Cinema emerged at the end of the 19th century and rapidly advanced to become a widely popular form of entertainment. It also proved to be a lucrative business, and its perceived promise of fame, glamour, and pageantry lured entertainers and aspirants to Hollywood as early as the 1910s. Across the United States grand movie palaces popped up in cities and drew in crowds.

This medium quickly evolved and inspired a new innovation—commercially available televisions. As television sets grew in popularity following World War II, the media industry rushed to keep pace. By 1950 the number of households with televisions exceeded 3 million; in 1951 the number surpassed 10 million.

Television has spawned a number of classic shows which as a testament to their cultural impact are still known among all generations today, from I Love Lucy to The Twilight Zone and beyond. Because audiences are so endeared with onscreen personalities and characters, it can often be forgotten that behind the cameras this is indeed a complex, multifaceted, and competitive industry. Dozens of networks and media companies work around the clock to keep broadcasting to households.

Beyond its entertainment value, television has become an important medium for conveying information. Local stations update viewers on situations in their regions, ranging from current events to road closures to weather warnings. Recently, hackers proved how vulnerable television stations are to cyberattacks and how damaging those attacks can be.

Off the Air

The Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group owns, operates, or provides services to 86 markets, which includes 185 television stations, as well as owning or operating 21 regional sports networks. In mid-October 2021, it announced that it had been affected by a cyberattack. Sinclair revealed that a few of its servers and workstations were hit with ransomware. It also said that some network data had been stolen.

The attack caused several disruptions to Sinclair’s normal broadcasting schedule. Among the affected Sinclair stations was WNWO of Toledo, Ohio, which went off the air on the afternoon of October 18. The 4 PM newscast at WJLA in Washington, DC informed their viewers that its computers and video servers were down on account of the cyberattack. Nashville’s WZTV had issues streaming content the same day. This Tennessee station also announced that it could not access emails or phone calls due to the cyberattack.

For their audiences in all markets, the cyberattack at Sinclair was an inconvenience. For Sinclair, it meant lost advertising revenue and reparation costs. It also served as a blow to its credibility and trust in its stations. Shares in Sinclair, a publicly traded company, fell 3% that day.

Trusted Data Security Partner

Whether its entertainment or informative broadcasting, SecureData offers solutions to protect media companies. A bustling television station certainly requires 24-hour personnel, access to the internet, and constant data transferring between devices and company computers.

SecureDrive and SecureUSB devices are hardware-encrypted offline storage solutions that enable employees to move sensitive information between locations. They are operating system-independent and perfect for field work or other scenarios that require data to be on the go. The BT drives can be further enhanced with Remote Management, which allows remote wipe and time- and geo-fencing capabilities.

While protecting traveling data is an important part of a data security system—whether that is traveling from a remote location back to the office, or moving the data between work stations across the hall—it is essential that computers are protected from potentially infected USB devices. SecureGuard eliminates that concern, as it enables an administrator to control which devices can and cannot be used on company computers.

Protect your assets from the next ransomware attack. Contact one of our experts today at 424-363-8535 to set up your complete data security solution.

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