FEED Autumn 2021 Newsletter

BUILDING YOUR CYBERHEAL H Digital criminals aren’t going away any time soon. To fight them, we have to change ourselves Words by Neal Romanek

IT’S IT, STUPID In FEED ’s cybersecurity masterclass, John Mailhot of Imagine Communications points out that the broadcast industry is not unique. While it makes for a high-profile and asset-rich target, the ways it can protect itself from cyberattack are those well- understood methods that work across every business. “Plain old enterprise security tools are the first line of defence for the media industry,” he says. “And the good news is that they’re not unique to television. The regular tools that secure every mid-sized enterprise are there, and are the most important thing for companies to deploy.” The media industry still has a bit of 20th century in its DNA, when TV anchors kept martinis is underpinned by good old, boring IT. The thing that allows you to distribute content to literally anyone on earth is a carefully managed system, following strict rules of engineering, understood the world over. Protecting your content, facility and reputation means understanding and deploying already well- defined protocols – and they need to be integrated in how you do things from the very beginning. If you open a corner shop, one of the first things you’ll do is make sure you know how to lock the doors. If you’re building a media business, a priority is to make sure cybersecurity protocols are in place. Gaia-X CEO Francesco Bonfiglio explains it to FEED in no uncertain terms: “It’s not difficult to under their desks (for the morning show) and films were made by raging riders, armed with nothing but a bag full of drugs, a camera and a bad case of narcissism. But today the media industry

major French broadcaster is knocked off the air and almost completely wiped out by malicious software. The Winter Olympics has its entire IT system disrupted during the opening ceremony.

Live broadcasting is taken down in one of Australia’s biggest media companies when locked out of its own systems. These are the cases you have heard about. Media companies are being constantly attacked by cybercriminals looking to send a political message, sabotage a competitor country, get user information, steal content or even make a quick buck. The odds are very good that while you’ve been reading this, your own systems may well have been attacked. Cybersecurity breaches come in many different forms, and not all of them are the result of deliberate attacks from hoodied twenty-somethings operating out of St Petersburg basements. In fact, it’s human error – the digital equivalent of forgetting to lock your car – that enables most cyberattacks. It’s humbling to remember that the theft of Democratic campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, which certainly had some effect on the 2016 US election, was enabled because of a weak password and a simple spear-phishing attack. The digital world means we are all connected, which is the good news. But the bad news is that we’re all connected. The CEO of a major company may have the best security system in the world, but it takes just one reply to a fake email address, or a curious click on a dodgy link to, at best, ruin their day; at worst take down the company.


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