What is information security (and how can you achieve it)?

Information security - also known as InfoSec - is one of those terms that everyone uses but might not truly understand.

A computer information security program

Key principles of information security

By definition, information security is the practice of maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of information (when in doubt, remember “CIA”).

  • Confidentiality means that information is protected from unauthorised access.

  • Integrity means that it’s protected from unauthorised changes.

  • Availability means that anyone who is authorised to access the information can do so.

Essentially, information security is the act of keeping information safe so that it remains intact and can be accessed by the right people.

Why does information security matter?

Information security has become a key concern for companies of all sizes, including production companies. According to the UK government, 46% of UK businesses reported having a cybersecurity breach or attack in 2019/2020.

Of those businesses, two in five (39%) were negatively impacted (eg, because business was disrupted, staff time was diverted or new measures had to be introduced), while one in five (19%) lost money or data.

Production companies hold a lot of commercially sensitive information, such as contracts, correspondence and financial documents. On top of that, they hold significant amounts of personal information about their cast and crew, who want to know that it’s being looked after.

Unfortunately, data breaches do happen; a number of major studios have suffered high-profile breaches in recent years.

Information security challenges for production companies

Production companies face unique challenges when it comes to information security:

  • Production teams pop up quickly, which means lots of personal data has to be collected and processed at once.
  • The freelance nature of the production industry means that those handling data might be unfamiliar with the production company’s information security policies.
  • Hybrid processes can result in data being spread across paper, spreadsheets, tools and personal devices and email accounts.
  • Paper documents (which are still common) can go missing or fall into the wrong hands.

What can production companies do to protect their data?

Information security doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some simple steps you can take to better protect your data:

  • Move away from paper and personal devices. Opt for a smart, integrated, cloud-based platform which keeps all of your data in one secure place.
  • Make sure data is accessible only to those who need it - and only for as long as needed.
  • Implement appropriate data protection policies (and make sure everyone reads them)!
  • Use a secure messaging system instead of email (a recent ICO decision highlights how important this is).
  • Train team members who handle data on how to do so.
  • Stay up to date with your obligations under the UK GDPR and other data protection laws.

How can POP help with information security?

The Production Portal is the workforce platform for smarter production. With our cloud-based platform, you can be confident your information is safe and secure.

Want to know more? Check out POP’s guide to information security.

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