CPS 2019: SHIFT CTO Stresses Proper Vetting for Pre-Release Content


UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Sharing pre-release content outside of your organization carries inherent risks, and Alex Nauda, CTO for workflow tech specialist SHIFT, began his breakout presentation Dec. 4 at the Content Protection Summit with the stark truth of the matter: “Mistakes in this process can be very expensive.”

And yet, from dailies, to work-in-progress reviews in post, to press screeners, content owners continue to share to seemingly random emails, without using the tools that exist to unearth social engineers, con artists and other nefarious players intent on infiltrating sharing distribution lists.

Nauda’s presentation — “Vetting Techniques for Internet Sharing Recipients” — offered insight into how basic vetting techniques can strengthen content protection. Publicists especially need to be on top of things with their lists for press screeners, and can do so by keeping a list of known “bad actors” close at hand, checking the email domains of those requesting access, and snooping the online presence of people who want on the list. Be especially suspect of non-work email addresses (think Gmail), and requests from “journalists” who don’t have a social media presence, he said.

“If they’re not tweeting about TV, they’re not reviewing TV,” he said. “Journalists never avoid having a public profile.”

Check their LinkedIn, search their byline, make sure the content they’re requesting matches the field of entertainment they actually cover. If doubts about the identity of someone requesting access persist, go ahead and get them on a video call to vet them, Nauda said. “A legit reviewer who wants to view the content will happily get on a call with you.”

Early in the day on the main stage at CPS, SHIFT CEO Kai Pradel shared how an April security incident, impacting a platform used by multiple content owner companies, brought the content protection vendor community and content owners together like never before.

“For the first time, we were able to orchestrate a widespread collaboration between content owners and vendors,” he said. “It was a major step forward.”

Nauda, in a discussion about that security incident, seconded Pradel’s happiness with how well security vendors and content owners are working together today, especially with pre-release content.

“We’re all in a better place as an industry with press reviewers and the vulnerabilities there,” he said. “We’re primed to be vigilant right now.”

The Content Protection Summit was produced by MESA and CDSA, and was presented by SHIFT, with sponsorship by IBM Security, NAGRA, Convergent Risks, LiveTiles, Richey May Technology Solutions, EIDR, the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) and Darktrace.