Data security is a serious problem in the music industry, and the problem goes far beyond customers ripping music files and sharing them online without paying the artist. Here are some of the data security challenges facing the music industry. We’ll also address practical solutions for those that are involved in the business.
Data Security of the Average Album
One of the serious data security challenges for the music industry regards how they carry raw elements of their music from place to place: portable hard drives. The hard drives are formatted so the music can be saved there, though the data is lost if the drive is lost. And services are regularly hired to try to retrieve lost files whether the drives were dropped, accidentally erased, simply crashed or are outright lost.
Some musicians save music from their home studios in personal internal vaults. This does prevent someone from stealing unreleased music by hacking the person’s computer or cloud service. Yet those same files are now at risk of being lost forever if there is a fire or hardware failure. The solution is backing up music to multiple sources. This redundancy protects the music, so you can’t lose it in the event of a hard drive failure.
There are a number of tools for musicians running off of hard drives that allow them to back up these critical files to a secure location in the cloud. Services like securebackup.com allow you to back up your computer locally or online and allow for easy restoration as well. It can save your files to multiple destinations or a single specified one automatically, protecting your data in case of hardware failures and theft, software corruptions or malware. The best in class tools let you restore individual files, file versions or a full restoration while providing security for both the backups and backups settings.
The Human Element
Artists can take legal steps to protect their music such as requiring everyone involved to agree to keep information about the album, including the files themselves, secret. You can require them to agree to not share information about the project or leak files, regardless of their reasons, as a condition of employment.
Another step you can take to protect your data is to choose to make backups part of the routine. This ensures you don’t lose your data when you lose the only copy. This isn’t a hypothetical. At least one famous rapper lost an album by losing the only hard drive it was stored on.
Privacy Policies and Data Protection Rules
Music websites, services and apps need to have privacy policies and rules regarding how data is handled. The website needs to ensure that it isn’t accessing data that violates the customers’ privacy rights.
They also have to comply with foreign jurisdiction as well. If music sites or apps are collecting information from EU citizens for instance, they may be obligated to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations of the EU. That regulation requires companies to only transfer data collected in accordance with GDPR to jurisdictions with similar rules. This ensures that the data on EU citizens is given the same level of protection no matter where it is stored.
While the music industry has been making strides when it comes to data security, they still have a long way to go. You can’t afford not to invest in the security of your music and data, protecting it from all the ways it could be lost or shared without permission.