Recent research confirms what pay-TV operators already know – securing content and customer data must be a top priority as security threats escalate
It seems that everyone is talking about security nowadays. Each week, news stories present headlines of new breaches or, more troubling, breaches that happened months or years ago that were only recently discovered. Each story underscores the scope of the challenge and raises consumer concerns regarding life in our evolving connected world.
Given our focus on the pay TV and broadband services marketplace, we wondered about the level of concern among operators about security – of their data and content. To gauge the anxiety level, Verimatrix commissioned a research project where Parks Associates interviewed operators in the US and Europe to understand their philosophy and approach regarding security. While the results were published in a recent whitepaper (Securing the Integrity of Video Analytics Data), our team came away from the project with several key impressions.
The threats are growing, and operators know it. The reality, and history, of data and content security is that the threats never rest. They continue to evolve, learning and changing to exploit new technologies and overcome the latest security innovations. Often hackers are well-organized and coordinated, potentially outstripping the internal capabilities of all but the largest operator software development and security teams. Operators are painfully aware of this reality and of the potential risk that security breaches pose to their customer and content partner relationships. Executives that we interviewed indicate that company leaders had set security as a leading priority.
Breaches from outside the industry could compromise pay TV customers. In the past, operators simply had to protect the walls of their own networks to protect content and data. No longer. Outside breaches that yield e-mail addresses and credentials to other sites/services can allow hackers to potentially get access to pay-TV customer accounts. For example, consumers may use the same passwords for differing services. Alternatively, hackers could use stolen information to request password changes, granting them access beyond the original breach.
Differing regulations around the world complicate the problem. In a world of multinational operations and cloud-based services, operators must navigate a patchwork of regulations regarding security and privacy. Operators facing this environment often must take extraordinary measures in encryption and anonymization of the data, particularly those that want to store or access data remotely (as is increasingly the case with large scale, low cost, cloud-based storage solutions). The cross-border challenge is particularly felt by operators with less stringent regulations as they attempt to reach markets with high security/privacy requirements, for example, operators in Eastern Europe seeking to offer OTT video services in Western Europe.
High profile breaches do raise consumer concerns … but that may not be all bad. A little caution by consumers, and by operators, is a wise approach in today’s hyper-connected, multiscreen world.
Written by Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates | Originally published on the official Verimatrix blog
NOTE: If you’d like a more detailed and hopefully entertaining discussion on this topic – and if you happen to be in Singapore on the morning of May 24th – you can sign up for a special breakfast panel discussion titled “How Big Data Will Transform the Video Experience”, hosted by Disruptive.Asia’s John Tanner and Tony Poulos and sponsored by Verimatrix. Click here for registration details.