M+E Connections

CDSA: The Need to Develop Common Best Practice for Production Identity

The importance of developing best practice for production identity in the media and entertainment industry was highlighted by the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) at the Content Protection Summit (CPS) @ NAB 2024 in Las Vegas on April 13.

During the session “Facilitating Best Practice for Production Identity,” the CDSA said its Production Crew Identity Working Group (PCIDWG), made up of the identity practice leaders from the major streamers and studios, has focused on developing common best practice for production identity.

That has had an immediate impact on helping streamline the onboarding and offboarding of crew and vendors, developing the principles for managing consistent roles and permissions across the most popular stack of applications and giving control of changes to core media assets through the creative lifecycle, according to the CDSA.

During CPS @ NAB, CDSA discussed production ID projects it said will save them millions of dollars a year and enable agility in an area that has historically created production delays.

“A lot of this has come out of the work that Keith has done at Disney and Amazon and NBCU around making sure we’re tracking production identity through the process,” Ben Schofield, CDSA technical director, told attendees.

Schofield was referring to Keith Ritlop, a consultant who serves as PCIDWG chair and previously worked for Disney, Amazon and, most recently, NBCUniversal.

“One of the main issues that we saw that was affecting production [were] the basics, just like logging in,” Ritlop pointed out.

“Security postures are kind of all over the place, and what we’re trying to do is, from a studio perspective, offer services that productions can [use] in a secure manner, so making sure that all of the applications that productions can use are single sign-on and that we’re authenticating people properly, just like you would have on the corporate side,” said Ritlop.

That had been a “really big gap that we kind of discovered” at the studios, “to the point where we became so frustrated” they realized it was an issue for a working group to solve, Ritlop noted.

“It’s been really informative, I think, for everybody – hearing stories from all the different studios and how they’re experiencing the same issues, and working together on ideas to improve security, specifically around identity,” Ritlop added.

Pointing to the many companies that have been participating in the working group, Schofield said: “What’s quite powerful is actually getting that group together because it’s interesting – everyone has that same set of problems, and it’s how we share it and tackle those together” that has been so key so far.

After all, he added: “At the end of the day, I think everyone’s intent in this working group is to say, how can you spend less money on technology and more money on creative?

CPS was presented by Fortinet, with sponsorship by AMD, Convergent, Digital Silence, NAGRA, Prime Focus Technologies, Eluv.io and EIDR, in association with the NAB Show. The event was produced by MESA and the CDSA.