How media companies can protect themselves from the effects of cyberattacks

Interview with Andreas Gawert, Key Account Manager and co-responsible for the Indian market at ppi Media, and Dr. Malte Treplin, Senior Vice President Projects.

In the last two years, there have been various hacker attacks on German media companies. Have you come into contact with this topic at your customers?

Malte Treplin: Absolutely. Several of our customers have had to deal with hacker attacks in recent months and years – in varying degrees of intensity and severity. Major attacks have also been reported extensively in the media. In the past, it often took just a small mistake to open the door to attackers.

Have you had any international experience in this regard?

Andreas Gawert: Yes, we have also had to deal with companies outside Germany that have been exposed to attacks.

Do you see media companies currently in the focus of hackers and cybercriminals?

Malte Treplin: If you compare different industries, it doesn’t necessarily look that way. However, media companies, publishers and, of course, suppliers like us have to pay a lot of attention to their IT security so that they don’t become easy prey. In view of the current political situation, it is possible that media companies in Europe will become the focus of hackers even more in the future.

What do you think media companies can do to protect themselves?

Andreas Gawert: In our experience, it makes a lot of sense to have lean emergency production systems that function independently of an existing publishing infrastructure. In the past, we have already helped some of our customers set these up. Even beyond such dedicated emergency systems, our specific editorial workflows have not been affected in the past when a publisher has been attacked, as we also offer our systems as cloud-based solutions.

What roles do suppliers and software manufacturers play when it comes to IT security for media companies?

Malte Treplin: A very big one! We are of course immediately available to support our customers, especially in emergencies. In the past – as already mentioned – we have also helped some customers to keep production going after a hacker attack. In many cases, this can be achieved under emergency conditions with simpler means than the media houses could have previously imagined.