WIG Data Security Event
The days of physical file systems are gone, and we at Workflow Innovation Group (WIG) are welcoming this new age of online storage of large data files. Yet with the recent cyber attacks carried out by malicious organisations like WannaCry Ransomware, it’s becoming increasingly important to maintain a high level of data security. Cyber crime is on the rise. Not only are they attacking flight companies and hospitals in an attempt to cause chaos, we are also witnessing a directed attack towards the media industry.
Large companies like Sony have fallen victim to the attacks, having sensitive information about employees and projects released to the general public.
Companies like Disney and Netflix are having productions hacked and held to ransom. Even smaller companies like Object Matrix, a founder of WIG and sponsor of our data security event, had emails, supposedly from the CEO, requesting bank transfers from the CFO. Everyone everywhere is at risk of falling victim to the cyber crime that is very much on the rise and gaining power.
Media Production companies are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks because many of them keep all, or a significant portion, of their information assets in very few places.
Take this scenario. Your storage provider was running a great deal for you if you just buy one huge NAS device. Not minding the future, you decided to consolidate the bulk of your information onto that single solution. A hacker compromises a PC with access to the NAS / SAN and that PC happens to have access to a large number of files. It could be a disgruntled employee or a kid in a bedroom 2,000 miles away, but now the hacker runs an encrypt or destroy app. It doesn’t need to take long. A targeted application doesn’t need to encrypt every byte – just enough to make the files it touches unreadable. And too, therefore, lock them. Just for added measure, it encrypts the well-known metadata controller of your storage device. And, now it destroys itself. Getting an unencrypted key is nigh-impossible. Hey, presto. Your millions of dollars of assets are now under ransom, but for just one of those millions, you might get an unlock key. If you are “lucky”.
But strategies to defeat this type of hack are possible. Firstly, disaster recovery systems, replication, and back-up are key to being able to get data back if this occurs. But a deep and clever hack attack may target those systems as well. Care must be taken not to backup or replicate the hacked data. Another challenge is that as a large media producer handling potentially Petabytes of data, backing up everything is sometimes…, well let’s say “asynchronous”. That is to say, a subset of the data might not yet be backed up.
Another strategy is to keep your data behind a firewall. A very strong firewall. And then to only let out copies of data that are for (e.g.,) media editing, checking back in edited versions. This is the strategy promoted by object storage when it sits behind an object storage API.
Needless to say, these attacks are preventable given the correct security measures are being carried out. No-one needs to leave the door open for hackers to stroll in in an attempt to create chaos in an industry that is solely focused on providing entertainment to the masses.
Want to hear more about data security? Learn more about how other media companies are ensuring data security by attending our data security event from 10:00 am on the 4th October at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
About Object Matrix
Object Matrix provides digital content governance and object storage platforms. The company was built on the philosophy that archive systems should be scalable and interoperable, as well as ensuring instant access to data and metadata. Its flagship product, MatrixStore, is an integrated object storage software solution providing protection and governance for the lifetime of any digital content. It’s used by global organisations that create, curate, and distribute video content, including NBC Universal, TV Globo, the BBC and BT.
Object Matrix is comprised of a team of storage industry experts with a shared vision for high levels of data security combined with intuitive user interfaces. In addition to providing solutions and product integrations for the storage, search and retrieval of media assets, Object Matrix also provides consultancy, training, systems integration, and ongoing support services.