Microsoft Azure’s Sloss Details the Tools Needed for the ‘New Normal’


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, would studios even remotely consider allowing their most valuable content assets be almost completely worked on, well, remotely?

Joel Sloss, senior program manager for Microsoft Azure, answered that question succinctly May 12 during a presentation at the Cybersecurity & Content Protection Summit (CCPS), held digitally as part of the NAB Show Express experience: “that’s a big no-no.”

“How is it suddenly permissible, and what are the technologies [needed] in order to do that?” he said during his presentation “Security in the New Age of Remote.” “Let’s ask ourselves, is this a new normal, or a new nightmare? I wouldn’t be pleased that I had to change the entire way we work. But there are capabilities out there to help you.”

Your graphics workstation is now under your home desk, your internet connectivity wasn’t meant to handle this much work, and collaborating with your production team. And the office espresso machine was far better than what you have to work with at home, Sloss said.

And what’s unique about today’s situation, he added, was how few options exist for remote-working: there’s no coffee shops to use, no conference rooms to take advantage of, no libraries open to quietly work away from the kids in peace. It’s your home office, bedroom, dining room, living room maybe, and that’s it.

You need the ability to work with all the (HD, 4K) content you’re used to handling, when high-performance workstations and storage, reliable yet flexible connectivity, and accessibility to post-production collaborative review (edit, VFX, etc.) wasn’t an issue.

Look to the cloud, Sloss said: it offers more native security than many production houses are used to, reduces fragmented security implementation across multiple vendors, services and providers, and helps to unify your organization’s perimeters, policies and defense strategies. Look to virtual workstations that can hand UHD content, that offer tiered-storage with fully addressable archive access.

There are options available to make this remote work situation actually work, and media and entertainment companies are already pulling it off, seamlessly, he said. You just need to know where to look.

Presented by Richey May Technology Solutions, with sponsorship by Akamai, Cyberhaven, Microsoft Azure, SHIFT, Convergent Risks, and the Trusted Partner Network (TPN), the Cybersecurity & Content Protection Summit focused on the latest cybersecurity and content protection challenges studios, broadcasters and vendors alike are facing during the ongoing pandemic.

Produced under the direction of the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) Board of Directors and content advisors representing Amazon Studios, Adobe, Paramount, BBC Studios, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, WarnerMedia, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, and Lego Group, this year’s Cybersecurity & Content Protection Summit looked ahead at the challenges facing the security community in 2020 and beyond.

To view video of the presentation, click here. To download the PDF of the presentation, click here.