MAY 31, 2022

A Guide to Implementing Role-Based Security in Video Post-Production

A post-production editor works on a project while maintaining role-based security protocols.

Teams rely on having a secure environment to make video post-production happen. The tension at the heart of actually achieving this security comes in the form of a trade-off—giving teams fast and efficient access to essential media while withholding access to that very same valuable data from everyone who does not absolutely need it.

Video post-production businesses can help resolve this tension by establishing role-based protocols and backing them up with clear communication between creative teams and IT gatekeepers.

Role-based security is a proven approach to keeping your data secure without getting in the way of productivity. Here are some considerations and best practices worth factoring in before taking the plunge.

The Role-Based Approach

By establishing logical and consistent levels of access control for different functional roles across your entire organization, role-based security provides a robust, efficient, and manageable model for establishing a Zero Trust environment in your video post-production IT pipeline.

A role-based approach also offers a finer degree of security and system protection than could a simple perimeter-based security philosophy, which allows complete access to everything upon authorized entry to the system or network. In contrast, role-based security only allows users access to the data, networks, software, and even specific software functionality that they need based on the requirements of their job.

This means that individual users don't have access to anything except what they need, keeping extraneous and sensitive data off limits.

The Benefits of Role-Based Security

Once established, this approach helps to reduce time-consuming administrative work for the IT team; they can rapidly reassign roles to new team members and globally implement the correct access permissions across operating systems, software platforms, and networks as required per role rather than per user. Beyond the economic benefit, this strategy limits opportunity for incorrectly assigned permissions to creep in.

Configuring role-based security can also reduce friction for creative teams. They get the access they really need rather than having to constantly request permissions from IT for adjustments to a one-size-fits-all security protocol.

Having predefined access permissions for each role also makes it safer and more efficient to expand a particular user's remit; they can be assigned multiple roles rather than individually reconfiguring their entire access based on changing circumstances. For instance, a producer who suddenly needs access to ingest capabilities could be temporarily co-assigned the role of an ingest operator without giving them any wider access than they otherwise require.

A Balancing Act: Business-Critical Security with Frictionless Creative Work

In order to make using a role-based security paradigm as simple as possible, though, teams need to be sure the roles they've created are accurate in the first place. Creatives working to tight deadlines can't wait around for IT to update their privileges in order to install a new plugin or update an app. They also need to be able to work from a variety of locations as their current project demands without losing their connection to essential in-house resources.

However, these freedoms need to be balanced with more robust security procedures. New ways of working in post production mean new opportunities for potential threats to surface. The ability to bring your own device, to connect through home networks that may not be secure, to leverage multiple third-party cloud servers and SAAS services, or to allow external remote access to on-premise servers are all factors worth confronting, particularly as ransomware and data breaches targeting media companies become more prevalent.

Security is a team sport, and everyone on the team—outside contractors included—should understand their responsibility in protecting the reputation and essential functions of the wider business. Which best practices post organizations adopt when deploying and managing role-based security will define how well the team is able to strike a balance between security and workforce productivity.

5 Best Practices for Role-Based Security

The overall success of creating a secure and creative work environment through role-based security depends largely on how well IT and creative teams can communicate about their conflicting needs and priorities across video post-production. The two groups need to work together to find a successful compromise between the freedom creatives need to deliver for clients and the responsibility on everyone's shoulders to secure those clients' sensitive media. Honest, clear conversations help both sides decide on accurate yet constrained access permissions to grant for each role that is defined in the system.

As you get started, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Audit your current setup. Complete an inventory of all current access privileges across the organization. This baseline will be useful for both defining the roles and finding opportunities to enhance security through restricting unnecessary access.
  2. Implement Zero Trust principles. Applying the concept of Zero Trust to all users enables sufficient access for employees to perform their jobs successfully while limiting access for users who don't need it.
  3. Stay agile. Be prepared to constantly adapt and refine the scope of these roles in the early stages to ensure correct provisioning. Establish a clear methodology for communicating and authorizing these changes.
  4. Look to automate. Once the defined roles have been successfully road tested, look for ways to make the access management process more efficient through automation via a system that integrates with other, existing tools.
  5. Regularly reassess roles. Given the evolving nature of each role within post, periodically revisit which access privileges have been granted to each role to determine if there are new production bottlenecks or security discrepancies.

One final element worth considering is how these role-based permissions will be administered. An integrated access management solution can effectively bridge the divide between the media toolsets creatives use and the IT networks, storage, and operating platforms the business relies on. An integrated solution enables fine-grain control over the end user experience and streamlines how quickly and efficiently IT can manage it across the organization.

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