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The security low-down

A look into cybersecurity for BT Media & Broadcast.

Our BT Media and Broadcast team (BT M&B) delivers high-quality content across the world, moving 24,000 hours of content a day.

As part of our commitment to maintaining high-security standards, our systems are continually monitored for vulnerabilities by BT’s central security team. This monitoring includes penetration testing and continuous security scanning to verify that we meet security requirements.


Our unique positioning gives us access to extensive resources through BT Security, including a certified team that manages security incidents to ensure rapid response and resolution. And as we’re also certified by the DPP (Digital Production Partnership), we’re able to consistently maintain the highest standards in the broadcast industry too. BT M&B also designs, builds, deploys and manages all systems and networks in compliance with the ISO 27001 security management standard for secure operation.


As the media industry moves to all-IP workflows and direct-to-consumer delivery, information security is now firmly at the top of the risk register for every media business. We sat down with David Cross, Security Specialist for the Network Applications Team in BT, to unpick the ways BT are maintaining robust cyber security protocols and the approaches we’re using to help protect customers and how the face of security will look in the future.

Why is security important for the media and broadcasting industry?

“If you look at the evolving landscape, the increase in information and technology means we are more exposed to risk, and the risk is increasing every day - such as data breaches, fraud and the spreading of malicious code,” David tells us. “This means as a business we need to make sure we have the correct measures and tools to mitigate against those threats.”


Further confirming the importance of security in the media and broadcasting industry, David goes on to explain the importance of adopting strong policies.


“The M&B teams, through guidance from our security teams, adopt strong security policies. This is crucial to protect internal and customer-sensitive data and systems. These policies include key measures like strong password requirements, regular software updates through automation, and access control encryption. Everyone has a role in supporting security through regular internal briefings and centrally-held documentation accessible to the whole team',” David explains.


“It’s about identifying in those key policies what we can do in terms of transformation work to make sure we are leading in those areas, especially in the most recent one around cloud security,” he continues. “What does cloud security mean to everyone? It’s making sure where we are hosting key infrastructure services and customer data that security best practices are being used and we have input where necessary.”


“A key element from my side is platform security. It is crucial as it helps protect data due to privacy and keeps the overall integrity of the platform. We help run much of the nation's media, broadcast and TV infrastructure. It only takes a second for a customer to notice a core service going down within that platform so having security at the forefront is key so we can avoid that potential risk to customers.”


“M&B security, and our zero-trust approach, is at the heart of everything we do. We make sure that all the environments and systems we control meet these safety standards to demonstrate to customers that we lead in that area. Maintaining a secure platform builds trust for users for the products and services we offer to our customers and gives us the reputation and credibility of an organisation that is leading in the security and platform environment.”

What is BT Media and Broadcast doing to ensure our customers (and their content) are protected?

“I head up the security squad. Our mission is to lead our peers in cloud and product security to show everyone our customer security is a top priority. We understand that effective security measures safeguard against unauthorised access, data breaches, unsolicited attacks and potential financial losses. The broadcast area is heavily regulated and we make sure we have the various tools in place to mitigate against any potential issues.”

What does this mean?

“We utilise industry-leading security tools, such as Qualys for vulnerability management and CrowdStrike for security endpoint detection, to maintain a robust security posture. David details further that Qualys “...allows us to review and mitigate against a potential abnormality in our network, it is a powerful tool which can show us impacted services. And CrowdStrike is also a powerful tool which can help mitigate against cyber attacks efficiently and effectively.” 


“We make sure that all our teams have the right tools and processes to apply security effectively. So that could be a developer designing new code and applications, making sure they have the right tools to see if, when they’re creating a code, there’s a potential vulnerability or malicious code that could appear further down the line.”

How will security look in media and broadcasting in the future?

“We are looking to the future to consolidate our firewall estate into one or two vendors to enhance our relationship and give us a better product and cost to our customers.” David explains how “we are giving our in-house teams the opportunity to manage their own security processes to maximise efficiencies and opportunities.”


Moving to an all-IP system can come with risks. To help minimise these risks, we encourage customers to incorporate throughout their design our industry best practice threat-management policies similar to those we deploy . With BT’s extensive experience in securing Internet Protocol-based systems and access to a team capable of handling security incidents on our behalf, we’re fully prepared to help customers along their digital transformation. 

Where can we reduce our footprint and power consumption?

As we move our broadcast systems to all-IP, we are using BT Group’s best practices to design for sustainability at the same time as designing for security. We use 100% renewable electricity and we are actively consolidating data centres. We don’t automatically deploy everything as software — at Media and Broadcast, much of our computationally intensive video processing is still intentionally done in FPGA-based hardware, this uses only 5% of the energy that a software alternative would take.


At BT, we believe security is an integral part of the journey to digital transformation — not a standalone practice. The Media and Broadcast team are continually looking to create a safe and secure environment for our customers and their content.


To find out more about how we can help you, contact your Account Manager today. 

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