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. Additionally, security firms are measuring an increase in piracy, hacking, and other digital attacks every year. 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 post, we’ll focus on secure video hosting and delivery. Specifically, we’ll examine seven important secure video hosting methods, tools, and features. As a professional broadcaster, you should look for video hosting services that include all of the features we list here and more.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Methods
- AES Encryption
- HTTPS Delivery
- SSL/TLS Encrypted Paywall
- Password-Protected Video
- Geographic (IP) Restrictions
- Referrer Restrictions
- Secure Video Data Center and CDN
- Additional Secure Streaming Tips
- Conclusion: How to do Secure Video Streaming
Top 7 Secure Video Streaming Methods
Not every secure video delivery method is created equal. The measures you use will depend on the purpose of your content, your target audience, and your goal with broadcasting.
For example, you wouldn’t put a password on video content that you’re trying to spread to the masses, but you would likely use another security method to make sure that the video player and sensitive information are not compromised in any way.
Let’s dive into seven of the top secure video streaming methods for professional broadcasting.
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.
This process is transparent to the users and easy to implement. There’s no learning curve and, with most online video platforms, turning on AES encryption is as simple as checking a box.
AES encryption adds a strong layer of security to any professional video. However, this method can be used in combination with several other secure streaming measures.
2. HTTPS Delivery
HTTPS protects you from so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks. These attacks are relatively common with video streaming, 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 video content.
Ideally, any paywall should also allow you to take payment via multiple currencies and accept cards, PayPal, etc.
4. Password-Protected Video
Although it seems simple, password protected live streaming is a great way to protect your content from unqualified viewers.
Password protected video works in just the way you would imagine. First, you set a password on the videos of your choice. Then, viewers have to enter the correct password to watch. If they don’t know the password, they can’t access the video.
Password protection is a simple, effective security method, one that’s perfect for preview videos, internal company use, client reviews, etc.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this is not an end-all-be-all line of defense. Depending on the scale of your brand, passwords may be leaked in online forums. For this reason, many broadcasters change passwords from time to time to keep forbidden access under wraps.
5. Geographic (IP) Restrictions
If your viewers are located within specific regions or countries, geographic or IP restrictions may be an option for you.
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 covered, the best way to ensure secure video streaming 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 tries to embed your video on a different website will be unable to stream it.
7. Secure Video Data Centers 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 content delivery network (CDN ).
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 type of cybersecurity attack 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.
Additional Secure Streaming Tips
These seven security measures are quite effective. We’d like to reiterate that using multiple lines of defense is the way to go.
A general tip for secure streaming is to regularly monitor your systems. Stay on the watch for suspicious activity.
As we briefly mentioned before, a quick Google search of “your brand name + video title + password” should bring up any forums or websites that have leaked the credentials of password-protected content. This will let you know if you need to change any passwords.
Secure streaming is important, but so is the sensitive information that comes with professional broadcasting. If you monetize your content, your video CMS dashboard is associated with your financial information.
When you use video content for sales and marketing, you likely collect email addresses and contact information. You owe it to your leads to keep their information safe.
If possible, enable multi-factor authentication on any accounts that you use for professional broadcasting. This goes for your online video platform, your software encoder, the email address associated with your account, and any other tools you use.
Conclusion: How to do Secure Video Streaming
We’ve covered seven of the top tools and methods for secure video streaming solutions. Of course, there are other ways to keep your online video content safe.
For example, many professionals create custom apps, video portals, and solutions for their business. Others integrate SSO and plug video functionality into an existing backend system.
No matter which security measures you’ll use, 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. Also, we offer a range of professional services for businesses that need more assistance in getting started.
Looking for a feature-rich streaming solution with secure video delivery tools? Try our 30-day free trial to test all the Dacast features, including our security tools, today. No credit card required.
For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you can also join our LinkedIn group. This group offers a professional environment to network with industry insiders and connect with streaming professionals.
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!