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4 Ways Your Post-Production Team Can Prevent Leaked Assets

February 17, 2022

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According to Akamai’s report, State of the Internet/Security: Pirates in the Outfield, between January and September 2021, global piracy demand reached 3.7 billion unlicensed streams and downloads.

Leaked and stolen content comes at a huge cost to the owners. By some estimates, the entertainment industry loses upward of $71 billion each year to media piracy. And with our increasing reliance on streaming media for both professional and personal use, there is no reason to think that the demand and subsequent financial impact will decrease anytime soon.

Unlike other types of theft, once a video asset is leaked, there is no real way to get that content back. Since it is almost impossible to stop others from copying, sharing, downloading, and distributing a pirated copy, the best plan of action is to prevent the leak in the first place.

So, from post-production to pre-screening, how do you secure your pre-release environment and prevent assets from being leaked?

After the last piece of footage is shot, a video still has a long way to go before it’s officially ready for distribution. Along the journey from post-production through pre-screening, there are a lot of potential leak points.

Fortunately, with the right technology, policies, and practices in place, your team can mitigate the risk of leaked assets. 


1. Access Management

Poor password protocol, including weak, shared, and reused passwords, is a common vulnerability across every organization. In fact, a 2021 study from IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that compromised credentials were the leading cause of data breaches among study participants. 

With so much at stake during post-production and pre-screening, it is essential for video management teams to enforce strong identity and access management policies.

To ensure assets are protected from theft and unauthorized viewing, the traditional username/password combo has to go. Instead, organizations need to implement secure access technology, such as multifactor authentication, single sign-on, and passwordless login.

Additionally, enforcing strategies such as controlling user privileges to limit who has access and lifecycle policies that regularly review access and permissions to prevent privilege creep will help prevent data loss and breaches.

2. Role-Based Permissions

Along the same lines as managing how users are granted access, role-based provisioning lets the administrator ensure only the right people have access to the right assets at the right time.

Throughout a project, different users need to have access to certain files and resources in order to do their jobs. However, not every user needs the same level of permissions, and they most likely won’t need the same level of permissions for the entirety of the project.

For example, the marketing team doesn’t need the same access to a video file as the sound editor needs, and the client doesn’t need permission to download and edit the original video file.

By assigning project-based permissions for standard and customized roles on an as-needed basis, the admin has more flexibility and control over what a user can do on a given project. 

It’s also important to remember that role-based permissions are project-dependent. That is, a user’s role may be different on each project they are working on. While they may need almost unfettered access to change and share files for one project, they may simply need view-only permissions on another.

Paired with the access management policies above, role-based permissions can stop a hacker from penetrating too deeply into the system where the most valuable content and data are stored. 

3. Leak-Tracing Technology

It’s always preferable to prevent a leak from occurring than to clean up after one, but humans make mistakes and, leaks happen.

Watermarking is an effective tool that can both help deter asset leaks and provide traceability back to who is viewing and sharing an asset. This capability helps secure and streamline workflows from post-production to pre-screening by ensuring reviewers have a current, authorized, and secure version of the asset available. 

MediaSilo’s watermarking technology, SafeStream, creates multilayer protection against theft and unauthorized sharing with: 

Visible Watermarks

As the name implies, visible watermarks are placed clearly within each frame of a video. These watermarks are intended to provide a traceable, visual deterrent against unauthorized sharing and public distribution of confidential, proprietary content.

Visual watermarks can be customized to include the authorized viewer’s full name, email address, or custom text or even used for branding purposes by including the company name or logo.

Forensic Watermarks

Forensic watermarks are digitally embedded into a video, so they are invisible to the viewer. Forensic watermarks contain unique characters that identify the video’s origin, so it is difficult for unauthorized users to pass the asset off as their own.

SafeStream is highly customizable, allowing admins to create watermarking standards for specific projects or for entire workspaces. SafeStream also streamlines and unifies your security efforts with shareable watermark templates for specific teams or user groups.

4. Security Certifications

One way that MediaSilo is keeping assets and workflows secure is by obtaining SOC 2 Type II certification. This high-level certification ensures that our infrastructure, software, personnel, procedures, and data have met rigorous third-party-verified standards for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

In other words, we have official verification that our internal operations at MediaSilo are as secure as yours. 

Download MediaSilo’s Guide to Post-Production Workflows to learn more about how post-production is evolving in the era of remote work and how you can increase efficiency, productivity, and security no matter where your team is located.