2019 was the first IBC since Verimatrix’s acquisition by Inside Secure. The company’s overall portfolio reflects the broader markets that Inside Secure has served, but the Verimatrix name remains, as does the familiar conditional access portfolio. Verimatrix’s IBC news included deployments and upgrades of its Video Content Authority Solution (VCAS) and multi-DRM, yet at the show it was also highlighting other offerings.
Verimatrix now has nine overall product lines. There could have been 11, but as indicated in one IBC press release, the company decided to sell the Silicon IP and Secure Protocols business unit to Rambus, Inc., a diversified company specialising in the performance and protection of data. According to Verimatrix, the transaction is intended to increase its focus as “a pure player in software-based security and business intelligence solutions.”
Deployment news timed around IBC indicates continued international success in service provider and media and entertainment security. Verimatrix’s advanced multi-DRM solution, for instance, is within a partner ecosystem that Sri Lanka Telecom selected to help it deploy a large-scale TV Everywhere offering.
The Australian “Away-from-home” video content provider Swift Media decided to upgrade and expand its existing Verimatrix VCAS to a cloud infrastructure with better support for new business models and 4k/UHD video services. In Brazil, MultTV, a consortium consisting of 13 ISPs, selected a partner ecosystem that included Verimatrix VCAS for IPTV for deployment at a centralised headend.
Multi-DRM and VCAS, however, are just two products. They are, indeed, evolving, in part as a result of the acquisition. “Inside Secure’s end-device security technology expands the protection profile of our server-side multi-DRM offering to provide our customers with superior protection for OTT video clients,” said Asaf Ashkenazi, Verimatrix Chief Strategy Officer.
But visitors to the IBC booth heard about other offerings, including authentication, code protection and analytics, and the practical challenges that many service providers and industry players face in delivering what Ashkenazi called “friendly security.”
The problem, according to Ashkenazi, isn’t that security companies haven’t delivered solutions that work. It’s something else. “They’re not applied, not configured, not integrated,” he said. The process is strewn with potential obstacles. Integration, for instance, can be costly, which is one impediment. It can also be complicated, which leads integrators to one of two negative results: “They either give up or apply it wrongly.”
The correct approach is to “build it so it’s simple.” Yet Ashkenazi added an important caveat: “The more simple it is upfront, the more difficult it is to build.”
For authentication solutions, the right balance of security, control (including parental) and simplicity is critically important to both users and service providers. There is, after all, a strong correlation between ease of use and revenue. To address the challenge, Verimatrix offers both TV Authentication, a SaaS solution delivering a seamless TV Everywhere experience, and Strong Authentication – password-less, two- or multi-factor – in either a SaaS or on-premises versions.
In terms of mobile security, Ashkenazi pointed out that Google, Apple and others have made it extremely difficult to hack into a device’s OS. But that may leave the apps exposed. Software developers are only human. “Every code has bugs,” he said. What Verimatrix offers under its code protection banner are ways to make applications “self-defending.” In particular: automated code analysis, application shielding and even an on-line “Protect My App” service that provides protection, detection, mitigation and resolution.
Analytics is another area of focus for Verimatrix, especially as it pivots more strongly in the “business intelligence” direction. But it’s not a new venture. Verimatrix acquired the MiriMON client and data collection capabilities from Genius Digital in 2017, and its Verspective product is known to existing customers.
The company now describes the product falling under its analytics heading as a SaaS platform that can unify valuable data from a variety of sources. “What customers are watching – channel change data – is important for content optimisation and channel rights negotiation,” Askenazi said.
“Our analytics solutions are constantly evolving,” he added. “We are continually releasing new features and improving our data analytics accuracy and efficiency.”