Think of any business operating in some digital capacity today and you will find that they rely on video content to reach their audiences. This could be in the form of marketing and advertising content or they could be in the business of video streaming itself, as is often the case in the entertainment, sports, news and live events industries. According to Statista, the number of live video viewers in the United States alone is estimated to reach over 158.2 million by the end of 2022 and this number is expected to reach 164.6 million viewers by 2024.
The Importance of Streaming Security
With this growing reliance on live video streaming, businesses are also at an increased risk of security threats. Various forms of malware, fake versions of online video platforms, phishing and piracy are all issues that concern businesses and creators who rely on video streaming.
According to studies conducted by a cybersecurity firm DataProt, pirated video material gets over 230 billion views a year and more than 80% of global online piracy can be attributed to illegal streaming services.
Streaming Security Features
If you are looking to adopt a secure video streaming platform, you will need to think about a variety of factors including your audience, content and your goals. For establishing secure streaming, there are multiple methods and features for you to choice. Different providers offer different security features but these are some of the essentials that you should consider. Besides, any of these features can be paired with others for added & additional protection.
AES stands for “Advanced Encryption Standard.” This is a feature that ensures that each stream of video is encrypted using a special key. Encryption is a process of encoding information so that only authorized users can access it.
To be able to watch the video, your viewer will need a digital access key, either by watching it on your allowed websites or by signing with their account. They will also need a secure HTTPS connection and a web browser to gain access.
If it is feasible in your case, password-protecting your video can also be an option to secure your video streaming. You set a password for the video and the user has to enter the correct password to watch it. This ensures that only those viewers with permission via a password authentication can access your content.
While this is useful for some types of videos such as previews, internal company meetings or unfinished marketing material under review, it may not be ideal for streaming that needs to reach a vast number of users on the internet.
HTTPS is a security feature that protects your video from “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Man-in-the-middle attacks are those in which attackers eavesdrop on the communication between two targets. So in the case of video streaming, there will be an attacker intercepting the video between your broadcast and the end users’ reception. These often happen when viewers use public networks such as those at coffee shops and libraries.
HTTPS prevents these by wrapping the communication between you and your viewer through a layer of secure encryption. It provides additional protection to your content.
Another way to protect your video streaming from being attacked is by restricting it to certain specific geographical regions. This feature is called GEO blocking and can be an option for businesses which cannot distribute content in some regions because of licensing or copyright issues, or when they don’t want to risk fines from privacy violations in some regions or if the video is only meant to be viewed within an office location.
Similar to geo blocking is IP restriction. IP restriction works by limiting the video consumption to viewers whose IP addresses are allowed in the streaming. You can choose to restrict or blacklist certain IP addresses from which you are sure you want to avoid viewers, or you can choose to whitelist just a few select IP addresses who should be allowed to view your videos.
This may be helpful if you want to restrict your video streaming to say an organization, a building or a location, in which case geo blocking may still not be narrow enough.
One layer of video security alone may not be sufficient. GEO blocking and IP restriction for example can be circumvented by hackers through clever techniques such as VPN or proxy browsers that hide IP addresses.
You can add another layer of security by adopting referrer restrictions. This works by whitelisting some select domains that your video content is allowed to play on. If an unauthorized site attempts to embed your video, the video playback will be blocked. For example you may want your video to be played only on your website or those of some partner organizations. In these cases, you can whitelist your own domain and those of your partners to allow your video stream to be viewed by those visiting sites and pages on these domains.
DRM – A Popular Video Streaming Security Trend
In addition to the streaming security features listed above, there is also another option that you can explore to protect your video streaming content – digital rights management (DRM). DRM constitutes a general approach to securing and managing the rights to digital content. It applies to various digital media formats including eBooks, pdfs, audio files, images, design documents and video, enabling you to prevent unauthorized access, use and copying of the content in these files.
In the case of video streaming, DRM can be used to lock video files behind a gate or a paywall and encrypt them so that only select devices or users who are authorized can access them.
How CDNetworks Can Help to Secure Your Video Content
CDNetworks offers businesses a number of solutions to broadcast your video content securely. The Media Acceleration Live Broadcast is a service that leverages our industry leading content delivery network (CDN) and powerful media-processing capabilities to deliver real-time streaming and interactive viewing experiences to global users. While If you work with on-demand video, CDNetworks Media Acceleration VoD might be an ideal choice for you, as it ensures your video delivery to end users over optimal paths for peak performance, low latency and reliability.
All these solutions offered by CDNetworks come with the familiar secure video streaming features and strategies by encrypting it, securing its distribution, and controlling viewing access using HTTPDNS, access control, token authentication, geo-blocking, and IP whitelisting/blacklisting，anti-hotlinking, and DRM to protect your content . Using these technologies, your live streams are delivered to your viewers securely, ensuring content integrity and maximizing your business profits.