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NAGRA Blog: It’s time for the industry to look at content protection through a different lens.
Tim Pearson
Going beyond content protection to enable true scalable service protection.

By Tim Pearson, Sr. Director, Product Marketing


With IBC 2019 rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror, I have been reflecting on the conversations that I had on the NAGRA stand this year.  The recurring theme in many of those discussions was how the landscape of pay-TV continues to be completely revolutionised with the adoption of OTT technology, which is fundamentally transforming the whole technology chain, end-to-end.  For many pay-TV operators, used to a world where they owned their own network together with the end point in the form of the set-top box, they are increasingly having to navigate a technological maze to deliver to consumers the content they love.  This is of course magnified as consumers demand content on the device of their choice at a moment in time with ubiquitous availability.  However, it is exactly this demand for ubiquity that means it is more challenging than ever for operators to ensure that their content, and therefore their revenue stream, is safe and secure.

It’s time for the industry to look at content protection through a different lens. There are different ways to view and approach this, whether it’s providing protection for smaller operators looking to scale into larger ones or larger services scaling horizontally across a wider range of consumer devices.  The one constant however, irrespective of scale is the resulting maze that the content will go through to reach the end-consumer and the threats that are encountered along the way.

As we see services evolve and scale, the surface areas of a business which can come under threat of attack from a piracy or cyber security perspective are increasing. This means that operators must look more broadly at all the facets of their service. Of course, content needs to be protected, however the delivery chain can also be vulnerable and therefore susceptible to piracy attacks, meaning that theft may not just happen at the endpoint, but elsewhere along the content’s journey to the consumer.

Recognising these unique pay-TV industry challenges, NAGRA has focussed on delivering its scalable service protection approach to ensure all operators, regardless of size can benefit from our expertise.  Within this, we’re also pioneering some new innovative approaches such as TVkey Cloud which recognises the level of increased competition operators are facing and seeks to provide ways in which operators can reduce their cost to serve by removing the need for a set-top box.  In addition, through our flagship security services platform, NAGRA cloud.SSP, we’re able to serve operators from the cloud through a highly flexible and modular framework that allows us to develop a specific package of capabilities that can scale to their needs. By leveraging our scalable service protection approach, operators can gain visibility and clearly view which threats are closest to their business and which are the biggest risks to their business.

Identifying what should be provided in that personalised package of capability is key.  NAGRA’s approach to this includes a framework akin to a RADAR that enables NAGRA to assess the principle security threats against a number of distinct business-critical axes.  These axes include monetisation, network convergence, service protection, and analytics and business intelligence. By working with the operator’s technology and increasingly information teams, a scalable solution can be deployed to cover the operator’s service.

So before any business can realise the opportunities, it needs to identify the threats presented by the technological maze ahead of them. With NAGRA’s scalable service protection approach, operators can identify and evaluate the risks to their organisation, enabling them to gain insight into how they can act on those priorities.

Find out more about our scalable service protection approach here, and contact us to see how NAGRA can provide you with a level of service protection scaled to your needs and the demands of your business.