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Broadcasters need to do more to prevent cyberattacks

At a time when more and more broadcast functions are being managed across IT and connected networks, are broadcasters and media companies adequately equipped to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks on key network infrastructures?

Last month’s concerted cyberattack on Australia’s Channel Nine TV network is likely to place the issue of cyberattacks in the limelight again. 

The largest cyberattack on a media company in Australia’s history brought the network’s news production systems around the world to a standstill for more than 24 hours. Worryingly, this was not the first cyberattack on a major broadcaster, and is unlikely to be the last.

In April 2015, an attack on TV5Monde saw a dozen channels taken off-air, with the French broadcaster’s director-general Yves Bigot claiming the attack nearly led to the “total destruction” of its systems.

What, then, can broadcasters and media companies do to provide more protection against potential cyberattacks? Utilising technology is perhaps a sensible first step.

For instance, blockchain technology can be used to validate and protect multimedia content from piracy and external interference, by improving the traceability of content by recording a signature for each content.

The development of international standards from organisations such as the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will also help reduce the number of cyberattacks, as will continued cooperation between broadcasters and media companies around the world.

*Image from Pexels;  Ed/SN

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