Media: Challenged by Cyber Risks in the Digital World

Media Barometer: Cyber Security Special Edition

For several years, the media industry has been disrupted by new internet-based business models, and content digitalization and enablement for different platforms. As part of this transition, data security has become a major challenge for media companies. Loss of data can present a threat to the continuity of operations and cause long-term reputational damage.

Each year we analyze the global risks affecting the media industry to better understand how companies handle the impact of those risks on their business. “This is the new normal, especially for media companies. We’re seeing regular breaches across the industry. All organizations need to be ready for cyber security breaches and do what they can to protect themselves,” says S. Gregory Boyd, Partner and Chairman of the Interactive Entertainment Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

For several years, the media industry has been disrupted by new internet-based business
models, media content digitalization, and the need to enable content to be used on different
platforms. As part of this transition, data security has become a major challenge for media
companies. Loss of data can present a very real threat to the continuity of their operations and cause long-term damage to a company’s reputation.

Information technology, and particularly cyber security, is no longer a negligible risk factor for
companies. Causes for this heightened concern include:

  • Heightened attacks on internet-connected IT infrastructure
  • Large-scale hacking (e.g., TV5, SONY)
  • Massive thefts of personal data (e.g., T-MOBILE, ASHLEYMADISON.COM)
  • Lack of consideration for security during project development
  • The increasing complexity of information technology environments, linked to the digitalization of internal processes and the implementation of new client-facing platforms.

Media Companies are Particularly Vulnerable

While every company can be subject to data hacking, companies in the media world have become prime targets, due to:

  • Increased visibility allows terrorist organizations to more broadly disseminate their message
  • Ease of access – most media content is at least partially digital, whether it is music, audio
    visual, online publications or games
  • High consumer demand for content allows hackers to draw large numbers of people to
    streaming or illegal download sites that feature stolen content. This provides the hackers
    a significant income stream from advertising on these sites
  • General powerlessness on the part of public authorities, who are most often unable to
    find and punish the hackers
  • Value as a vector of attacks to propagate “malware” against users of online content

These attacks are not only perpetrated by individuals, but also by groups of activists, terrorist
groups, and nations conducting espionage, propaganda or retaliation.

Learn more by downloading the full Media Barometer.