Top Features to Look for in a Secure Video Streaming Platform [2022 Update]
Online video is a powerful medium that is becoming more popular in many industries. It is commonly used by businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and other professional organizations.
As the online streaming industry grows, so do the threats from hackers and pirates. Unfortunately, there are groups of people with bad intentions that take advantage of broadcasters. This makes secure video streaming more important than ever.
In this article, we are going to discuss the top security features you’ll want to consider when selecting a secure video streaming platform. These features should give you the security you need to deliver both live stream and on-demand video content.
To get started, let’s review what secure streaming is and why modern broadcasters need to consider it.
Table of Contents:
- What is Secure Video Streaming?
- Why Use Secure Streaming?
- Top 7 Features for Secure Video Delivery
- Popular Use Cases for Secure Streaming
- Lapses in Secure Streamin
What is Secure Video Streaming?
Secure video streaming is a form of online video streaming that prioritizes privacy and security. There are several connotations of secure streaming, and there are several ways to approach it.
For some, secure streaming might be as simple as using password protection to keep unwanted viewers off of their stream. For others, secure video streaming might be a bit more complex with state-of-the-art encryptions and more intensive security protocols.
Why Use Secure Video Streaming?
In 2020, the online video streaming industry was valued at $50.1 billion. The industry is expected to grow to a whopping $184.27 billion by 2027.
With this growth potential, secure video streaming is absolutely essential, especially for broadcasters that are using video monetization or are streaming private content. Why? With rising usage comes increased security risks.
In recent years, security firms are registering an increase in piracy, hacking, and other digital attacks. Piracy alone costs the U.S. economy more than $29.2 billion per year. The costs of cybercrime are predicted to be $10.5 trillion in 2025.
Aside from the growing threats, secure video streaming comes in handy in situations where broadcasters simply would like to keep their content private.
Top 7 Features for Secure Video Delivery
There are specific features that are designed to support secure video streaming. These security options are available for hosting secure live streams and on-demand video libraries.
Let’s take a look at some of the top features to look for when you’re comparing video hosting platforms for secure streaming.
1. Password Protection
One of the most basic forms of security for your videos is password protection. This option enables you to set a password blocking your video content before anyone can view it. As long as you can ensure the privacy of your password, your stream will be secure.
This method can be essential for use within a small business or organization, or to pass around a video privately before publicly sharing.
If you are thinking of using password-protected streaming, please keep in mind that this method is not bulletproof. It is easy for passwords to be leaked among friends and colleagues or even in online forums.
In order to keep things secure, change your video passwords every couple of months and do routine checks on Google for leaked passwords. Simply search “password for [VIDEO NAME] + [YOUR BRAND], and any forums that have your leaked password should pop up.
2. Geographic and Domain Restrictions
There are two types of viewer restrictions that broadcasters can use to protect online video.
The first is a domain restriction. As the name implies, this setting restricts the domains on which your stream is playable. When setting up this feature, you type in the websites on which you’ll allow your videos to play.
Once up and running, embedding your video on any other website will fail. This helps to prevent others from embedding your video player on their website, which helps to avoid pirating.
The second type of restriction is geographic restriction. This method uses IP addresses to whitelist certain countries. Similar to the above method, you select which countries can view your videos. Users living outside these countries will not be able to watch.
Geo-restrictions are great if you are serving an audience within very specific locations.
This method is highly accurate and provides an additional layer of security.
3. Secure Paywalls
If you are monetizing your online videos and live streams, payment security is critical. Without strong payment security measures, you may lose many customers due to mixed-content warnings. In the worst-case scenario, you could get bad press or even legal action for failing to protect customer information.
Dacast uses an in-player payment system. This method is fully HTTPS and uses bank-grade SSL encryption to protect payment information again malicious actors.
Dacast also prevents the sharing of login information to bypass the video paywall. Users who have purchased access to videos or live video streams are only authorized to be logged in on one device at a time. When another login is detected via another device, the original stream will shut down.
4. Dynamic Token Security System
One advanced method that is used to ensure video security is tokenized video delivery. This security feature is especially valuable for video content that you embed in any site or app.
With a dynamic tokenized security system, the video player calls the server for a new token every two minutes. This ensures that domain restrictions, geographic restrictions, and other security measures are constantly checked and cross-checked. If the wrong tokens or no tokens are present, the video playback will immediately fail.
This process is completely transparent to the user, yet it provides a hard-to-bypass additional layer of security for your content.
5. System Monitoring
Choose an online video platform that has system monitoring. This will help to identify any red flags or indications of security threats.
The Dacast streaming solution is monitored by both automated and human-managed security scans, tests, and checks. For example, video content storage requires SSH public-key authentication. Security managers review the integrity and access to this system daily.
6. HLS Video Encryption
HLS stands for HTTP live streaming. While there are many types of encryption algorithms, the most commonly used method for HLS encryption is AES-128. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a block cipher that encrypts and decrypts data in 128-bit blocks. Here are the basics of how AES-128 works.
In video streaming, broadcasters can add AES video encryption that can be to a stream for security purposes. When the video is encrypted, a special key scrambles the video content. Unless the viewer has the correct access key, they can’t watch the video. Furthermore, if they try to intercept it, all they’ll see is a scrambled mess of useless data.
At the same time, authorized viewers have access to AES-encrypted video via their web browser and a secure HTTPS connection. The encryption process is invisible but provides a significant layer of protection against interception and piracy.
7. HTTPS Video Delivery
HTTPS is an encrypted web communication standard often used by government organizations, banks, and other industries with data that needs to be kept private. This protocol provides security in three ways.
First, it prevents tampering when the video file is in transit. Encrypted data cannot be changed while moving through the internet without destroying the data completely.
Second, HTTPS provides authentication. You can usually be sure that data sent via HTTPS connections truly came from where you think it did.
Finally, in conjunction with HLS delivery, HTTPS protects from eavesdropping. Implemented correctly, no one but the intended recipient should be able to access the data being transmitted.
Popular Use Cases for Secure Streaming
Secure streaming is valuable in many industries. Generally speaking, different types of video users have different levels of privacy needs. However, many organizations can benefit from encrypted HTTPS video delivery. Here is a short (though non-exhaustive) list of those who may especially benefit from a secure online video platform.
1. Medical and Educational Institutions
Many countries and jurisdictions have strong medical laws to ensure the protection of patient records. The United States, for example, has HIPAA.
Anytime that confidential information transmits over the internet, it requires a secure delivery system. Sometimes, video footage is part of a patient’s file, which requires secure video upload.
Educational institutions also deal with confidential student data and should ensure that video communications are encrypted.
Those in the legal field are often working with sensitive client information. Since attorney-client privilege is very important, it’s best to ensure the secure delivery of videos. Security mistakes in this field can cause major problems for clients.
3. Corporations and Businesses
If you are an enterprise organization, anytime you are communicating sensitive information about your finances or market positioning, you want to be careful. Leaks of this type of data can cause serious difficulties and even aid competitors.
Even seemingly innocuous data, such as training videos, could cause embarrassment or problems if made public. Also, it is important to protect your business video hosting platform from being infiltrated, since anything malicious or inappropriate that is streamed from your accounts or sites would reflect poorly on your brand.
While transparency is important in government and municipalities, there are cases where communications and content must be secure. Using some method of encryption, such as HTTPS delivery, is essential in this situation.
5. Intellectual Property and Piracy
Musicians, software providers, artists, and other creatives should always consider the danger of intellectual property theft. When you stream your own video of concerts or films, you should always be aware of potential security or privacy risks.
Lapses in Secure Streaming
Secure online video streaming technology is continuously being further developed so there are a few incompatibilities. For example, Dacast supports live event broadcasting to mobile apps and smart TV apps, such as Roku TV.
If you want to reach these platforms, however, you’ll have to disable HTTPS delivery. You can do this by generating an HLS M3U8 media playlist file. This feature allows you to quickly link your stream to set-top boxes.
As this article reveals, customization options for a secure HTML5 online video player are more complex than ever before. In a world with rapidly evolving threats and attack vectors, secure video streaming is a must. It is important to assess your goals and choose the best security features for your streaming needs.
Thankfully, when you use a professional-grade video hosting platform, like Dacast, you can depend on the security tools provided to protect your content.
Not yet streaming with Dacast, and ready to give our secure online video platform a try? Just click the button below to sign up for 14 days of free streaming. No credit card is required. You can set up an account and start streaming in a matter of minutes.
I hope that this essay has offered you a useful overview of several crucial security measures that Dacast offers. If you’re a Dacast client with special concerns about privacy and security, feel free to contact our support team directly to discuss your needs. We’re here to help! For regular tips on live streaming, as well as exclusive offers, you can join our LinkedIn group.
Thanks for reading, and, as always, good luck with your live streams.