Long reads


Q&A: Ivan Verbesselt, NAGRA

Ivan Verbesselt, SVP of marketing at NAGRA talks about the importance of Scalable Service Protection for pay TV operators

NAGRA has a strong focus on Scalable Service Protection at IBC this year. Why is this so important for pay TV service providers?
In a world where the demand for high-quality content – delivered anytime, anywhere, and on any device – is higher than ever, service providers increasingly have their work cut out for them when it comes to keeping content secure.

Vastly increased numbers of devices along with an elevated use of virtualisation and the cloud, could equate to many more security threats – not to mention a broader, multifaceted attack surface.

In this context, a more comprehensive approach that encompasses a pay TV operator’s entire service is essential to the next generation of content security. And everyone from Hollywood studios to live sports broadcasters and pay TV service providers must now leverage a wider sphere of security technologies to distribute content securely over IP networks.

Is this easier said than done?
It’s certainly not simple by any means; operators will have to simplify operations and reduce overheads, while still meeting all relevant Hollywood and sports rights holder requirements for content protection.

They must also look to rationalise architectures by selecting a scalable, modular, cloud-based solution to unify all aspects of their content protection needs – regardless of which network or device they’re delivering content to.

And of course, it’s critical to work with a partner who can deliver a solution specifically designed for converged networks – but one that’s also easy to deploy and addresses the need for scale and global reach.

But first and foremost, it’s important to accurately and holistically assess those needs. At NAGRA we’ve developed a framework akin to a radar to actively guide them through the assessment. We evaluate a customer’s service security against four categories of concern (monetisation, convergence, service, analytics and business intelligence) and determine and prioritise with them the steps required to adequately address the threats.

What cloud-based and scalable security solutions are available to them?
As mentioned above, a holistic approach to content protection, one that goes beyond traditional CAS and DRM technologies, is key.

This is where NAGRA’s Scalable Service Protection solutions come in to help service providers and content owners arm themselves to overcome the many threats levied against their services today – whether it’s direct threats to content, or broader threats at the service level from the increasing adoption of IoT devices.

These cloud-based solutions can scale across operations of different sizes. They can also provide online trial options and leverage adaptive security for optimal performance across a vast client device ecosystem.

Our flagship product in this regard is NAGRA cloud.SSP, an advanced and modular software-as-a-service (SaaS) security services platform that comprehensively addresses all dimensions of content and service protection for the connected world. We’ll be showcasing NAGRA cloud.SSP and other cloud-based solutions at IBC.

Are there any recent examples of these solutions in action?
Yes, absolutely. Vodafone recently selected and deployed NAGRA cloud.SSP to secure its multi-network TV service, Vodafone TV (VTV), across several countries, which enables them to secure multiple network types – including IPTV, hybrid broadcast and OTT – using a single content protection platform, as well as streamline all device use cases by combining the NAGRA Connect client for converged CAS/DRM content protection on set-top boxes along with comprehensive multi-DRM support for open devices.

Telefónica also recently deployed the NAGRA Security Services Platform (SSP) and the NAGRA Connect client to secure their Movistar IPTV service and 4K Ultra HD content for their worldwide IPTV deployments. This enables a robust and comprehensive 4K and IP-ready content protection solution that can seamlessly deploy across device generations, regions and markets.

What about the future of service protection?
As we look to the next generation of content security, the imperative for operators is to offer a scalable and modular system for managing multiple environments across existing and newer generation client devices.

This also means giving service providers complete control of content value protection across all their networks, devices and use cases, along with anti-piracy services and tools like forensic watermarking, that provide additional security measures to keep premium content secure.

Looking ahead to IBC 2019 and beyond, with conversations dominated by the prospect of anytime, anywhere content delivery, the key will be to stay on top of new content security challenges as they arise while proactively laying the foundation for a more comprehensive approach to protecting their service at large – including a consumer’s home network as consumers increasingly embrace IoT devices.

So ultimately, scalable service protection benefits everyone in the ecosystem: for service providers it simplifies customer acquisition and extends their market reach to the natural adjacency of broadband security, and for consumers, it delivers more convenience and value to safely enjoy the content they love.