Video is increasingly important for modern businesses. As with any digital tool, however, online video can be vulnerable to security issues, piracy, and hacking. Digital TV Research estimates that by 2022, piracy will cost businesses $52 billion a year. Security firms are measuring an increase in piracy, hacking, and other digital attacks every year. And in total, the costs of cybercrime could reach $6 trillion within a year. That’s why using a secure video platform is so important for professionals.
In this blog post, we’ll focus on secure video hosting and delivery. Specifically, we’ll examine seven important secure video hosting methods, tools, and features. Whenever possible, professionals should look for video hosting services that include all of the features we list here—and more.
Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Methods
1. AES Encryption
The first secure video streaming method we’ll cover here is AES encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard. Encryption is a process of encoding information so that only authorized users can view it.
TechTarget defines AES as “a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified information [and] implemented in software and hardware throughout the world to encrypt sensitive data.”
For streaming video, AES encryption secures each stream using a special key. Unless the viewer has this special key, they cannot watch the video. In other words, AES makes it much harder for hackers to access your video content. Ultimately, even hackers who intercept AES encrypted secure video streams will be unable to watch the video.
All this happens in a way that is transparent to the users and easy to implement. There’s no learning curve and turning on AES is as simple as checking a box. Therefore, AES encryption adds a strong layer of security to any video professional. However, there are other methods that can make you even safer. Let’s discuss some of these now.
2. HTTPS Delivery
Next up is HTTPS delivery. HTTPS protects you from so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks. These attacks are relatively common, especially when people use open networks at schools, coffee shops, and libraries. Hackers can use vulnerabilities in these public networks to steal data as it’s being transmitted to the viewer.
Through the use of digital certificates and encryption keys, HTTPS delivery encrypts a users’ connection with the website and prevents this sort of attack.
HTTPS wraps all communication between the server sending your videos and the viewer in a layer of secure encryption. This provides additional protection to your content.
3. SSL/TLS Encrypted Paywall
Whenever customers enter payment information into your website, you need to ensure their data security. Otherwise, you could be liable for their damages and face major issues. The best way to do this is via SSL/TLS. In fact, this is the same type of encryption that banks use to protect your financial data.
A secure paywall ensures that you are protecting your customers’ data at all times. Therefore, it’s essential to use a secure paywall protected by SSL/TLS if you choose to monetize your online video. Ideally, any paywall should also allow you to take payment via multiple currencies and accept cards, PayPal, etc.
4. Password-Protected Video
Next up, how about a simple, highly effective security measure? A password can do just that.
Password-protected video works in just the way you would imagine. First, you set a password on the video(s) of your choice. Then, viewers have to enter the correct password to watch. And if they don’t know the password, they’re out of luck.
It’s a simple, effective security method, one that’s perfect for preview videos, internal company use, client reviews, etc.
5. Geographic (IP) Restrictions
The next security feature we’ll look at today is geographic or IP restrictions. This tool aims to combat piracy by blocking certain geographic regions from accessing your videos. Most piracy comes from certain regions. In fact, the United States Office of the Trade Representative lists 36 countries that have the highest rate of piracy. Geo-restrictions make it easy to “blacklist” these countries.
Many businesses only want to target their videos to viewers in one or two countries. In that case, geographic restrictions make it easy to “whitelist” these countries, automatically blacklisting everything else. The whitelist works using IP addresses, which correspond to geographic location. Like most security measures, it’s not 100% bulletproof. But it can provide a valuable additional layer of security.
6. Referrer Restrictions
Geo-restrictions work well. But as we’ve learned, the best way to secure video streams is through layers of security.
Another method you can implement to keep your content protected is referrer restrictions.
Referrer restrictions function by whitelisting certain domains that your video content is allowed to play on. Typically, these domains include your website and any partner websites you may have. When enabled, this feature checks with the server regularly through a system of digital security tokens. When it’s detected that your video is embedded on an unauthorized site, it will be immediately blocked from playback. Anyone who tried to embed your video on a different website will be unable to stream it.
7. Secure Video Datacenters and CDN
When you upload an online video to an online video platform, those files are stored in a data center, often run by a CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN is a network of servers that uses complex load-balancing software to deliver video and other media globally, as fast as possible. Using a CDN ensures your content loads quickly with minimal lagging and buffering.
Using an online video platform integrated with a CDN helps protect you against various types of attacks. This includes “DDoS” attacks, which flood a website with traffic to attempt to crash it. Using a CDN makes this strategy largely ineffective.
Plus, CDNs help to protect you against hardware failure. They offer built-in redundancy, making your content safe as well as fast to load.
Conclusion: How to do Secure Video Streaming
Above, we’ve covered seven of the top tools and methods for secure video streaming solutions. Of course, there are other ways to stay safe and be effective with your online video. For example, many professionals will want to create custom apps, video portals, and solutions for their business. Or perhaps they’ll want to integrate SSO and plug video functionality into an existing backend system.
In fact, businesses aspiring to this sort of video success will need a professional video platform with API access such as Dacast. The Dacast online video platform offers all the security features we’ve discussed in this article. Our content is delivered by industry-leading CDNs. In addition, we offer a range of professional services for businesses that need more assistance in getting started. All this is available at some of the most affordable pricing on the market.
Looking for an affordable, feature-rich streaming solution with secure video delivery tools? Try our 30-day free trial (no credit card required) to test all the Dacast features, including our security tools, today!
As always—thanks for reading, good luck with your online video. And don’t forget, please contact us if we can assist you in any way!