The term OTT (Over the Top) is no longer a newbie to the vocabulary of internet users. The pandemic imposed a strict lockdown on the world, forcing people to stay at home and carry on with their daily routines. That was the time when people discovered how essential OTT services were for their day-to-day entertainment.
This way, OTT demand skyrocketed, and in the current scenario, OTT platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Disney+ have become our global asset for entertainment. People all around the planet are subscribing to OTT platforms and are appreciating their genre diversity. OTT video content distribution is massive and is available all over the web. Well, is there anything to be concerned about? Yes, at present, we have hundreds of video streaming service providers and an uncountable number of video content, which has fueled unethical activities such as content piracy, hacking, data breach, and many others.
According to Akamai, in 2021, India ranks third globally for consuming pirated content. The demand for pirated content has shown a sharp hike between January and September 2021. India has recorded nearly 6.5 billion visits to piracy websites, ranking the third highest after the United States and Russia.
In this blog, we are going to discuss the best practices that every OTT streaming service provider must follow for secure OTT video delivery.
Security attacks on streaming platforms can be avoided by implementing essential security practices. It will help in defending against cyber-attacks and, in case any data breach happens, businesses will be well-prepared for critical incident response.
Let’s have a close look at the essential security practices for streaming service providers
The 4 best practices for secure video content delivery –
Protect OTT content with Digital Rights Management (DRM) –
OTT content is consumed through smart TVs, tablets, laptops, desktops, and mobiles. Not only this, the internet connections to which all devices are connected are different too. That is where the threat lies.
Most of the devices do not have adequate security systems to protect the video content. Most copyright issues arise when content piracy happens when the content pirate downloads or copies the content using any third-party plugin or software.
DRM is a digital licensing system that gives content creators and broadcasters the authority to control who, how, when, and from which source the digital content can be accessed.
A DRM system is not just about encryption. In standard encryption, the data is stored in packages and transferred to the destination through a CDN (Content Delivery Network). While DRM for video streaming handles both encryption and device protocols for the video streaming platform to protect content from piracy.
Right from the time content is uploaded on the video streaming platform, metadata is collected and stored to be retrieved when a play request is received. Once the upload is done, using a cryptographic key, the content is encrypted. Streaming platforms have the flexibility to perform encryption during the streaming or before. This way, DRM secures the content while transiting it from the broadcaster’s source to the clients’ device.
Before the content delivery, the encrypted content is securely saved by the DRM system. To play the encrypted content, the users’ media player needs to have DRM-licencing information, which is sent to the client from the DRM license server.
Forensic watermarking –
Video piracy has made its shift from P2P networks to illegal real-time streaming. The global adoption of broadband connections and Smart TVs has powered the authorized video streaming market and video piracy too.
Pirated video content is free, piracy sites have no geo-restrictions, no subscription required, and the content from different video streaming platforms is available under one roof. Isn’t the reason tempting enough to attract users to use pirated content rather than paid content?
Video piracy has caused VOD business revenue loss and less funding for content production.
While DRM implementation helps with content encryption and enforces licensing policies in the video player system, it cannot isolate the pirated content or identify the threat actors behind it. Watermarking takes the lead from the point where DRM leaves off. Forensic watermarking can effectively identify the outermost point of the authorized use of video content.
Watermarking is a security technique that ensures the security of content while it is being played on device screens. It allows content owners to insert an embedded overlay into the video, by which it becomes easier to know the original content distributor. The watermarking technique prevents content piracy and illegal distribution.
Watermarking includes three main methods:
- Bitstream modification
- A/B variant
- Client-side watermarking
Watermarking video content adds a unique identifier that cannot be removed, erased, or edited regardless of where the content is published or distributed. It preserves the originality of the content source and keeps track of any modifications made to the content.
CDN content protection with token authentication –
Using token authentication can help streaming businesses secure their CDN content. Token authentication restricts unauthorized access like hotlinking, in which the third-party services/site uses your website assets without any admin permission and allows only legitimate users to access CDN content.
Token authentication operates in five steps-
- At first, during login, user credential verification is carried out by the web application.
- After successful authentication, the server sends a signed token to the user’s device.
- Each time the user request needs authorization, that token is attached to the request and sent to the server.
- The server decodes the token and verifies the authentication.
- After successful verification of the token, the application grants the user access to the website asset.
- Once the user logs out of the website, the token is destroyed and cannot be used for future use.
Use industry-standard payment gateways for video monetization –
By monetizing your video content, you are generating revenue. As it involves real-time monetary transactions, it must be secure. The security risks are high in monetization as customers’ card data is involved, and any kind of breach in the system can damage the business’s reputation.
Hence, to give the highest security to the payment system, make sure to use standard payment gateways integrated with bank-grade TLS/SSL encryption. It ensures the transaction data is encrypted with high-level cryptography and inaccessible from cyber threat actors.
No doubt, online streaming revenue has increased, and video content streaming is also on the rise. Streaming service providers are coming up with advanced technologies to improve their features and deliver the best in quality video streaming services to their users. However, each business involved in the streaming industry now bears an additional responsibility to ensure that the service they provide to users is secure.
Security always comes first before success, and indeed, the level of security you are providing can define your success in this digital content delivery industry.
To make it easier for streaming businesses to maintain a secure end-to-end video streaming platform, Muvi One is offering top security features like Multi DRM, SSL, SSO, and User-Authorization, which are specifically developed to protect video content from cyber threats.
To know more about how Muvi One is simplifying secure video content delivery, we request you to take a 14-day free trial of Muvi CRM and get to know how our security features can be beneficial for your business.
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