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cybersecurity-for-musicians How Musicians Can Protect Their Work Online

21/06/2022

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Cybersecurity For Musicians: How To Protect Your Work From Cybertheft?

Updated on: 21/06/2022

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With the advent of the Internet, the music business has become even more complex. With each passing day, more music is being delivered online. There are various methods that the musicians and the members of the music industry are adopting to distribute their music. Every time this thing is occurring, it is opening up new avenues to hurt the music industry through stealing and cybercrime. This proves that cybersecurity for musicians and the music industry as a whole is getting even more prioritized. 

The music industry is the major target of cyber attacks and there are things that they have to keep in mind when it comes to the security of the music. This article will explain further how musicians and the music industry can deal with the cybersecurity issues they might face. 

Why Is Cybersecurity For Musicians Essential?

Cybersecurity can be defined as an act to protect the internet-enabled systems such as hardware, software and data from unauthorized access or bypasses as well as digital attacks. With the steady advancement of technology, at the present time, data is considered to be the “new gold”. Thus, cybercriminals are creating new methods to steal the work, and personal and financial information of the musicians and sell them to third parties. A cyberattack can be devastating to the career of musicians if they store their music data on phones, laptops or computers (which they definitely do!).

You gain fame when your popularity as a  musician rises. Thus, the hackers will be much more aware of your existence and might target you more than just an average citizen. Cybercriminals target people associated with the music industry and might ask for a ransom from an online store, hack a website, pirate the videos and tunes and more. They can also involve themselves in stealing credit card numbers or intellectual property. As a result, cybersecurity for musicians must be taken into consideration to safeguard yourself, your career and the music business.

Cyberthreats For The Musicians: What They Are Missing Out On!

The cybercriminals or the hackers might target the musicians owing to their increased public attention. Thus, it is crucial to learn the common social engineering tactics that cyber criminals often employ. Social engineering manipulation can exist in any form and you never know which tactic they are using against you until you are aware of them. For instance, a fraudster might email you claiming to be from any government agency such as the IRS. This might convince you to act promptly to what they might have been asking without further questioning the validity. They can further go ahead and create a fake profile of a celebrity on the social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and send you a Friend Request or a Follow Request. 

If you are aware of the existing cyber threats it would help you to be better prepared and avoid them when you might encounter them. Below are some of the most common cyberattacks that are capable of affecting your music career.

✅ Denial-of-Service (DoS)

DoS cyber-attack floods a computer with requests and the computer is unable to respond to the requests. Another related attack is the Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS which works in the same method. However, in the latter case, the attack stems from a computer network.

The criminals can employ various techniques or launch other attacks while the network is disabled. For instance, a botnet is considered to be a common DDoS attack where millions of computers get infected with malware and can be remotely controlled by the hacker. 

Thus, using multi-level protection such as antivirus, firewall, content filter, VPN and a firewall will help you to dodge a DDoS attack. Additionally, you may also go ahead and equip your infrastructure and network with a security layer for monitoring and identifying the traffic inconsistencies.

Malware

Malware is the abbreviated term for “malicious software”. Usually, it refers to the viruses, worms, Trojans ransomware and various other harmful programs that are designed to steal your data and destroy the computers. As soon as you click on a malicious link or attachment, the malware gets installed on your device. An active malware has the potential to block access to your files, gather information from the hard drives or can even make the individual parts inoperable. 

That being said, you have to be very cautious while downloading any attachments or clicking on any links or opening any suspicious emails. A proven method to prevent malware is by installing anti-virus software or anti-malware software from a source that is trustworthy.

Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)

In such an attack, the cybercriminal intercepts, as well as secretly, positions themselves in communication between a duo. They usually aim to steal personal data from either party, corrupt data, spy or sabotage the communication completely. However, this attack mostly occurs when you are using an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot with no security or encryptions. 

VPN or Virtual Private Network on the other hand is a simple yet effective method to stay safe if you are attempted with a MITM or Man-in-the-Middle Attack. It will simply encrypt your connections and conceal your real IP address and location. 

✅ Phishing

Phishing is considered to be one of the most common cyberattacks where the criminals send a fake email resembling a trusted entity. The cybercriminals intend to steal sensitive information such as login credentials and credit card data or even install malware on your device. By doing this, they can acquire access to your devices for stealing your music files.

The easiest method to protect yourself from phishing attacks is observant. Have a keen eye toward spoofed emails which will contain mistakes that can be easily noticeable such as grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and wrong domain names. Additionally, you must also restrict clicking on embedded links in the emails. This is because on doing so you might be redirected to a phishing website.

How To Protect Your Music From The Cybercriminals

It is a fact that cybercriminals can specifically target your music. This calls for finding ways to safeguard the music you are working on and the ones you have already released online. The easiest method to secure all your songs is by creating a proper backup. This ensures that you do not lose everything although the hacker might infiltrate a source. Additionally, you have to create a strong password with a combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, special characters and numbers. This adds an extra protection level for your songs. 

Going a bit further, you can also engage with a  legal professional for taking the necessary measures in case your music is ever compromised. In such a situation, a lawyer will help you to prepare legally if you find anyone copywriting your songs or even compromises with your work. 

If your music is available online for streaming, you have to be extra cautious. This is owing to the fact that the hacks are frequent and are capable of compromising your complete work. In order to stay safe, you must use a trustworthy streaming service possessing dependable security features. Additionally, make a note to avoid free streaming services as in most cases they are quite insecure.

Steps To Protecting Your Music Brand

Cybersecurity for musicians is not the only thing one should look out for. Brands associated with music are equally targeted. For instance, a hacker might take over your website or even your social media accounts and lock you out. The issue with such kinds of situations is that they might post offensive content, which might ruin your years-long reputation. You might not be able to do a lot about this. 

There have been top-notch celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg who have faced similar issues in the past. This had hampered their celebrity reputation and caused them online defamation. The hackers had successfully infiltrated their accounts and posted strange content online. To make the situation even worse, cybercriminals might go ahead and access your bank account and credit card if they manage to get your financial information. 

Cybersecurity Trends & Challenges: How To Protect Your Work?

The music industry is crowded with various cybersecurity challenges and trends that are actively working to ruin your career in the industry. Cybersecurity awareness is thus getting more and more important. Here are some of the cybersecurity trends and challenges in the music industry capable of making data more vulnerable to theft. You will also find ways to overcome them. 

1. Biometric Technology Usages

With biometric technology, the future of cybersecurity is already here. These are consistently being used in tablets, smartphones, and various other devices. The biometric technology will ensure that your music files are safe from piracy and that only you own access to those files. This means that even if any hacker possesses access to your device or computer, they would not be able to open the files unless you authorize them.

This acts as a positive step for the music producers who are looking forward to protecting their work in the music industry and the digital world. In the current times, a large number of the producers are turning towards biometric technology for securing their cellphones and other devices that contain the unreleased songs, beats, tunes and other work. The producers might also go ahead and use this biometric technology to send files to other musicians and labels by including a fingerprint scanner on their USB drive.

Even after doing so, there is a rise in tech-based crimes like hacking and identity theft. Cybercriminals might be able to bypass this security measure in a bid to gain unauthorized access to personal information. 

2. Implementation Of AI And Blockchain

Machine Learning and AI or Artificial Intelligence are already being implemented to detect potential copyright violations in music. By making use of AI software, you will be able to protect your work. You can do this by registering new songs on the decentralized blockchain networks. 

As a measure to preserve cybersecurity for musicians, they can use this technology for identifying and tracking people who listen to or use the copyrighted works without paying them. This is a potential solution to one of the biggest problems in the music industry. However, it raises privacy concerns that must never be ignored. 

3. Social Media Usage For Promotions

Social media has been one of the best methods to communicate with fans and attract new ones. The use of social media by musicians has been seen to increase significantly over the past couple of years. The musicians use social media platforms to reach huge masses and promote their brand and music. 

Nevertheless, this has also called for several cyber attacks from hackers who are looking forward to stealing private information or even taking control of the fan bases by sending malicious messages or links. Hackers can hack and compromise this perception with the negative publicity on the various social media platforms. 

In a bid to avoid this, the musicians need to be pretty careful about what information or what content they share online through the various social media channels. They must ensure that their accounts are secured by the implementation of strong passwords and 2FA or Two-Factor Authentication.

4. Use Of Digital Rights Management & DRM

Digital Rights Management or DRM on digital downloads is a standard security trend in the music industry. It is slowly becoming one of the most popular methods for consumers to purchase songs online. The technology helps to protect digital content from being illegally copied. It requires the users to enter a password prior to accessing their files or even streaming online music.

However, there is a problem with DRM technology. This is that the hackers have found various ways around it by using software programs like the Decryption DRM System or DeDRMS. One of the most complicated issues that music companies are facing today is the illegal downloading of copyrighted material and piracy. Constantly, the hackers are implementing new methods to steal the copyrighted material breaching network security as well as distributing it over the Peer-to-Peer or P2P networks. 

5. VPN/Proxies Usages

The artists are constantly looking forward to finding ways to improve their strategy, boost sales and acquire more listeners. When an artist chooses to involve themselves with the digital world, they might face bans and blocks for making use of the data center proxy. This is just because of the fact that the hackers and the spammers have used the data center proxies earlier. Thus, the companies are now recognizing all of these IP addresses and marking them as suspicious activity. This can also cause your activity to be blocked while you are using any data center proxy.

Nevertheless, you can also bypass all of these restrictions by making use of a residential proxy bearing an IP address offered by an ISP̣. These gadgets work like a wall between your computer and the internet, making it pretty easier for the hackers to infiltrate your system by offering them an anonymous IP address. 

Virtual Private Networks or VPN usages are on the rise and it has made it quite challenging for the artists to track how their music is being accessed as well as shared online. The Virtual Private Networks permit the users to access various websites anonymously by concealing their IP addresses. Thus, it also helps them to hide their actual identity or location. This process also makes it very hard for people to identify the pirate networks and the other unauthorized networks. 

Proxies such as VPNs are used to keep a person’s identity concealed by increasing online anonymity. This is often used by cybercriminals in a bid to hide their identities. Hackers can also use these VPNs for mining cryptocurrencies or gaining access to sensitive data. 

Wrap-up

The music industry consists of a pretty small number of musicians and singers who make a lot of money. Even petty mistakes can cost you a lot of money that lead to new business models. It has been seen that the music industry is currently making more money than ever before. However, not all people working in the industry receive the same amount of money.

This refers to the fact that the market has become even more complicated. That being said, Warner, Universal and several other brands require to set up a new digital ecosystem for making more money. Companies like these are at heavy risk from illegal downloading, piracy, cyberattacks and malware. They must have a Security Operations Center or SOC network.

Businesses in the music industry are required to learn more regarding their cyber risks and put in place some effective cybersecurity programs or information security. ISO 27001 certification can be of great help. Thus, cybersecurity for musicians is crucial for their survival in the industry which enables them to stay safe from such attacks.

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