The HBO hack earlier this year, in which Game of Thrones scripts and episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers were released online before their air dates, caused chaos for the premium cable network. The hackers, as they are wont to do, were motivated by greed. The organization that went by the name Mr. Smith was seeking a ransom in the range of $6 million to prevent the release of this highly sensitive information. And this data breach is far from the first example the entertainment industry has faced.
The Sony hack of 2014, in which thousands of confidential company documents and emails were released, had a long-lasting impact on the company. It resulted in the ouster of Amy Pascal, head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, turned The Interview into a box-office bomb, resulted in a slew of lawsuits and, in general, caused a lot of pain and embarrassment to a lot of people.
And then there’s the release of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight script. The Oscar-winning director closely guards his material. So when it turned out that someone had leaked an early draft of the Western whodunit, Tarantino actually considered shelving the project altogether. At the time he said, “I have no desire to make it…I’ll move on to the next thing.” While Tarantino went on to make the movie after all, it underscores an issue that many in Hollywood face, whether on a production or working at a studio. That issue is, “how to ensure the security of information and intellectual property.”
A movie or TV production can employ hundreds of people. And with each production there are countless documents and files – scripts, budgets, payroll documents and video – that could be very detrimental to the production and its staff if leaked out. Knowing hackers are looking for high-value targets, having a strong data security system in place is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, most in the entertainment industry – be they productions or studios – aren’t using the enterprise-grade protection they need to keep their information safe. Especially when it comes to productions, they’re simply using the most rudimentary of cloud storage services. And we have all seen what happens when your information is put at risk.
One sector that Hollywood can learn something from when it comes to data protection is the investment banking industry. These titans of Wall Street know that to keep highly sensitive information protected, they turn to virtual data rooms (VDRs).These systems are designed with security features and data protection in mind. Plus they can handle the sizable files (e.g., video) that productions generate.
Following are some other key reasons that Hollywood can benefit from using virtual data rooms like that from SmartRoom:
Remote detonation of documents: With the highly sensitive information a budget or script might contain, you want to control who has access to files and for how long. SmartRoom’s SmartLock technology allows administrators to remotely detonate documents and files even after they have been downloaded by end users. This technology, exclusive to SmartRoom, extends security beyond the platform, providing full control of information no matter where it goes.
User logs and event tracking: Knowing who accesses files and when is an important element for any virtual data room. Not only is it valuable should there be any content changes, but if data is ever compromised, it gives you a trail of useful information in your investigative process. With SmartRoom, you can even setup custom alerts to be instantly notified if someone has viewed or edited a document.
Virtual and physical data protection: Not only do servers have multi-point authorization, but data transmission features key encryption at 1024 bits.
Custom security profiles: With so many different parties involved in a production, you need the ability to easily control who has access to what. Platforms like SmartRoom allows administrators to create custom security profiles that control who can view, print, save, or modify data. This can be unique for any specific profile, folder, file or document.
On top of all that, virtual data rooms including SmartRoom feature unlimited data storage, an especially useful feature when sharing video files like dailies, audition reels and the like.
The entertainment industry is a big business like any other. It has valuable intellectual property that needs to be secured from hackers and people who might look to capitalize on it. With a virtual data room, it can do just that.
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