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The New Face of Digital Piracy: Part One

- August 4, 2016 - 1 Comment

By Ted Rose, Operational Security, Service Provider Video Software and Solutions, Ciscoheadshot

Our security team already blogged about the complex realities of securing digital video content back in April, when attendees of the National Association of Broadcasters gathered in Las Vegas for their annual meet-up. Then (and now), they were grappling with how to keep their valued video assets secure, particularly as they move deeper and deeper into the Internet Protocol world.

And while conditional access and DRM continue to be a solid piracy deterrent — we still own the longest “un-hacked” track record in the market, nigh on 14 years, with our VideoGuard Everywhere line — it’s still not enough. It’s not enough because the face of piracy does one thing really, really well: It changes. The more reasons that exist to protect something, the more reasons exist to pirate it.

Consider: the Motion Picture Association of America estimated global losses to the movie industry at $18.2 billion — and that was in 2005. CreativeFuture, citing a 2013 study by NetNames, states that illegal streaming makes up nearly a quarter (24%) of global Internet traffic. A new category of theft, OTT video credential sharing, cost the industry $500 million in 2015, according to Parks Associates.

Think about content theft as it relates to your life. How many people do you know that pirate digital content online, possibly without even noticing or thinking it’s wrong?

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In part, it’s the pervasiveness and ubiquity of broadband connectivity that’s fueling the latest piracy movement. Pirates these days are often enormous online video operations, some actually charging consumers for their illegal services. It’s the classic double-edged sword: Broadband and IP connectivity enables content and service providers to deliver video to more and more consuming devices, which also makes it easier for pirates to illegally gain from those same services.

At Cisco, we continue to work hard to uncover and combat new forms of piracy, and particularly those enabled by the Internet. After all, we’ve been providing security solutions for the pay-TV industry for decades, using both advanced technology and security intelligence to deliver our global customers an unparalleled level of protection. It’s a natural progression of what’s been in our DNA since the very beginning of subscription video.

Which is why this blog will serve as the kickoff in a series about the status of digital streaming piracy. You’ll get details from our video security experts on topics ranging from the shift from “card sharing” to “content sharing,” to an inside look at streaming piracy operations. Also: The ineffectiveness of take-down notices as a viable deterrent, and methods for stopping streaming piracy, in real time.

This all matters if we want to make a dent on those billions of dollars lost to video piracy, around the globe, since the beginning of pay TV — but especially now, as broadband ubiquity makes it easier and easier for the world’s digital malcontents to covertly make their way into assets they didn’t create, and don’t own.

  • Read Part Two of our Security for Video blog series here
  • Read Part Three of the series here

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1 Comments

    Good initiative! Cisco´s unique approach in fighting pay TV piracy stems out of the understanding that there is no ‘silver bullet’ for any evolving issue. The fast dynamics in the underground cannot be followed by most legitimate businesses in the industry. Cisco´s proactive approach and vision have been crucial in anticipating and neutralizing potential threats against our IP and customers’ operations. Our unparalleled record was built on superior security technology supported by specialized services driving innovation and continuously raising the bar to hackers (and criminal organizations). Our fast response to new forms of piracy based on the combination of technical, legal and operational measures should provide a good reading at this Blog.