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The HBO Hack: Data Breach in the Media and Entertainment Industry


How a Managed Security Service can Help Stabilize Your Network

This summer marked an exciting time for fans of the hit HBO fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones. In July, season 7 premiered to eager fans who had been waiting months to find out the fates of their beloved characters. Unfortunately, by August, the network was rocked by a massive data breach when hackers obtained and released scripts of the show, including one from an unreleased episode.

In total, hackers claim to have stolen 1.5 terabytes of data, not only pertaining to the network’s programming but also to personal company documents. While the network continues to deal with the fallout, a second wave of attacks has hit the company. In recent weeks, a hacker group called OurMine targeted several HBO social media accounts including Twitter and Facebook.

While the news is alarming, it is not uncommon in the entertainment industry. In 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a significant breach that exposed over 30,000 internal documents and jeopardized the positions of many executives. In order to prevent an attack to this degree, the most effective solution is to work with an MSSP. At GlassHouse Systems, we will manage your existing infrastructure to provide the highest quality of security solutions for companies of all sizes, regardless of industry.

3 Ways to Prevent Media Leaks

Last year, HBO took extreme measures to prevent the new season of Game of Thrones from being leaked ahead of its premiere date. In an attempt to secure the show’s content, the press was denied access to copies of the new season for review. Flash forward to August of this year, only to realize their precautionary measures were in vain.

The media and entertainment industry is not immune to the threat of cyber attacks. In fact, it is especially targeted because of how large and popular their platform is. Here are a few strategies that media networks and production companies may use to prevent a data breach:

  1. Isolate Networks - There are a number of moving parts that go into creating a successful TV series. The magic does not just happen on set, rather, there are several stages a single episode must go through before it is ready for release. Therefore, one of the most efficient ways to prevent a data breach is to keep production networks separated from office networks at all times.
  2. Monitor Social Networks - The media and entertainment industry is in a unique position when it comes to preventing a data breach. Executives may prepare for a cyber attack by examining production content through the eyes of a hacktivist. Experts can determine how serious a threat is and a hacker’s capability to carry out an attack, by monitoring social channels and the audience’s response to the content.
  3. Regulatory Compliance - Regardless of industry, maintaining the highest standard of security awareness training is an essential practice. It is especially critical that employees have the proper skills to identify potential threats, follow social networking procedures and password management.

How Your Media Business can Benefit from Working with a MSSP

In terms of programming, pre-released content is the most vulnerable when it is in the final stages of production. All production houses have strict policies concerning the access and handling of this content. However, there remains a definitive gap between what the people who are responsible are told to do and what they actually end up doing. At GlassHouse Systems, we make it our duty to ensure your company remains safe from hackers, even if internal mistakes happen at your end. We will help you manage your systems and mitigate risks so you can focus on providing critical security training for your staff, while continuing to grow your business.

Contact us to learn more or leave a comment below for more information on how to prevent a data breach at your media and entertainment company. Our managed security experts will work with you to find custom security solutions for your business.

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