America has a set of standards that require member companies to implement specific security measures to protect against piracy.
The role of government agencies in cyber security
Finally, government agencies play a critical role in cyber security. Agencies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provide guidelines and standards for securing information systems. At the same time, in the United States of America, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigates and prosecutes cyber crimes.
As the media industry shifts toward digital technologies, it’s essential to implement strong cyber security measures to protect against potential cyber attacks. By following best practices and complying with government and industry regulations, companies can create a stronger security posture and mitigate the risks of cyber threats.
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