Last updated at Mon, 08 Aug 2022 13:47:57 GMT

Streaming is king in the media and entertainment industry. According to the Motion Picture Association’s Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment Report, the global number of streaming subscribers grew to 1.3 billion in 2021. Consumer demand for immediate digital delivery is skyrocketing. Producing high-quality content at scale is a challenge media companies must step up to on a daily basis. One thing is for sure: Meeting these expectations would be unmanageable left to human hands alone.

Fortunately, cloud adoption has enabled entertainment companies to meet mounting customer and business needs more efficiently. With the high-speed workflow and delivery processes that the cloud enables, distributing direct-to-consumer is now the industry standard.

As media and entertainment companies grow their cloud footprints, they’re also opening themselves up to vulnerabilities threat actors can exploit — and the potential consequences can be financially devastating.

Balancing cloud security with production speed

In 2021, a Twitch data breach showed the impact cyberattacks can have on intellectual property at media and entertainment companies. Attackers stole 128 gigabytes of data from the popular streaming site and posted the collection on 4chan. The released torrent file contained:

  • The history of Twitch’s source code
  • Programs Twitch used to test its own vulnerabilities
  • Proprietary software development kits
  • An unreleased online games store intended to compete with Steam
  • Amazon Game Studios’ next title

Ouch. In mere moments, the attackers stole a ton of sensitive IP and a key security strategy. How did attackers manage this? By exploiting a single misconfigured server.

Before you think, "Well, that couldn’t happen to us," consider that cloud misconfigurations are the most common source of data breaches.

Yet, media and entertainment businesses can’t afford to slow down their adoption and usage of public cloud infrastructure if they hope to remain relevant. Consumers demand timely content, whether it’s the latest midnight album drop from Taylor Swift or breaking news on the war in Ukraine.

Media and entertainment organizations must mature their cloud security postures alongside their content delivery and production processes to maintain momentum while protecting their most valuable resources: intellectual property, content, and customer data.

We’ve outlined three key cloud security strategies media and entertainment companies can follow to secure their data in the cloud.

1. Expand and consolidate visibility

You can’t protect what you can’t see. There are myriad production, technical, and creative teams working on a host of projects at a media and entertainment company – and they all interact with cloud and container environments throughout their workflow. This opens the door for potential misconfigurations (and then breaches) if these environments aren’t carefully tracked, secured, or even known about.

Here are some key considerations to make:

  • Do you know exactly what platforms are being used across your organization?
  • Do you know how they are being used and whether they are secure?

Most enterprises lack visibility into all the cloud and container environments their teams use throughout each step of their digital supply chain. Implementing a system to continuously monitor all cloud and container services gives you better insight into associated risks. Putting these processes into place will enable you to tightly monitor – and therefore protect – your growing cloud footprint.

How to get started: Improve visibility by introducing a plan for cloud workload protection.

2. Shift left to prevent risk earlier

Cloud, container, and other infrastructure misconfigurations are a major area of concern for most security teams. More than 30% of the data breaches studied in our 2022 Cloud Misconfigurations Report were caused by relaxed security settings and misconfigurations in the cloud. These misconfigurations are alarmingly common across industries and can cause critical exposures, as evidenced in the following example:

In 2021, a server misconfiguration on Sky.com (a UK-based media company) revealed access credentials to a production-level database and IP addresses to development endpoints. This meant that anyone with those released credentials or addresses could easily access a mountain of proprietary data from the Comcast subsidiary.

One way to avoid these types of breaches is to prevent misconfigurations in your Infrastructure as Code (IaC) templates. Scanning IaC templates, such as Terraform, reduces the likelihood of cloud misconfigurations by ensuring that any templates that are built and deployed are already vetted against the same security and compliance checks as your production cloud infrastructure and services.

By leveraging IaC scanning that provides fast, context-rich results to resource owners, media and entertainment organizations can build a stronger security foundation while reducing friction across DevOps and security teams and cutting down on the number of 11th-hour fixes. Solving problems in the CI/CD pipeline improves efficiency by correcting issues once rather than fixing them over and over again at runtime.

How to get started: Learn about the first step of shifting left with Infrastructure as Code in the CI/CD pipeline.

3. Create a culture of security

As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Cloud security practices won’t be as effective or efficient if an organization’s workforce doesn’t understand and value secure processes. A culture of collaboration between DevOps and security is a good start, but the entire organization must understand and uphold security best practices.

Fostering a culture that prioritizes the protection of digital content empowers all parts of (and people in) your supply chain to work with secure practices front-of-mind.

What’s the tell-tale sign that you’ve created a culture of security? When all employees, no matter their department or role, see it as simply another part of their job. This is obviously not to say that you need to turn all employees, or even developers, into security experts, but they should understand how security influences their role and the negative consequences to the business if security recommendations are avoided or ignored.

How to get started: Share this curated set of resources on cloud security for media and entertainment companies with your team.

Achieving continuous content security

Media and entertainment companies can’t afford to slow down if they hope to meet consumer demands. They can’t afford to neglect security, either, if they want to maintain consumer trust.

Remember, the ultimate offense is a strong defense. Building security into your cloud infrastructure processes from the beginning dramatically decreases the odds that an attacker will find a chink in your armor. Moreover, identifying and remediating security issues sooner plays a critical role in protecting consumer data and your intellectual property and other media investments.

Want to learn more about how media and entertainment companies can strengthen their cloud security postures?

Read our eBook: Protecting IP and Consumer Data in the Streaming Age: A Guide to Cloud Security for Digital Media & Entertainment.

Additional reading:

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