Conditional access specialist Irdeto has rolled out a new, dynamic security solution for premium content called ActiveCloak for Media, which is designed to be adaptable to multiple application and flexible enough to defeat new security threats as they develop.
"We're moving from a static security paradigm to a dynamic security paradigm," said Jan Steenkamp, vice president of the Americas for Irdeto. "That's where the challenges now become really interesting. DRM is good, but it's not good enough" to protect high-value content from piracy. And, he said, as pay-TV operators and content owners see the value in distributing more content over the top and on demand to more device--often earlier in the release cycle than ever before--the problems with content being pirated increases.
"You can see from the news in recent weeks how much the fulcrum has shifted (toward OTT and on-demand delivery)," said Steenkamp. "Operators and content owners have seen the success Netflix has had and they are responding."
The problem is keeping content secure.
DRM systems use encryption and rights expressions to ensure that digital entertainment is used appropriately, he said. But the DRM itself is often a target for attack and, once a hacker can get around it, the digital content is free for unauthorized copying and use. Irdeto contends that static DRM software solutions can be sitting ducks for hackers who continuously work to defeat them.
What ActiveCloak does, said Christopher Schouten, Irdeto's senior director of solution marketing, is act like an anti-virus program on a PC.
"What it does is create a situation where, if you monkey with it, you'll get shut down fast and hard," he said. "It can inform operators what hackers are trying to do and allow operators to prepare appropriate counter measures so it doesn't happen again in the future."
And, like a good anti-virus program, he said, strong content security programs should operate in the background and work without the user ever really knowing it's there.
ActiveCloak for Media can include integrated renewability, diverse security and piracy monitoring for a wide range of popular content distribution platforms--including tablets, smartphones, iPads, PCs, connected TVs, game consoles and hybrid STBs.
"As the IPTV guys start moving content around in the home and in their set-top boxes, they're all going to have more security challenges," said Steenkamp. "I expect over the next 18 to 24 months that the debate over content protection will roar through operators--MSOs, IPTV, Satellite TV and studios. They want to get content out but in a way that they don't lose control of the content."
Schouten said the Irdeto approach is unique to the industry and will gain ground in the segment because of it.
"We think this is a really key play going forward because so much of the growth we see with our customers is definitely in the Internet space," he said.
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