- Three in 10 media vendors are susceptible to compromise due to vulnerabilities that can be detected through internet exposure, according to research from BlueVoyant. The percentage of vulnerable media companies is twice the level of a multi-industry benchmark of companies BlueVoyant measured.
- About half of media companies providing content management solutions have vulnerabilities that could put them at risk, according to the report.
- Media companies also delay patching — 60% of vulnerable systems have remained unprotected up to six weeks after the patch has been released.
The report comes less than a year after some highly visible attacks against major media firms.
In October 2021, a sophisticated ransomware attack was launched against Sinclair Broadcast, the operator of 185 television stations across the U.S. The ransomware attack severely disrupted broadcasts at stations across the country and resulted in significant theft of data.
The company lost $63 million in advertising revenue during the fourth quarter of 2021 and incurred $11 million in costs and expenses related to mitigating the attack.
A GoDaddy breach in late 2021 exposed emails and customer numbers of more than 1.2 million managed WordPress customers.
The media industry is considered highly fragmented, with a large number of established and new players in competition. They're also highly dependent on a large number of extended partnerships, according to researchers.
“In order to securely create and distribute content, the media industry relies on a large number of vendors and partners,” Joel Molinoff, vice chairman, strategic development group at BlueVoyant, said via email. “Those vendors comprise an extended attack surface for media companies.”
Molinoff previously worked as executive vice president and chief information risk officer and CISO at CBS.
The research examined two groups: top media vendors, which include 49 companies categorized as either content management, production, distribution and monetization; and extended media system vendors, which included 436 suppliers widely used by media companies.
In a recent example, researchers cited the zero-day vulnerability discovered in Atlassian’s Confluence Server and Data Center in May. The application is widely used by about 75,000 customers and the vulnerability could allow an attacker to take remote control over an affected system.
BlueVoyant researchers said six weeks after the patch was released, 60% of all the Confluence systems it monitors were still unpatched. Eight media vendors it monitors still were unpatched as of July 15.