5 CDN Security Features for Your Live Stream 

June 9, 2023 by

The rapid growth of the live-streaming industry in recent years highlights the importance of fast, reliable, and smooth user experiences. Whether streams are live, linear, or OTT, a single streaming server often falls short of meeting performance needs, especially when reaching a global audience. Thankfully, video content delivery networks (CDNs) aren’t just about reaching viewers faster and more reliably, they are also key resources in building more security into streaming solutions. So, if you weren’t already considering a CDN for scalability and reliability, then it might be worth adding CDN exploration to your to do list as you ask yourself “how secure is my content?” 

1.   Encryption and Secure Data Transmission  

Your first stop on your way to secure video streaming should be to encrypt your video content before sending it across a network. CDNs help facilitate this process by providing a range of encryption options for data traveling between CDN edge servers and end users. However, it’s advisable to encrypt the data before sending to the CDN full stop. Thankfully, many CDN streaming partners provide a suite of services to help you manage this process.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

AES encryption implementation is among the primary CDN security features you should consider. As a symmetric block cypher, AES is used to encode data, ensuring that only authorized users can view your content. This encryption standard protects your streams using unique cryptographic keys, which are required for viewers to access the content, leaving unauthorized users high and dry. 

Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)

SSL and TLS protocols make up another crucial aspect of CDN security. These protocols manage encrypted data exchange between servers and users. They help protect sensitive and private data, such as payment information in your video paywall. Both SSL and TLS protocols offer end-to-end security for all server-user communications.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

HTTPS delivery helps CDNs protect against “man-in-the-middle” attacks. These attacks are relatively common in video streaming, particularly when viewers access content via public networks. HTTPS incorporates both digital certificates and encryption keys, ensuring a higher level of protection for your content and those who view it. 

Wowza and Data Encryption and Transmission

Wowza Video employs SSL certificates to establish encrypted HTTPS connections while streams are transmitted across the network. This not only hinders unauthorized sources from intercepting streams, but also instills trust in users who frequently encounter alerts in their browsers when accessing content lacking such security measures. Similarly, Wowza Streaming Engine utilizes the Wowza StreamLock AddOn, which offers a rapid network encryption solution, supplying complimentary 2048-bit SSL certificates for both RTMP and HTTPS streaming. 

Learn more about Wowza Video Security and Wowza Streaming Engine Security

 

2.   Access Control and Authentication

Access control is another standard approach to data security. Your basic passwords, tokens, and two-factor authentication all fall into this category. Many DRM providers have methods in place for managing access and helping you to secure your content. 

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Similar to the aforementioned encryption keys, IAM helps prevent unauthorized access to your content. This can be managed in a number of ways, one of which is through the use of secure sign-on (SSO) authentication, which allows users to access multiple websites using a single set of login credentials. 

Password-Protected Video

Password protection is a basic but effective method for securing any live stream. That said, it’s worth noting that passwords are vulnerable to hacking or leakage, so this method is not as secure as many of the others listed here. Of course, the best security approach is a layered one.

Token Authentication 

This robust CDN security feature helps mitigate unauthorized access to content. These systems function by using tokens to verify that only authorized users can access your live streams. Dynamic tokenized video security enables video player calls to request new tokens from the server every few minutes, ensuring that only authorized users can access your live streams. Dynamic tokenized video security enables video player calls to request new tokens from the server every few minutes, ensuring that only authorized viewers can access the content. 

Wowza and Token Authentication

As of 2022, Wowza Video API uses JSON Web Tokens to authorize users. This method is deemed more versatile and secure. It also authenticates across all Wowza properties instead of having an API only key. 

Learn more about using JSON Web Tokens with Wowza

 

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3.   Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a systematic approach to protecting digital content from unauthorized use and distribution. It encompasses a range of technologies and methods, including encryption, authentication, licensing, and access control, which work together to provide creators with a level of control over the distribution and usage of their digital assets. By implementing DRM, content owners can prevent piracy, unauthorized sharing, and copyright infringement, thus enabling them to maintain revenue streams and protect their creative investments.

Multi-DRM Security

DRM is a crucial security measure for your live streaming platform, as it protects digital media copyrights and ensures secure content delivery. Multi-DRM security offers comprehensive protection against content hacking and digital copyright infringements. Opting for a CDN provider that supports multi-tier DRM solutions, such as PlayReady, FairPlay, and Widevine, is highly recommended. 

Watermarking and Screen Record Protection 

Watermarking and screen record protection help prevent unauthorized sharing and access to your videos. Screen record protection disables the option to capture live streaming content, blocking any attempts to record the video. Watermarking allows you to add custom watermarks to your live streams, displaying viewer information such as name, IP address, or email address on the provider you choose. 

Wowza and EZDRM

The Wowza Video REST API offers seamless integration with EZDRM, an external DRM solution that safeguards content against unauthorized access. Presently, Wowza Video is compatible with EZDRM FairPlay Streaming, which facilitates HLS playback for content on Apple devices, and EZDRM Universal, which enables MPEG-DASH playback for Google Widevine and Microsoft PlayReady devices and platforms. 

Learn more about Wowza with EZDRM

 

4.   Playback Restrictions

Playback restrictions play a crucial role in protecting the content of your video stream. As digital platforms expand, the importance of securing intellectual property rights and ensuring content creators’ revenue streams cannot be overstated. By implementing playback restrictions, you can control who accesses your content, when they can view it, and on what devices. This not only safeguards your work from unauthorized distribution but also enables you to deliver a tailored and personalized user experience, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Geographic (IP) Restrictions

IP restrictions enable you to block specific geographic locations from accessing your content. This can be particularly useful in regions with a high risk of piracy or when dealing with intellectual property restrictions. Geo-fencing allows you to blacklist certain countries or whitelist specific regions, providing additional control over content accessibility. 

Referrer Restrictions

Referrer restrictions function by whitelisting specific domains, such as your own website or affiliate sites, and preventing unauthorized sites from embedding your content. When this feature is implemented, the server verifies requests using digital security tokens. If an unauthorized site attempts to embed your video, playback will be blocked, preventing unauthorized access to your content. 

Wowza and Playback Restrictions

Wowza video provides playback restriction and geographic targeting capabilities. With Wowza, you can specify countries where you don’t want the stream to be viewed or go about it the opposite way, whitelisting those regions where you want the stream to be viewed. Wowza Streaming Engine has similar capabilities on the encoder end, allowing you to restrict IP addresses that are allowed to publish to the server. 

Learn more about Wowza Video playback restrictions and Wowza Streaming Engine security configurations

 

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5.   Infrastructure and Network Security

Infrastructure and network security serve as the backbone for safeguarding critical data, assets, and systems from unauthorized access or theft. These security measures help organizations protect their valuable information, maintain business continuity, and prevent financial loss. Additionally, strong security practices also contribute to compliance with regulations and industry standards, reinforcing a company’s reputation as a responsible and reliable entity. In this section, we’ll focus on the overall value of building a strong security strategy.

CDN Server-Side Security and Firewall 

Server-side security is crucial in protecting your customer data, such as login details and other server-side files. Implementing a multi-level firewall helps safeguard your data and network from potential cyber threats, unauthorized access, or malicious network traffic. Consider a CDN provider that performs regular security scans, penetration testing, and audits, along with multi-level firewall support.  

Data Center and CDN Redundancy 

CDNs offer built-in redundancy, ensuring 100% content security and faster load times. By distributing your content across multiple servers, CDNs can absorb unexpected traffic peaks and maintain uninterrupted video experiences for viewers. This redundancy also helps protect your assets from attacks, such as DDoS attacks, which aim to flood websites and make them inaccessible.

Wowza and SOC 2 Certification

Selecting a streaming partner requires a great deal of confidence in their ability to manage your information securely. The SOC-2 certification is an audit process that guarantees service providers handle data safely and conscientiously. To achieve this certification, businesses must adhere to specific compliance criteria focused on access control, change administration, system operations, and risk reduction. As a company with SOC-2 certification, Wowza upholds data security and privacy. Our streaming services, detailed earlier regarding security aspects, offer dependability, protection, and user-friendliness. Allow us to assist you in determining the most suitable security features for your requirements.

 

Simplify Your Efforts With the Right Partner  

Implementing CDN security features is essential for providing a secure and reliable live streaming experience to your viewers. These features help protect your content, infrastructure, and user data from unauthorized access, piracy, and cyber threats. By investing in a robust CDN with the security features mentioned above, you can ensure a seamless and secure live streaming experience for your viewers. 

Prioritize your live stream’s security by considering all aspects of CDN security, including encryption, access control, DRM, geo-restrictions, and infrastructure protection. By doing so, you can maintain high-quality content and keep your viewers engaged and coming back for more. Remember that the easiest, most cost-effective, and most reliable way to do this is through a streaming partner with a strong history of reliability, security, and support. 

 

About Sydney Roy (Whalen)

Sydney works for Wowza as a content writer and Marketing Communications Specialist, leveraging roughly a decade of experience in copywriting, technical writing, and content development. When observed in the wild, she can be found gaming, reading, hiking, parenting, overspending at… View more