Azure’s Basse: Solid Cloud Security Eases Remote Production Concerns


For all the headaches that may have arrived with today’s remote-work reality for media and entertainment productions, worrying about how secure your cloud service is hasn’t been among them, according to Hanno Basse, CTO of media and entertainment for Microsoft Azure.

“It’s not just unique to Azure,” Basse said, speaking May 27 during a fireside chat presentation — “Evolution of Production in the Cloud” — at the digital Hollywood Innovation and Transformation Summit (HITS) Live event. “All of the cloud platforms are very secure, and there are a lot of reasons for that being the case,” mainly because media and entertainment clients demand no less.

“I don’t think that’s ever been an issue. Often people conflate the notion of the public internet — BitTorrent and peer-to-peer networks — with computers in a data center. They’re not the same thing, and all of the cloud vendors have a lot more resources to deal with security than an individual Hollywood studio, production company or tool vendor.”

Because of the cloud, productions already in progress have been able to adapt amazingly well during the COVID-19 pandemic, Basse said, with vendors like Avid and Adobe working with cloud service partners to ease the process. If anything, uploading content is the main bottleneck, due to home bandwidth concerns.

Hollywood has long been working on their productions using cloud services, but it’s only been lately that it’s become a widespread must, instead of a nice-to-have option. The pandemic accelerated the production-in-the-cloud movement, Basse said. And while physical productions are a different beast, working on post remotely has gone extremely well thus far, and content owners are resting easy when it comes to security concerns, Basse said.

“As you migrate your production into the cloud, one of the things that’s also happening is your security approach becomes a lot more consistent,” Basse said. “In the past, a production company on-set would use one approach, and one set of solutions for content security. And when the content came back to the post house for editorial, that would use different [security] policies. Then the content would go to the VFX vendor, and they have their own security perimeter and access policies.

“These things, when you put them all together in a cloud environment, you come up with a very homogenous and consistent security envelope. It’s clearly a lot more secure than dumping your content on an LTO tape and jumping in the car and driving it across town. I can’t think of a more secure place than the cloud.”

The May 27 HITS Live event tackled the quickly shifting IT needs of studios, networks and media service providers, along with how M&E vendors are stepping up to meet those needs. The all-live, virtual, global conference allowed for real-time Q&A, one-on-one chats with other attendees, and more.

HITS Live was presented by Microsoft Azure, with sponsorship by RSG Media, Signiant, Tape Ark, Whip Media Group, Zendesk, Eluvio, Sony, Avanade, 5th Kind, Tamr, EIDR and the Trusted Partner Network (TPN). The event is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and the Smart Content Council.

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