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Cyberattacks on Media Companies and Cybersecurity Measures


Why Do Media Companies Look Like Gold Mines to Cyberattackers?

Media companies are some of the most visible targets on the cyber threat landscape, and there are several reasons why criminals seek to take advantage of them.

Using Intellectual Property Rights for Ransomware

Intellectual property thefts are a persistent problem across multiple industries. Controlling when and how content gets released to the public is a prime objective of media companies. Without full control over the timing of their releases, it is impossible to leverage the sense of suspense created when they whet the appetites of their audiences.

Cyber criminals know this, and they can use ransomware to control computers that hold intellectual property, preventing workers at the company from accessing it, releasing it, and even editing it.

Mega Moviemaking Budgets Lure Attackers

It is common for movies to cost tens of millions of dollars to produce, with production costs often skyrocketing into the nine-figure range. These big numbers attract cyber criminals who want to steal a piece of the pie.

Greater Online Exposure

The online marketing and delivery methods media companies use to distribute their content are two-edged swords. While they make it easier for companies to get content to their viewers, it also makes media content an enticing target for attackers. 

An attacker knows they can find and exploit a weakness in the code of a program, pump it full of malware, and then spread that version—filled with viruses—all over the internet.

Multiple Vulnerabilities in Media Platforms

Media companies often use outdated software or do not enforce thoughtful authentication and verification procedures, giving hackers a bevy of options for attacking their digital infrastructure. 

Also, the sheer size of a media company makes it a low-hanging fruit for cyber criminals because even if they cannot penetrate one person’s system, they may be able to find someone who is less careful and use their workstation to gain a foothold in the network.

How to Secure Media Companies from Cyberattacks

The applications of cybersecurity in the media and entertainment industry are vast, particularly given the growing attack surface, which impacts other industries as well. Despite the diversity of challenges, there are several methods of securing media companies’ assets, and when used in conjunction with each other, they can provide a comprehensive defense system.

Leveraging Data Encryption

Encrypting data makes it unreadable by criminals. Applying data encryption to both stored and transmitted data can keep it out of the hands of opportunistic attackers.

Using Principles of Minimal Access Privilege with Staff

If a media company only provides access to an area of the network to people who absolutely need it for their jobs, they can minimize the risk of data breaches. This requires careful forethought, strict access policies, and full visibility to monitor the effectiveness of the solution.

Strengthening Authentication Practices Through Multi-factor Authentication

With strong authentication requirements and multi-factor authentication (MFA), security barriers are put in place that may deter hackers. Because many hackers are opportunists, they may move on to other targets to avoid the extra work it requires to attack your system.

Deploying Effective Anti-malware Applications

Anti-malware, particularly when kept up to date, can stop a wide range of threats. Every time your malware solution gets refreshed with the latest threat intelligence, you are even protected from the threats you do not know about, yet.

Effective Backup Process

A backup system, especially when you run backups at regular, frequent intervals, is often enough to maintain adequate resiliency and continuity even when the worst kinds of attacks penetrate your system. With frequent, regular backups, you can even shrug off a ransomware attack, reverting to the most recent disk image or a redundant parallel system quickly and smoothly.

Systematic Security Training to Staff

Your staff can be your most powerful mitigation tool, especially when they know what to look out for and what to do in the event of an incident. Incorporating regular training in your internal education system is a great way for a media company to reduce its risks. This can be done using cybersecurity media and other educational assets.

Ensuring Endpoint Security

For a media company, securing servers and other areas of the network architecture is only part of the challenge. Every endpoint that interfaces with the network also needs to be secured. In addition, zero-trust principles should be implemented, forcing endpoints to prove the validity of their access rights prior to connecting.

Regular Pen Testing and Patching

Your security system is only as good as your testing infrastructure and updates, especially considering the diverse range of threats faced by media companies. With regular penetration testing and security patches, you can ensure your system is up to par while staying a step ahead of attackers.

How Fortinet Can Help

The Fortinet Security Fabric, powered by FortiOS, can provide a media company with the protection it needs to deter even advanced, sophisticated attacks. The Fortinet Security Fabric empowers an organization with:

  1. A broad range of protections: The Fortinet Security Fabric guards the entire attack surface, including edges, cloud environments, endpoints, and users.
  2. Integration of security tools and deployments: The Security Fabric unifies disparate security measures, allowing global control of your security technology, regardless of what it is and where it is hosted.
  3. Self-healing automation: The Fortinet Security Fabric incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) to automate protections. Threats to media and entertainment industry assets can be detected and mitigated in moments—automatically—saving time and resources for busy IT admins.

FortiOS provides the computational muscle behind the Fortinet Security Fabric. FortiOS makes it possible for many security solutions to work together without sacrificing throughput. The visibility and control a media company needs to exert over its environment are made possible by the ability of FortiOS to deliver a centralized management solution—regardless of the complexity of your network.