Long reads


Q&A: Martin Bergenwall, Verimatrix on content protection

Martin Bergenwall, Senior Vice President at Verimatrix talks to DTVE about the changing face of piracy in the age of streaming and what is being done to protect content.

What are the most important ways in which the security threat to content service providers has changed over the last couple of years and 2020 in particular?

In the past, the threat on content piracy was more about somebody making a copy of a movie and then redistributing that copy. That threat still exists, but with the emergence of streaming we are seeing new threats in the form of re-streaming – largely being done with commercial intent. We have seen pirates that offer a lot of re-streaming of events where they use web ads to actually make money on those streams.

What are the main innovations in the way you see content being secured and helping to meet the challenges that have arisen from new forms of piracy?

As a long term trend we have seen our customers moving more and more to the cloud. This really accelerated this year. Now, the value of having somebody else to take care of everything 24/7 and not having to run your own data centre has become more important. If I were to highlight one thing it would be the accelerated trend to move towards cloud and SaaS-based business.

What role can the cloud play in helping content service providers better secure their assets and revenues?

Security is a dynamic space – you get new attacks and new types of piracy. And if you host everything on-premises there is a lot of work to make sure that your servers are up to date with the latest patches, that you are filtering IP traffic and that you are monitoring for DDOS attacks. If you get that as a cloud service and let someone else do that 24/7 on your behalf, you have to worry less about all the things that are changing. Security is a process that needs to be done every day and kept up to date.

What impact has the growth of live streaming of premium events and premium VOD services had on the piracy threat and the technologies used to combat it?

The shift of movies going from cinemas to home streaming and the increasing value of live sports has seen a significant increase to demand for watermarking. Normally we talk to about 10 companies at any given time about watermarking opportunities, but right now we are talking to 50-60. There’s a big change that has happened in the level of interest in watermarking as a means to secure live events and premium VOD.

What security innovations are coming up that can help address the growth in the number of devices that can be used to consume video?

It is a challenge from the security perspective because you get more end-points that may provide a leak for the content, and as such we have seen an increased demand for application protection on the end devices. That is really driven by the content being consumed on not just a TV connected to a set top box, but on smart TV apps, on tablets and on mobile devices. That has driven demand to provide more protection for those. And this is not just DRM – DRM is really important for protection, but you need more than DRM to fully protect an app. App shielding technology can protect the apps and make sure that they are not modified or running on a rooted phone, and check for things that would indicate that the user is trying to pirate the video.

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Tags: Verimatrix