Why Data Security Is Important in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Cybercrime may seem like a suitable subject for a movie or television show, but for those who work in the media and entertainment industry, it is a real-life threat. Studios hire many different people to write scripts, to direct screenplays, and to manage the production, industry talent, facility operations, and IT networks. There are numerous opportunities for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Data security for the media and entertainment industry is, therefore, of utmost importance.

To understand why media data storage security, including encryption, is so important, we will discuss some of the greatest threats and how to prevent them.

Cybersecurity Threats Remain a Persistent Problem

Cybersecurity issues have been prevalent in film, television, print, radio, and sports. There are various ways in which cybercriminals exploit media and entertainment organizations. The top threats include impersonating authorized individuals, counterfeiting tickets, pirating content, issuing threats, and breaching networks to access content and personal data.

Security Risks in the Media and Entertainment Industry

The sheer numbers of vulnerabilities, attack methods, and incidents make it essential for media and entertainment companies to use data encryption systems. Some of the greatest risks they face every day include:

  • Scams: Scammers are reaching a larger audience than ever before. In 2020, hackers exploited WhatsApp, a messaging application run by Facebook. Users were promised free membership to a streaming service if they forwarded a message to 10 contacts and provided their account credentials. This personal data was then sold off by hackers to take over accounts. 1
  • Insider Sabotage: Cyberattacks often originate from within an organization, whether by accident or intentionally by a disgruntled employee. In 2014, confidential data about employees at Sony Pictures was exploited. Hackers also erased computer infrastructure using malware, prompting the media giant to alert others in the industry.2 The attack involved 100 terabytes of data, including details regarding celebrity earnings, employee social security numbers, emails containing internal gossip, and unreleased movies.3
  • Leaked Content: In 2017, HBO faced a cyberattack that leaked an episode of Game of Thrones online. Netflix was hit by a similar type of attack. As a result, 10 episodes of Orange Is The New Black were leaked. An investigation later found a contractor working on the show launched the attack. From internet radio services to online gaming platforms, cybercrime has become a widespread problem. In recent years, Steam revealed that 77,000 accounts are hacked every month.4


  • Email Hacking: Hackers attacked user accounts of the Disney+ streaming service as soon as it went live in 2019. They were able to log people out and change email and password settings. The stolen accounts were then sold on the deep web. However, a leaked email doesn’t only affect consumers. Communications involving celebrities can be used to fuel tabloids and public scandals. Often, leaked information is manipulated or taken out of context, sparking media frenzies and scandals.6
  • Unauthorized Data Access: From employees who are untrained regarding the risks of information sharing, to third-party vendors who have been granted access, and users exchanging files remotely, your data is often vulnerable. The potential for unauthorized data access can have professional, personal, artistic, and financial consequences that can ruin reputations and shut down productions and businesses.
  • Ransomware Threats: Ransomware attacks are expensive. Entertainment companies have paid extremely large amounts of money to access lost data. The cost also comes in the form of lost credibility and paying fines for non-compliance with regulatory authorities. Data should always be backed up in at least one secure location. Encryption also reduces the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.

Why Data Security Is So Important in the Media and Entertainment Industry

As we’ve seen in past incidents, data breaches and other cybercrimes put many in the industry at risk. Data security is essential for ensuring the privacy of employees, consumers, creators, and celebrities. Unauthorized access to social security numbers and medical information can lead to identity theft, while internal communications can be used to exploit sensitive information. Leakage of unreleased scripts, TV shows, and other extremely valuable assets can occur internally and externally.

Entertainment companies must always be aware of what’s being said about their brand, content, and talent. Reputation, which is dependent on fan loyalty, can be easily damaged by a data breach. This, in turn, can have devastating effects on reputability and revenue earnings in a business where success is often solely driven by public sentiment. Having the right data security policy and infrastructure in place reduces the risk.

Ways to Improve Data Security in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Prioritizing assets, controlling access, and having an incident response plan are some effective practices, but improving data security requires specific practices that involve everyone within your organization. If you’re wondering how to keep your data secure, here are some of the most effective strategies:

  • Employee Training: Employees should be trained in the latest threats and how to recognize the signs of an attack. A training program that incorporates your company’s policies and procedures is most effective and should also instruct personnel on what to do if they suspect an attack is occurring. Your staff needs to know what to report, who to report it to, and in what manner.
  • Properly Classify Data: Information should be classified continually, accounting for its attributes and how its importance changes over time. You can then classify data accurately, which is important, but classifying every last bit of information isn’t the goal. The goal is to increase accuracy over time and adapt your security posture to constantly changing conditions.
  • Create Backups: Secure data backup can prevent the loss of confidential information, especially when encryption is used. This ensures only authorized users can exchange files or access them, saves time, and allows IT personnel to dedicate their time to tracking and auditing files, keeping them secure, and concentrating on production data management. All the while, users can safely share and transfer files using mobile devices.
  • Use Secure Encrypted Systems: Encryption, in software or hardware form, makes data unreadable by converting them into codes. Only someone with an encryption key can make the data readable again. Otherwise, a hacker could read or maliciously use information that’s available to them. Encryption systems provide peace of mind because only the intended recipients can decrypt and see what you have sent.
  • Share Data Using Quick-Link® Technology: At Ciphertex®, we offer hardware and software data security solutions. Our SecureNAS® servers provide AES-256 bit encryption and military-grade durability. With Ciphertex Quick-Link® cables, you can quickly and easily network your SecureNAS to up to ten Windows-, Mac-, and/or Linux-based computers for secure information sharing via a USB 3 interface. It is available in seven and twenty-foot lengths to accommodate a wide range of applications.

Trust Ciphertex® for Secure Media and Entertainment Data and Content Storage


Data security products from Ciphertex® leverage the latest technology to minimize cybersecurity threats, protect company data, and increase productivity. Our portable NAS servers, portable RAID systems, single drives, rackmount servers, and Quick-Link® cables and other accessories are perfectly suited for media and entertainment, as well as other industries.

Additionally, we provide customizable encryption software that optimizes data management, secures data sharing, provides data migration and includes a state-of-the-art back-up solution. To learn more, call Ciphertex Data Security® at 818-773-8989 today!


  1. https://medium.com/hackernoon/the-media-entertainment-industry-is-under-cyber-attack-and-this-is-why-9a55b4b21eb4
  2. https://money.cnn.com/2014/12/04/technology/security/sony-hack/
  3. https://medium.com/hackernoon/the-media-entertainment-industry-is-under-cyber-attack-and-this-is-why-9a55b4b21eb4
  4. https://onlinedegrees.und.edu/blog/cyber-security-entertainment-industry/
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