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With media data breaches in the headlines, learn the importance of purpose-built secure archive solutions to protect your content.

Abhik Mitra – Sr Solutions Marketing Manager

Never has there been more urgency for Media and Entertainment (M&E) companies to pay closer attention to how their media data is stored, protected and connected. 2014 was a particularly telling year, with the hack of Sony grabbing most of the headlines, but that happened to be only one of 783 U.S. data breaches tracked for the yearAnd the even scarier part? 2014 represented a near-30 percent increase in the number of tracked breaches over 2013.

The M&E space contains a varied array of confidential digital assets, ranging from unreleased movie scripts and private e-mails to personal employee data such as salary and healthcare details. Furthermore, video production and distribution are evolving so fast that most organizations have fallen behind in how to best protect them.

Lessons from the Sony Security Fail

In the case of Sony, it wasn’t the exposed data that hurt the company so much as the nature of the files that were compromised. These files consisted of confidential e-mail exchanges, credit card log-ins, Social Security numbers, the upcoming “007” movie script and other proprietary information Sony didn’t want revealed. The leaks starkly illustrated that sensitive files on the Sony Pictures network were neither encrypted nor password-protected, raising troubling questions about the company’s secure archive practices. 

There are four considerations that we can take from this to help us ensure our data is safe.

Lessons from the Sony Security Fail - Secure Archive Practices

1: Active Storage Archives or Deep Archives?

Securely archiving media data has profound implications for large data storage. At its root, building an archive entails aligning the needs of your organization with available technology and policy integration needs. With so many data storage options available today, decision makers must ensure they’re making the right decisions in terms of active archive (readily-accessible data moved off primary storage) and deep archive (data typically not accessed but permanently retained).

The M&E space has evolved to a point  where content must not only be  retained indefinitely,  but also secured continually.

2: Retain Indefinitely, Secure Continually

But there’s a catch; protecting content is no longer a matter of months or years, it has become eternal…while still ensuring that content can be seamlessly accessed when needed. Simply put, the M&E space has evolved to a point where content must not only be retained indefinitely, but also secured continually.

For example, if a producer wants to re-use 10-year-old content in a new production, what guarantee is there that the content is still available? And if it is, what is its integrity?

There are four considerations that we can take from this to help us ensure our data is safe.

3: Do You Really Know Your Content is Safe?

It really comes down to being able to answer the following questions:

  1. How do you know if all your content is in your backup or archive?
  2. How do you know if there is a second copy of all your content at a designated remote site (for disaster recovery purposes)?
  3. What is the health (integrity) of your content at each site? How do you know that content has not been corrupted over time (e.g., 10 years in the above scenario)?
  4. If a file’s content has changed over time, how do you know where to find the desired version of that file?

4: The Case for Purpose-Built Secure Archive Solutions

These questions simply cannot be answered, because the information that’s required to respond to such queries is not readily available. The answers to these questions—and indeed the answer to this dilemma—comes from purpose-built secure archive solutions, which are specifically designed to provide maximum data security, integrity and privacy from the moment a file is ingested into the archive. 



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Making Smart Choices for Content Archiving

Today’s M&E organizations must equip themselves with the tools and technology needed to solve these content challenges. The key is making smart choices about how to protect the data that you care about most. In an industry tasked with storing and preserving enormous quantities of high-res images and high-definition videos, choosing the right archive product to securely protect that content is critical.