CDSA Security Audits for Production & Post Production / Editorial

By Bryan Ellenburg

As productions become more reliant on digital technologies and the use of the cloud, the importance of securing your production and post production spaces is at an all-time high. Pre-release content is not just video and audio from the feature film. This valuable pre-release information include scripts, call sheets, shooting locations, still images, budgets, props, costumes, and other confidential information about the production.

The productions are often times their own worst enemy, posting yellow signs with arrows pointing the way to Base Camp, Production Offices, and Shooting Locations. There are also websites such as OnLocationVacations which routinely list details about production locations around the world. On larger productions, unwanted set visitors can often blend into the “traveling circus” along with crew members, background extras, and third party vendors. The use of crew ID badges, with specific background colors for those allowed to take photographs, are highly encouraged.

Security issues have not escaped the attention of the Producer’s Guild of America. In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, PGA Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary cited “piracy and the lack of diversity are the two biggest issues facing the guild”. The PGA has formed and Anti-Piracy Counsel which will include training and education as an important part of the process.

Chris Johnson, the Global Director of Content Protection for the CDSA says, “A growing number of production companies and other content creators have approached us recently to help secure their production and post production environments. This can be extremely challenging while shooting on location. Consistent use of encryption, watermarking, and access control systems are important in mitigating risk. Collaboration often involves Cloud based systems, which requires stringent implementation of complex passwords, two-factor authentications, and the prohibition of sharing account credentials.”

In response to the increase of Cyber Threats, Marty Porter (Executive Director/ Editor for MESA) commented that, “It is important for content creators and content holders to send representatives to events such as the RSA Conference in San Francisco, and Black Hat in Las Vegas. The Media & Entertainment Industry needs to better understand the importance of protecting content throughout the production, post production, and distribution pipeline.”