Secure Media Content Transport and Storage in Space
By Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation
The media and entertainment industries are facing unprecedented cybersecurity challenges. One studio suffered the theft of an entire season of a popular show, and another had an unreleased film stolen. In both cases, the material was held for ransom by cybercriminals.
This kind of threat poses potentially disastrous consequences for anyone creating or distributing content. Media and entertainment companies face threats from criminals running the gamut from profiteers to nation-states. Ransomware exploits, destruction of servers and the theft of terabytes of data are all part of the pandemic cybersecurity crisis that challenges any organization reliant upon terrestrial networks to store and transport data. Fortunately, that is about to change.
First, though, we need to take a trip across the current data landscape to understand some of the primary forces influencing today's data storage strategy.
Big Security Budgets Are Not Producing
Global spending on information security will reach $90 billion in 2017, according to Gartner. Yet the data breaches keep coming. The switch from perimeter to endpoint network security has not happened quickly enough, and it alone is insufficient to meet today's advanced threats.
The Internet of Things represents a virtual minefield of security challenges. The Federal Trade Commission's recent suit against a router manufacturer speaks to the severity of the threats that can be caused by insecure internet-connected devices. Last year's massive Mirai botnet attack, which took most of the U.S. offline for a day, is a case in point.
Experian highlighted several trends in its yearly Data Breach Industry Forecast that would take center stage in 2017. One of them will be international data breaches that will cause significant problems for multinational companies, particularly in light of a European Union (EU) regulation about to take effect (see the GDPR, below).
Another Experian prediction is downright frightening: government-sponsored cyber attacks will escalate from espionage to proactive cyber war. One movie studio may have fallen victim to this type of attack in 2014 when it was hacked on the eve of releasing a film that portrayed one nation's totalitarian leader unfavorably. This could be the shape of things to come for companies that create or distribute content foreign governments may find offensive.
Global cybersecurity concerns have led to increasing security measures and legislation, culminating in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It requires greater oversight of where and how sensitive data-such as personal, banking, health and credit card information-is stored and transferred. The regulation applies to all organizations processing the personal data of people residing in the EU, regardless of the company's location.
This creates a jurisdictional nightmare for companies. There are only two solutions to the dilemma of GDPR compliance. The majority of affected organizations will scramble to erect infrastructure and processes and deploy personnel and IT Support to make sure they meet the stringent requirements. The other option is to remove the relevant data altogether from the GDPR's jurisdiction. Which means taking it "offworld."
Storage Based in Space
The time has come to think outside the terrestrial box. There are already satellites ringing the Earth that regularly receive and transmit information; why not develop a system for secure, internet-free data storage and transmission? A space-based cloud storage network would provide government and private organizations with an independent cloud infrastructure platform, completely isolating and protecting sensitive data from the outside world.
Just recently, new technologies have been designed to deliver this type of independent space-based network infrastructure for cloud service providers, enterprises and governments to experience secure storage and provisioning of sensitive data around the world. By placing data on satellites that are accessible from anywhere on Earth via ultra-secure dedicated terminals, many of today's data transport challenges will be solved.
Space-based data storage frees organizations from the jurisdiction-based restrictions that the regulation will impose. A satellite storage solution also removes today's most pressing security concerns, since data will never pass through the internet or along its leaky and notoriously insecure lines. In-transit espionage, theft and surveillance become impossible.
Media's Rising Star
The best cybersecurity strategy on Earth can't escape the fact that the internet remains fundamentally insecure, as the recent ransomware exploits mentioned above demonstrate. Space-based storage and transmission, though, offers a radically different alternative to data security for media and entertainment. These companies can transmit and store intellectual property, including dailies, CGI clips, costume and merchandise concepts, etc. without concern over interception, theft or jurisdictional boundaries. In addition, delivery speed will increase, creating new broadcast possibilities. For greater safety, speed and peace of mind, space-based storage is the new media star.