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By CIOReview | Monday, July 29, 2019

It's high time for media companies to make cybersecurity a priority for the industry to thwart cyber attacks.

FREMONT, CA: Media organizations are easy targets for cyber hackers. Broadcasters need to make significant transformational changes now if they are to protect themselves from hackers. The communications sector, which includes broadcasting, is prone to critical infrastructure vulnerabilities. Broadcasting provides essential services at times of national emergency or natural disasters. Broadcasting installations have often been the first targets in international conflicts or in attempts to change a regime. The threats have evolved from physical bombing or taking over stations to disabling or paralyzing broadcasting installations which rely increasingly on digital tools and processes.

The broadcasting industry relies increasingly on IT, the internet, internal and web-connected networks for content production, storage, and delivery. As a result, securing content production, storage, and delivery of broadcast and multimedia services from cyber menaces reckon on both IT and Operational Technology (OT). This requires a multi-layered, multi-sector approach, for which IEC and ISO/IEC joint standards, as well as industry-specific standards and recommendations from other organizations, provide solutions.

Cyber attacks on broadcasting and multimedia companies may take many forms, have multiple objectives, and be instigated by various actors maintaining informal links with each other. This makes such attacks extremely difficult to prevent, identify, or mitigate in real-time, which is essential in the broadcasting sector where latency can be a significant issue. The motives may include taking down a network, extortion, or disruption of services. Media companies, content producers, broadcasters rely extensively on IT and connected networks and have internet offers for production and additional services.

The multiplicity of services means that many tools are needed to address them, including. The broadcasting industry-specific standards and recommendations are also necessary to protect networks and content. As media services, including those of content providers, have become more connected, spanning different technologies, they face multiple kinds of attacks. Broadcast industry companies started using cloud services for their workflow, editing, and storage, and to ensure resilience and continuity of services in case of cyberattacks.

Blockchain technology can be utilized to authenticate and protect multimedia content from tampering. Better traceability means faster detection of content that is either tampered with or labeled with the wrong source. Each operation on the content can be contemplated a transaction and registered on the blockchain. Other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can both be used to disseminate and thwart cyber attacks.