Can TV beat cybercrime?

Can TV beat cybercrime?

By Tim Marshall,
Tuesday, 21st November 2023
A crowd are sat down watching a presentation
The RTS cybersecurity colloquium at IMG Studios (Credit: Kara Myhill/Mark Couto)
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Across the digital landscape, there is a clear and present danger of cyberattacks – and the broadcasting industry is not exempt. 

This risk was addressed by an RTS Technology Centre colloquium, “Cybersecurity for broadcasting”, in mid-October held at, and sponsored by, IMG Studios.

The opening speaker, David Cannings of PwC, gave an overview of the cyber security landscape and its impact on broadcasters. The threats, he said, come from a wide range of sources, including: sophisticated state actors; professional hackers with their own commercial sales targets; or simply unhappy individuals.

An incident was cited at the colloquium, where a critical national broadcast was taken off the air, causing substantial loss of money and trust.

Robin Bolden of Friend MTS gave a detailed description of video content security and the innovative measures being adopted to prevent piracy. In the fast-changing content environment, he said, anti-piracy measures must be constantly reviewed in response to the circumstances and threats.

Jesper Jensen of Eviden/Atos described what happens during a cyberattack. He emphasised the importance of having well-rehearsed protocols for such an event and acting quickly once the threat is detected. The impact of not acting was substantial and in some cases had sent businesses to the wall.

Network expert Gerard Phillips of Arista concluded with an exploration of network infrastructure and operations. Broadcasters need experienced and knowledgeable network specialists to review and understand the network design, physical architecture and operation, he said.

Like the other speakers, Phillips emphasised the importance of doing the basics well and then building on that – unsupported software or systems without the latest security patches do not provide secure defence against cyberattacks.