At IBC 2019, Akamai burnished its reputation for delivering both insightful information about and relevant solutions to the challenges of securely delivering OTT assets. It also underscored its ability to help customers protect and generate revenue while enhancing delivery performance.
For a company whose core competence is neither cryptography nor conditional access (CA), Akamai has acquired considerable standing in digital security. In part, this derives from its State of the Internet/Security reports, which stretch back quarterly for more than a decade. A special report published in September focused on credential stuffing, one of several threats facing media and OTT service providers.
From January 2018 through June 2019, Akamai recorded more than 61 billion attempts of credential stuffing, or the automated injection of breached usernames and passwords into the login page of other digital services. Akamai generates these and other data from its Intelligent Edge Platform, its network of nearly a quarter of a million servers around the world.
Akamai was this year’s platinum sponsor of the Cyber Security Forum, an IBC-related event that took place on September 12. At the forum, Akamai was slated to discuss credential stuffing, along with DDoS, phishing and application attacks, with the CISO of the DAZN Group. (DAZN is an OTT service that streams boxing, mixed martial arts and U.S. Major League Baseball highlights.)
Security breaches targeting high-profile media assets, such as HBO’s Game of Thrones, especially in its final season or episode, have generated big headlines, but hackers are steadily working on a wider range of content. “The same thing with live sports, it’s happening every day,” said Thomas Stark, Akamai Product Marketing Manager.
Stark said Akamai is prepared for security threats, wherever they arise (production, backend or distribution). In terms of infrastructure, they defend content distribution against weaponised attacks, such as DDoS. They protect user data through secured storage. And through innovative watermarking services delivered in collaboration with CA experts, such as Verimatrix and NAGRA, they guard the content itself.
Apart from security, another area highlighted at IBC was Akamai’s efforts to boost its customers’ commercial success. Not alone among CDN providers, Akamai handles streams containing targeted OTT advertising. But it is doing so in new ways. To help ensure that such value-added content remains correctly aligned with relevant privacy regulations, Akamai is tapping into customer identity access management (CIAM) capabilities gained through the acquisition earlier this year of Portland-based Janrain.
Akamai’s mPulse solution also helps operator customers better understand the impact of their OTT apps and services on their business. “[Service providers] are thinking more like retailers, wanting to make things as easy as possible for their customers. Waiting too long, for instance, can impact the viewer journey,” said Stark. “We are mapping performance to revenue impact.”