Protecting media content at a time when piracy is thriving

May 26, 2020

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Crisis has always been a powerful catalyst for social change and there no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is proving the same.  As we adapt to the new normal the popularity of streaming services has grown dramatically as isolation creates more free time.  Launched in November 2019, Disney+ recently announced that they have surpassed 50 million paying subscribers. 

Along with that rise there’s been a similar rise in a whole range of cyber security threats on these streaming services. In fact, one of the key focus of Privacy Awareness Week is the importance of safeguarding personal information as we spend more time online. 

Some example of the Cyber Security threat we have seen include hundreds of fake websites which mimic popular streaming services such as Netflix, where sign up pages harvest personal information for use in criminal activities. Akamai’s 2019 State of the Internet / Security: Media Under Assault highlights daily web attached on technology and media companies doubling and 35% of credential stuffing attacks targeting this vertical.  Media companies are attractive targets for criminals due to the amount of personal information stored by these services including credit card information. 

Criminals are also stealing media streams during high profile sports events in order to sell it various markets. Finally, Internet based attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is being used to disrupt streaming services, affecting subscriber retention, reducing ad revenue and potentially bring down the service completely.

Telstra Broadcast Services and Akamai are both recipients of the DPP Committed to Security programme. A robust programme ensuring broadcast media and production customers the networks use to deliver content are secure.Telstra has the network and solutions to protect broadcast operations against digital threats. Known as Broadcast Security, Telstra Broadcast Services optimises Akamai’s delivery, acceleration and security platforms to provide broadcasters and media companies the best possible audience experience while being protected from attacks and threats. 

At Telstra we are responsible for enabling so much of the connectivity in Australia and globally, and as such we certainly feel the responsibility to continue to help our customer stay connected and safe from cyber risks. Thus, Telstra is committed to reducing cyber threats and has recently launched the Cleaner Pipes initiative to further reduce instances of customer data being compromised through malware, ransomware and phishing. Cleaner Pipes means we are able to more actively block cyber threats on our network that would compromise the safety of our customers’ personal information.  

Maintaining customer trust is critical for online streaming service to continue to thrive, this can be threatened by the speed at which new risks are emerge.  We understand that there is significant cultural change that needs to occur in traditional media companies to deal with these threats and in most cases, there simply isn’t the right skills with the organisation. 

As media organisations continue to innovate, so do cyber criminals. At a time when cybercrime is thriving, choose a team taking proactive measures to ensure content is protected and revenue is secure.