Cybersecurity for musicians and the music industry
Cybersecurity for musicians and the music industry
Musicians have a lot to do, from songwriting, branding, marketing, performance preparation, and so much more. However, you’re probably on your phone and computer, but haven’t thought much about cybersecurity.
This can be an innocent mistake that can be costly regardless of whether you have an individual Youtube channel or have content hosted on well-known streaming websites that are considered safe. So, improving your cybersecurity should be an important consideration because you cannot afford to ignore it.
What is cybersecurity and why is it essential for musicians?
Cybersecurity is the protection of Internet-connected systems such as software, hardware, and data from unauthorized access and digital attacks.
Technology is advancing rapidly and data has become the new gold. Therefore, cyber criminals devise new ways to steal your work, personal and financial information to resell to third parties. An attack can be devastating to your career, especially if you store your music data on your phone or computer.
Your name will become more important as your popularity increases as a musician. As a result, hackers will be aware of your existence and may target you more than an average citizen. So you need to pay attention to cybersecurity to protect yourself, the music industry, and your career.
The importance of awareness
Hackers and other malicious actors may specifically target you due to increased public attention. Therefore, it is essential to know the common social engineering tactics used by cybercriminals.
Social engineering manipulation exists in many forms to trick you into the scheme. For example, a fraudster may send you an email claiming to represent a government agency like the IRS. This is meant to convince you to act quickly on what they are asking without questioning the validity. Also, they can create fake celebrity profile on social media platforms like facebook and ask you for friends.
Knowing about existing cyber threats will help you better prepare for and avoid them. Here are some of the most common attacks that can affect your music career.
This is one of the most common cyberattacks where the criminal sends a fake email that looks like a trusted entity. They intend to steal sensitive data such as login credentials and credit card information or install malware on your device. This can allow hackers to access your devices to steal your music files.
The easiest way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to stay alert. A spoofed email will contain easily noticed errors, such as misspellings and incorrect domain names. Also, stop clicking on links embedded in emails, as you may be redirected to a phishing site.
Malicious software is a shorthand for “malicious software”. It refers to viruses, Trojans, worms, ransomware and other harmful programs designed to steal data and destroy computers. Malware will get installed on your device once you click on a malicious link or attachment. Active malware can block access to your files, obtain information from hard drives, or render certain parts unusable.
So be careful while downloading anything online and be careful while opening links and attachments in suspicious emails. Also, an effective way to prevent malware is to install anti-malware software from a trusted source.
3. Denial of Service (DoS)
It is a cyber threat that floods a computer, rendering it unable to respond to requests. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) works the same way, although the attack comes from a computer network.
Criminals can use various techniques and even launch other attacks while the network is down. For example, a botnet is a common DDoS attack where millions of computers are infected with malware and controlled remotely by a hacker.
Using multi-layered protection strategies like firewall, antivirus, content filter, and VPN will help you prevent a DDoS attack. Additionally, you can equip your network and infrastructure with a layer of security to monitor and identify traffic inconsistencies.
4. Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)
In this attack, the cybercriminal intercepts and secretly positions himself in a communication between two people. They aim to steal personal information from either party, eavesdrop, corrupt data, or completely sabotage communication. However, this attack mainly occurs when using an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a simple but effective way to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks. It will encrypt your connections and hide your real IP address and location.
Protect your music
Cybercriminals can specifically target your music. Therefore, you need to find ways to protect the stuff you’re working on and the stuff you’ve already posted online. The easiest way to secure your songs is to create a backup. As a result, you won’t lose everything even if the hacker infiltrates a source. Also, use a strong password (a combination of small capital words and special characters) to add an extra level of protection to your songs.
Additionally, you can engage with a legal professional to take necessary action if your music is compromised. A lawyer will help you prepare legally if someone is protecting your songs or compromising your work.
Additionally, you may need to take additional protective measures if your music is available online for streaming. Indeed, hacks are frequent and can compromise all of your work. To stay safe, use a reliable streaming service with reliable security features. Also, avoid free streaming services as most of them are not secure.
Protect your brand
Besides your music, cybercriminals can also target your brand. For example, a hacker can take over your social media accounts or even your website and block you. The problem is that they can post offensive content that could ruin your reputation, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In fact, this problem has affected many celebrities, including Mark Zuckerberg and Taylor Swift. Hackers have infiltrated their accounts and posted strange content. Worse still, cybercriminals can access your credit card and bank account if they manage to steal your financial information.
As you can see above, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from cyber attacks as a musician. Keep in mind that the chances of being targeted increase as you gain attention and become a public figure. So, focus on your cybersecurity to save your career.
Image credit: Onur Binay on Unsplash