Cybercrime is on the rise and the stakes are higher than ever. According to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, global ransomware attacks rose to an all-time high in 2020, a 62% increase over 2019, with a notable spike of 158% in North America. It’s why radio networks need to address the problem before it’s too late.
This isn’t scaremongering, especially when you consider what happened to Cox Media Group’s WMMO-FM, which serves Central Florida. When the station suddenly stopped broadcasting, its listeners were told to check their connections. However, it wasn’t the listeners who had the problem. It was the network itself. It transpired that WMMO, along with all of Cox Media Group’s radio and TV stations, had been taken down by a ransomware attack.
To an industry that is reliant on listener numbers for ratings and to sell advertising, this is the kind of nightmare scenario that every station manager and owner fears.
Worse still, there’s a growing trend for this sort of ransomware attack, not only in the broadcast industry but across society as a whole. The recent Colonial pipeline hack, which led to fuel shortages across the US East coast, was the result of an employee using the same password on their work and their (compromised) home accounts.
As with so much else, prevention is better than cure. However, no matter how vigilant you are with your security, nothing can ever be 100% secure. But with lists containing tens of thousands of stolen passwords exchanging freely on the dark web every day, how long will it be before one of the thousands of logins you’ve created ends up in the wrong hands?
Simply being off-air for a few minutes is enough to ruin reputations and jeopardize your advertising revenue. And broadcast hijacks often go down in history. Remember The Max Headroom incident, where hijackers replaced WGN Chicago’s Channel 9 news with footage of a man in a Max Headroom mask getting hit with a fly swat? That was 32 years ago.
So, with threats both large and small seemingly on every side, what is the best way to keep your media business safe?
The answer is, of course, ever tighter security. But the price you pay for such measures is not only in dollars, it’s also an inconvenience to your creatives, who need the freedom of today’s best tech to get their jobs done.
The real solution is to arm your talent with tools that make world-class radio and which have world-class security right at their core. RCS Zetta is already the power behind the throne for countless radio giants worldwide, with RCS’s famous GSelector providing programming that audiences and advertisers love. And – should the worst happen, be it a technical failure, pandemic or a cyber attack – all of your audio is backed up to RCS Disaster Recovery’s ZettaCloud.
RCS decentralizes your operation, making it practically impossible to take down – your station and programming are everywhere. Remotely switching to the cloud takes seconds, getting you back on air with all your original programming intact. So, no matter where and when trouble strikes, you know that your shows will go on.
So, why not work with the best and be prepared for the worst? Get in touch to find out how easy it is to futureproof your stations with RCS.