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Filmmakers can no longer ignore the concept of 'cyber defense'

It's no longer business as usual for the film industry, which is heading towards a pure digital reality with many new risks involved in that transition.

There's no doubt that the foundations of the film business have been shaken by the shocking Sony hack. Studios have ramped up their defenses while everyone connected to Sony Pictures has been checking all their email correspondences; and even prepared apologies in anticipation of leaks.

We're entering a new phase in the technological era where intellectual property is stored in the cloud, and people are more reliant on the web for practically all their filmmaking activities. But with the rise of VOD and 'cloud filmmaking', there's a fundamental problem we're now just realising : A majority of filmmakers don't know anything about cyber security. The idea of data encryption seems foreign. The concept of passwords that are 8 characters or longer, still a mystery, but these basic things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting one's data.

Now more than ever we rely on many different services to host the films that we make. Do we really know how to be secure? How can individual filmmakers catch up to the realities we live in? Does anyone really understand the difference between http and https?

Sony may be a big corporation but for smaller companies facing similar acts of cyber crime, can they really defend themselves adequately? For film producers, movie budgets may begin to change in the coming years to adapt a more proactive approach to protecting digital studio assets, and data that goes between employees and crew through communication networks. These are also big question marks for film financiers that want to ensure the production process is also protected digitally along with their investment. This could lead to more film productions hiring employees dedicated to data operations defending intellectual property.

As we have witnessed for the past few weeks, practically the entire business model and operation of Sony Pictures exists in cyberspace. Most of us rely solely on the web to do our jobs in the film industry. It's about time we made a serious upgrade before this kind of hack happens again.

Companies will face increased pressure if they fail to do their jobs in protecting people's digital assets. We know the score. It's not too late to fix it but the industry has been given a wake up call, and it's no longer acceptable to ignore the vulnerability of digital content and people's personal data.

film industry network members