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Spoilers Are Coming

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Game of Thrones, the most pirated TV show in the world, began its highly anticipated fifth season on Monday night with an epic episode.

Note – episode. Singular. And yet a lot of people will be fairly well into the series by now after HBO was hit by a massive leak, the result of which was the first four episodes being released via public torrent sites.

TorrentFreak reported that at one point 135,000 people were sharing the first episode online.

The thing is, the episodes that were leaked were preview versions, intended for reviewers, and nowhere near the same quality as the broadcast versions (or “crap copies” as our friends at Naked Security have put it).

Also, those people who consumed the first four episodes in one full stint will now have to wait an entire month whilst the rest of the world catches up.

At the moment it’s not clear how the episodes were leaked – it could have been a reviewer who breached the trust bestowed upon them by HBO, deliberately releasing the files.

Or it could have been an online hacker, delving into the depths of a reviewer's IT system upon which the files were stored. In which case that particular IT system and the protection surrounding it should have some serious questions asked of it.

As with the recent Sony breach, the jury is still out on which route was taken and we will probably never know the full details. However, a recent report from Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) revealed that the main cause of European privacy breaches comes from an organization’s own errors, insider abuse and other internal mismanagement.

The study of 350 European data breaches from 2005 to the end of 2014 found that nearly 60% of all incidents can be attributed to insider attacks, administrative error or lost hardware.

So what can be done to reduce this risk?

First of all, monitor installed applications on PCs and servers to ensure file sharing applications are detected and blocked or uninstalled. This can be carried out automatically using a product such as SystemCare where we audit machines daily to see what is installed.

Secondly, ensure you have a good Anti-Virus solution to detect any nasties on your machines. Sophos endpoint protection paired with a good email filter such as Symantec Message Labs is, in my opinion, a top class solution.

Thirdly, encrypt the data on any laptop and mobile device. I can guarantee that at least some of you reading this will leave a laptop or phone on train or in a taxi in the next year or so. Sophos Safeguard and Mobile control will allow you to encrypt and centrally manage just about any device you’d want to carry around and work on ‘on the go’.

Finally, to make sure that all the basics are covered (such as passwords and blocking access for old users), partner with a dedicated, reliable, knowledgeable IT support company, that has multiple Microsoft competencies, Sophos Platinum Partner Status, and an award winning blog.


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