By Michal Brenner, Marketing Manager, Service Provider Video Software and Solutions, Cisco

In the global digital revolution unfolding around us, the media broadcast segment is particularly well-stocked with opportunity. It’s well proven (time and time again!) that direct-to-consumer video delivery brings with it new levels of intimacy and invaluable insights about what viewers want — which correlate predictably with new revenue streams. It’s also well proven that the mission-critical shift from “traditional” infrastructure to IP, for video production and delivery, really does create flexibility, agility and operational efficiency.

But — and it’s a big “but”! – these changes in how video content is produced, delivered and monetized require a well-considered security strategy and comprehensive mindset. Why? Because an open, interconnected, IP and cloud-based environment, with all its benefits, exposes new and continuous threats. Worse, those threats hail from a ridiculously large and growing range of attack vectors. Some pirates gun for live streaming content, selling illegal services for a profit; others hack at Over-the-Top (OTT) apps and consumer devices. Still others muckrake the world’s data centers with distributed denial of service (DDoS), malware and ransomware attacks.

Indeed, the volume of risk spans the entire video value chain. It mandates close and continuous attention, to keep the business healthy. There’s just no way around it – doing business in the digital age requires holistic thinking about security.

And why is Cisco blogging about this, during this week of the National Association of Broadcasters convention? (Hint: It’s definitely coincidental.) It’s because we want to make sure that the world’s video/media ecosystem knows that we’re resourced and ready to be a solid and end-to-end security partner.

And what qualifies us for this heavy challenge, you ask? Let’s start with technology. We represent unmatched breadth and depth in both video and infrastructure security solutions, so you can get all you need from one vendor. No need for an endless mixing and matching of point products that invariably result in security gaps. With Cisco, you are protected by the #1 in data center security and the #1 in video security. And we see it as our ongoing mission to protect our customers’ evolving IT, media, and video broadcast networks and stay up to date against the latest threats.

What’s happening on this inside of this mission here at Cisco, for video content and service protection, is this: Our longstanding leadership in broadcast TV security is now being applied to the worlds of multiscreen and OTT. Proof points: We have the longest “unhacked” track record in the market — going on 14 years — with our field-proven VideoGuard Everywhere conditional access (CA), and multi-DRM-based protection solutions. Thanks to our experience with market leading customers, VideoGuard Everywhere can today enable premium experiences, with support for additional consumer devices and advanced service features — while ensuring that our security remains robust, and with a design that reduces deployment and operational costs.

More proof points: Our anti-piracy solutions span multiple technologies, like web monitoring, fingerprinting and watermarking. We also tie in advanced capabilities like analytics and data science, combining different elements into solid solutions so as to help our media and service provider customers combat all stripes of video piracy. And, our infrastructure security offering uses a multilayered approach, to ensure that your content, services and business are protected from advanced cyber threats – read more in Sam Rastogi’s blog which speaks to recent and now infamous cyber attacks, and how they can be avoided.

What’s emerging, as the worlds of media and IP converge, is the need for combined expertise — equal parts video, and IT infrastructure. At Cisco, we get that. We’re acting on it, continuously. We’re building the innovations that combine security elements from different disciplines to give our customers better protection – for example, using DRM technology to strengthen the security of sensitive data residing in your infrastructure, be it pre-released video content, the scripts and storyboards for your next big hit, or high-value subscriber data – at the individual asset level.

But technology isn’t enough in itself to achieve robust security. Intelligence is just as important. It’s kind of hard to solve for threats you don’t know about, for instance. At Cisco, “mission-critical” is synonymous with knowing how pirates pirate, and how hackers hack, so that our customers can stay (at least!) one step ahead. That’s why we fund top-notch and in-house global research teams focused on operational security and cyber security, who advise our customers on security threats and countermeasures. Pre-emptively, our security engineers interpret the intelligence, to build better technology.

So: Technology + intelligence can combine to make highly effective security. However, here’s this from the Department of Lots Of Experience: Help is usually needed to determine the optimal security solution, and to deploy it. That’s why Cisco offers a range of services that ease security implementation, so that you can focus less on security and more on your business. We work with you assess your infrastructure, then “right size” the best solution for your business.

You could take my word for it, sure. Or, you could take our customers’ word for it! Security being security, and blogs being blogs, we can’t list them all. But check out our work with Sky, for instance, and British Telecom — two cutting-edge customers who chose us to help them secure their business initiatives. We are grateful and motivated to keep them (and their customers) safe and secure!

And this ends my soliloquy on the super-important intersections of security and video/media. I thank you for indulging me. In closing, two questions: Is your media business secure? Are you sure? 😉 Let’s talk … we’ll be at booth Upper South Hall, #8502, or visit us at #NABShow for a discussion. Here’s a link to our website, too, to learn more.


George Tupy

Market Manager

Service Provider, Video Solutions