Since the 2014 hacking at Sony Pictures, more recent events have shed light on Hollywood’s cyber security exposures. The latest involved the hacking of HBO’s social media accounts and the leak of unreleased episodes of “Game of Thrones.” Hackers have also stolen episodes of the network’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Insecure” and “Ballers.”
Hollywood faces unique challenges when handling cyber security from post-production freelancers hired for things like special effects and music. In the case of HBO, employees are required to have security-awareness training and two-factor identity authentication, but the company has no control over freelancers that handle sensitive information via their personal devices. That leaves cyber security in control of their third-party vendors, which creates a significant risk.
Hollywood can lose millions of dollars if a popular show or movie is stolen, forcing them to make a difficult decision. Even though the FBI advises against it, paying the ransom may be less costly than losing millions of dollars in revenue. There is also no guarantee that paying the ransom will prevent the content from being leaked. When Larson Studios paid about $50,000 in Bitcoin to prevent the leak of unreleased episodes of “Orange Is the New Black,” the hacker took the Bitcoin and leaked the stolen episodes anyway.
When it comes to cyber security, ransomware attacks have made the most news this year. An almost equal threat comes from within an organization. Accidental breaches caused by employee error and third-party suppliers accounted for 30 percent of all breaches during the first half of 2017, according to a new report from Beazley. Make sure to educate your employee’s cyber security best practices and pharming scams. Your business can also follow these steps to help prevent a data breach:
- Never give sensitive information like Social Security numbers or credit card numbers out over the phone unless you can verify the identity of the person on the other line.
- Shred all credit reports and other sensitive data before disposal.
- Remind employees them not to click on anything that looks suspicious or seems too good to be true.
- If your company doesn’t have an IT department, hire an outside company to set up the proper security measures for your computer network.
- Always monitor credit reports and other financial data for the company. If you see things that don’t belong, investigate.
- Do not allow employees to write down passwords in the office.
- Always encrypt sensitive data.
Accidental breaches caused by employee error and third-party suppliers accounted for 30 percent of all breaches during the first half of 2017, according to a new report from Beazley. Breaches that resulted from hacking and malware attacks led by only 2 percent, accounting for 32 percent of all breaches.
The anonymity of a cyber hacker makes catching them very, very difficult. Fortunately for Game of Thrones four people—current and former employees of a Mumbai-based company that stores the series for an online streaming service—have been arrested for the Game of Thrones leak.