As the content industry led by the MPAA and RIAA continues to sue its customers, demand ever more restrictive copyright legislation, anger its own creators, utilizes particularly egregious forms of copy protection, agitates for reduced fair use rights, and threatens to start shooting lasers around movie theaters — all in an effort to combat “piracy” and increase profits on the backs of consumer rights and convenience — a new survey of media company security by Deloitte screams out, “Physician, heal thyself.”
54 percent of the 150 global technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies surveyed admitted their security systems had been breached in the past 12 months, and half of those breaches came from within the companies.
Deloitte security and privacy services spokesman Brian Geffert said, “Of the tens of thousands of movies illegally posted on file-sharing websites, industry estimates say that more than 70 percent were ‘leaked’ by movie studio employees rather than stolen by external criminals … And theft of intellectual property is the internal threat cited most often by TMT companies.”
James Alexander, technology director at Deloitte, told the Financial Times, “Beforehand keeping your content safe meant keeping it in a vault,” but the move to digitization of media — including music and video for example — means intellectual property can be stolen much more easily.
The report says, “Media companies are increasingly creating their content on all-digital form, and distributing it online. While this has created a market for digital music downloads that is already worth in excess of $1 billion, it has also created multiple opportunities for theft, data corruption and large-scale piracy.”
The report recommends that media companies consider restricting or banning MP3 players and memory sticks at their facilities, filtering outgoing as well as incoming email for proprietary data, and they should closely monitor use of portable computers, smart phones, PDAs, etc, and they go on and off the company premises.
Obviously, all of these efforts can have a negative effect on corporate tone and employee morale. The report acknowledges this, saying, “One of the biggest challenges for a media company is to remain in control without sacrificing flexibility, creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Yeah, on second thought it’s a lot easier to keep attacking the customers.