Importance of Animation Pre-production for Successful Projectst

TPN Certification – Is it necessary? Know Why And How?

Data security plays a crucial role in the global film and television industry, as it is essential to prevent leaks of new releases. With hundreds of people working on a single project, the risk of leaks, hacks, and breaches increases significantly. Unfortunately, this situation negatively impacts VFX studios, as they are unable to secure projects without proof of adequate security measures for their clients. This is where TPN Certification comes into play. Let's delve into the WWH (what, why, and how) of TPN.

What Is TPN?

TPN, Trusted Partner Network, is the initial content protection accreditation for the film and television industry and It helps companies ensure their clients that leaks, hacks, and breaches of movies, videos, or shows will be prevented before the agreed release dates. TPN is crucial in instilling confidence in the industry's security measures.

Trusted Partner Network assessment involves a thorough security audit. It examines your entire integrated system and ongoing workflows, including the management system, physical space, and digital security, among other aspects. The assessment ensures compliance with the best practices established by MPA (Motion Picture Association).

The licensed Assessor conducts the evaluation and provides a comprehensive report to the MPA, ACE, and CDSA member studio content owners. The report highlights the execution of ISMS (Information Security Management System), control practices, business and risk management approach, and recommendations for future compliance.

Why did TPN come into existence, and why is it needed?

In the current landscape, content creation for short films, movies, and shows involves a growing ecosystem of third-party vendors with varying degrees of security measures. This has significantly increased the threat of leaks and breaches, endangering the studios' most valuable asset: their content. TPN certification aims to raise security awareness and enhance capabilities within the industry.

TPN establishes a universal benchmark for minimum security preparedness among all vendors and their teams, regardless of their location or expertise. By creating a global catalog of "trusted partner" vendors, content organizations gain access to a valuable dataset that showcases the vendors' TPN status.

For VFX Studios, TPN offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Building trust among vendors and customers regarding security measures

  • Strengthening security against data threats

  • Access to a centralized directory as a Trusted Partner vendor

  • Elevating the security standards within the vendor community

  • Increasing the number of assessed projects involving third-party vendors

Does the TPN program provide any benefits to vendors?

TPN offers a range of advantages to vendors, such as:

  • Minimizes the need for multiple assessments at each facility

  • Streamlining the controls required by different content owners

  • Gaining a competitive edge through appropriate quoting

  • Facilitating the promotion of security preparedness, and much more.

Joining TPN is a commendable step for every vendor, regardless of their size, as it demonstrates their commitment to making security a core principle of their business.

How much does the TPN assessment cost?

The cost of the assessment varies depending on several factors, and there is no standardized pricing model for individual assessors or their companies. The pricing is determined through negotiations between the TPN Assessor and the vendor making the request. Factors influencing the cost include the type of firm, the projects they handle, the services offered by studio owners, the physical space, the client portfolio, database features, and more. For detailed information, please visit www.ttpn.org/about/faqs.

How to join TPN?

Joining the TPN program and obtaining certification for security preparedness involves a concise yet comprehensive procedure. Here are the steps:

Step 1:

Visit the TPN Platform at www.ttpn.org and go to the Vendor Assessment Request tab.

Step 2:

Accurately fill out the form with all your company's basic information.

Step 3:

After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirmation indicating that you will soon receive the questionnaire.

Step 4:

Upon receiving the questionnaire, you will be required to submit certain documents for evaluation. This step enables the assessment of your company and prepares the way for an on-site review.

Step 5:

Before the on-site review, the assigned assessor will provide you with a list of documents that need to be readily available for inspection, based on the specific requirements.

Note: On-site assessments involve physical visits by an assessor to inspect and evaluate a vendor's facility. These assessments are typically conducted for facilities handling pre-theatrical content or sensitive assets early in the distribution cycle.

Step 6:

If your services/work fall within the post-theatrical phase or the release cycle, you may have the option of a remote review or a telephonic interview session.

Step 7:

After the assessment is complete, the approved assessor sends the draft report to TPN for quality control. This procedure normally runs around two weeks.

Step 8:

If any areas of non-compliance are identified, the TPN team provides a remediation list. Vendors are given ten working days to address and resolve the identified issues.

Step 9:

Once all requirements are met, the vendor's company will be enrolled in the TPN vendor directory, along with authorized supporting assessment materials. Additionally, the vendor will receive their portal credentials, allowing them to access the portal using 2-factor authentication.

Ensuring Security and Trust with TPN Certification

TPN certification ensures security and trust by establishing a standardized set of security controls and best practices. Animation and VFX studios that achieve certification adhere to these controls, which include network security, access controls, encryption, incident response, and employee training.

By implementing these measures, studios can create a secure environment that protects their clients' valuable assets.

Common Challenges and Misconceptions

Obtaining TPN certification may present challenges to animation and VFX studios. One common challenge is the initial investment required to upgrade infrastructure and implement necessary security measures. However, the long-term benefits of certification far outweigh the initial costs, as studios can attract more clients and secure higher-value projects.

Misconceptions about TPN certification also exist. Some may believe that certification is optional or only relevant for large studios. However, the reality is that TPN certification benefits studios of all sizes. It provides a framework for security excellence that helps studios build trust with clients and achieve industry-wide recognition.

Can anyone ‘Fail’ a TPN Assessment?

The TPN evaluation does not assign a "pass or fail" grade, certificate, or rating. 

Instead, TPN conducts thorough assessments of security preparedness and adherence to MPA content security best practices. In case of non-conformance with controls or practices, remediation may be directed by a different but equally authorized TPN assessor. Vendors are also allowed to provide evidence of their own remediation efforts to TPN.

The TPN has a well-defined review and submission process to address evaluations effectively. The TPN has a formal review and submission process in place to address any evaluation disputes. Assessors undergo regular evaluations and assessments through the TPN Qualified Assessor Program.

We at Vani - a production tracking software works well for TPN-certified firms and vendors without any compliance. It does not imply any obstacle in the security of data as necessary.

The Future of TPN Certification in Animation and VFX Studios

As the animation and VFX industry continues to evolve, TPN certification will remain a vital aspect of studio operations. The demand for high-quality content, combined with the need for robust security measures, will ensure that TPN certification retains its relevance. Animation and VFX studios that embrace TPN certification will be better positioned to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Take the necessary steps to prioritize data security and instill confidence in your clients. Join the TPN program today.

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