Content Protection Summit Speakers: M&E Security Remains a Moving Target

NEW YORK — Movie studios, TV networks and other content owners must continue to evolve in their efforts to combat piracy, cybercrime and other security challenges, according to experts speaking July 25 at the Content Protection Summit: East event.

Creative people working on productions from multiple locations and using multiple kinds of devices; the rapid growth of cloud services and the use of drones; the rise of open-source media software like Kodi; and the threat of studio hacks, ransomware and script leaks via social media; all are challenges content owners face today, speakers said at the CPS: East event.

IPTV piracy and Kodi add-ons represent growing threats for the content industry, David Wurgler, senior director of anti-piracy litigation at content protection company NAGRA, said during the session “Putting a Stop to Illegal IPTV Distribution of Your Content – Real Solutions to get Real Results.”

“There is no silver bullet” to combat the security threats, and content owners must make sure they’re using all the tools in their toolbox to fight them, he said. Anti-piracy is all about escalation and deterrence, and deterrence includes using the best technologies to safeguard content at every step of the creative process, as well as global enforcement and legislation to fight piracy, he added.

Protecting content in this “connected world” of cloud services is no easy thing, Joel Sloss, senior program manager for Microsoft Azure, added during the panel session “Securing Production & Post-Production for Film & Television.”

IMG_3885 “We’re entering that phase of the technology where being connected to the Internet is no longer a choice,” he said. “The scalability that’s required to keep up with the number of productions and the scale of productions as we start moving from standard HD to Ultra” HD and eventually 8K resolution and virtual reality is “driving just massive amounts of data” to the point that individual, smaller organizations “don’t have the capability to support that on their own,” he said.

It’s a “very difficult time” to tackle information security, but also a “great time” to be doing it as well because of the clearer-than-ever need for content owners to protect their content, Stephen Fridakis, chief information security officer for HBO, said during the CPS keynote panel “View from the Top – The State of Broadcast Security.”

“We have to be pragmatic” and understand that many creative people may be operating small operations out of the home, Fridakis said. He added that the “tremendous increase in original productions” in recent years has allowed networks like HBO to give creators of original content the “ability to allow [them] to do well what [they] do well, which is create stories,” while putting the network in charge of protecting that content for them.

It’s important to protect content during its entire lifecycle, from the beginning of the creative process when a project is greenlit, to the tail-end of distribution, Ben Stanbury, VP of technology security and risk management for The Walt Disney Studios, said during the same panel discussion.

IMG_3867 To achieve that, the studio’s security people must sit down with the creative departments and discuss security risks, he said, adding that to get the creative people to be “willing to comply with the security protocol, we need to be able to speak their language and be able to understand what the nuances are of their workflows – what their preferences are in terms of tool kits and not come in with any rigid process.”

More than 300 people in the media and entertainment sector attended the inaugural Microsoft Media & Entertainment Day, which included Content Protection Summit: East, and was held at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). Produced by MESA, the event featured four half-day event programs, covering content protection, video in the cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and metadata’s place in the content lifecycle.