Secure Systems: Why Interoperability Matters


This is the second blog in a series focusing on the key considerations for secure media systems, which will become increasingly important as we move forwards into a cloud-based future. You can read the first blog On-prem vs In the Cloud here.


In recent years, broadcast and media organisations have needed to adapt quickly in response to market trends and changing business requirements. This has often resulted in additional systems being bolted on to existing ones in a disjointed way, which can lead to inefficient and siloed workflows. In this blog, we will look at why interoperability and connectivity are so important for system security.

Legacy Systems = Organisational Silos


Traditional broadcast infrastructure is inflexible by nature, hardware is often set-up in a closed workflow, so integration with solutions from different vendors can be a challenge. As the demand for content has rocketed, the need to scale-up and streamline operations has become progressively more important. But proprietary solutions mean this is extremely difficult. Companies are adding more people, teams, equipment, and storage facilities to existing systems. The result is a multifaceted, and disparate system, in which teams often work in organisational silos.


Tasks and processes are much more time consuming than they need to be because of siloed data. Users must search across multiple locations to find media assets. Processes are often clunky and designed without users in mind, and tasks are duplicated because teams do not work in a connected way. This duplication of effort combined with poor communication can lead to a real lack of synergy across an organisation. In addition, the absence of any effective oversight can result in missed opportunities for improvement and growth.

Interoperability in the Cloud


As media organisations realise the importance of breaking down these organisational silos, the need for interoperable solutions is greater than ever. When talking about interoperability, we’re talking not just about integration between solutions from different vendors, but also about interoperability on an internal basis. The connection between corporate systems, data systems, IT systems and broadcast systems is crucial.


In the search for greater interoperability, companies have been looking to both cloud and hybrid workflows. This is not surprising given that these solutions follow an open model and depend on interoperability to function well. By moving elements of media workflows to the cloud, companies are benefiting from improved flexibility, ease of scalability, and more efficient working. The cloud has made it easier than ever for individuals and teams to work collaboratively, and share data in real time through a centralised approach.

Gravity of Data


In a traditional media workflow, content is moved through a pipeline. But with a next-gen approach, it’s not the pipeline that’s fixed, it’s the data. Instead of the data moving down the pipeline, services travel to the data. This is a much more efficient way of working because users don’t have to send huge hi-res files to multiple locations. The right people can easily access and work on media files from anywhere in the world, at the right time. But working with proxy media assets in the cloud, must be backed up with user authentication and auditing, to ensure it’s also secure. Improved interoperability and efficiency mean nothing without putting adequate measures in place to keep valuable media assets safe. If an organisation is maximising ease of access for its teams, it also needs to ensure content is secure and not made available to unauthorised users.


As media companies have developed measures in response to cyber security concerns, additional security layers have generally been added to protect their assets. However, if users are working with numerous unconnected systems, they will have to pass through multiple security logins to access the files and systems that they need. This often results in Gorilla IT where users look for shortcuts and quick workarounds that bypass cumbersome and onerous security measures. Therefore, it is critical to get the balance right between security and ease of use.

Evolving Security Requirements


The improved functionality that comes with cloud-working and interoperability is driving higher levels of security. As media organisations look to replace their outmoded legacy systems, it’s important to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Media workflow solutions need to be cost effective and provide access to the right people, as and when needed. A centralised approach, supported by an effective authentication system, and backed up by auditing, will help media companies protect their assets over the long term.


With no two workflows the same, the need for a tailored solution based on a company’s individual needs is clear. 7fivefive has the expertise and knowledge to deliver efficient infrastructure solutions, using next-generation technologies that are both secure and future-proof. Get in touch to find out more.