6th Nov 2017

Cyber security issues within the video streaming industry are often centred on network protection to keep systems secure and data safe from hackers. It is, however, becoming a widespread concern in today’s industry that hackers are behaving more like business owners, and have access to greater resources than ever before, making these types of criminals even more worrying.

There are commonly two types of cyber criminal operating on various levels with differing motives:

  • Hackers who are after content and consumer data and assets for profit.
  • Hackers who are attempting to raise awareness of a particular issue, often causing disruption and attracting attention, but not for financial reward.

Both types of hacker cause concern, but the threat is increasing, and with GDPR laws about to come into play across Europe next year, the implications could end up being expensive and legally complicated, as well as annoying and the root cause of business failure!

The hacker with a business to run

Experts are concerned that online content production and distribution is at high risk, and that production companies are not fully aware of the lengths that cyber criminals are prepared to go to to deliver the solutions and services to their clients.

Some experts have likened today’s cyber criminals to enterprise business owners and managers, and are aware that they have access to mind-blowing resources. They are looking at the latest innovations, product development technologies and more to satisfy their customers. They are actively investing in product research, and although operating illegally, should indeed be viewed as business competitors.

Piracy is amongst one of the biggest concerns to the video streaming industry, with content redistribution of high-value media being a major contributor to the devaluation of content as a whole. Expert evaluation notes that there are almost 3 million ads on general, often respected sites, for illegal streaming platforms. Some of the most popular ones are garnering incredible attention amounting to more than 16 million visits per month.
However, streaming service providers have much more to be thinking about, notably the exploitation of any online vulnerabilities to launch malware, ransomware and other multi-layer attacks, which could put personal consumer data at risk.

The seriousness of these vulnerabilities can lead to real damage, for example, HBO reportedly faced a recent attack which resulted in the theft and pre-streaming of Game of Thrones episodes, scripts and subscriber Twitter account hacking.

Any connected device is open to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals can exploit. The streaming industry must take note and look at the bigger picture when dealing with these types of challenges. Awareness is just the first step, and a holistic approach to cyber security is the key to getting on the road to beating this type of criminal.

To clarify, the traditional view of hackers is changing within the industry, and it is big business. A recent report from Frontier Economics has estimated that just counterfeiting and piracy could cost the global economy over $4 trillion over the next four years.

What can be done to beat the cyber thieves?

Although there are solutions available to protect against certain types of cyber attack, not many address the full picture. To begin to take control of online security, experts recognise that a full, rounded approach is needed, which must be scalable and adaptable to stay in touch with current threats and products.

It is not an approach that can be made half-heartedly either. To deliver full security and protection, service providers need to stay on top of the analysis of cyber intelligence too, and be prepared for investment.

This is not a new issue, yet the sophistication of cyber criminals is improving. The ‘threat landscape’ needs to be monitored, and combining technology with a new attitude to prevention in terms of a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one is an idea that is gaining momentum amongst service providers. A real understanding of the threat of cyber criminals is needed if we can begin to address the issue comprehensively.

Contact us at TSC today to discuss how we can help you to address your concerns about cyber security.

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