There are videos intended to be shared with the world – especially those produced with the hopes of going viral and getting millions of hits. Then there are corporate videos containing proprietary, confidential information, which most definitely are not intended for general consumption. But in a fiercely competitive world full of opportunity for potential data breaches and theft, keeping your video data secure is essential.
Encrypting your videos is one way of protecting your corporate information. Once your video content is encrypted, you can safely share the information with your staff, customers, partners and prospects. For example, videos containing sensitive information about the company’s plans for expansion or a proprietary technology need to be kept from competitors and the media.
There are three options for securing your videos from prying eyes: encrypting the video, protecting the video or both.
The basics of video encryption
While encryption pertains to masking or manipulating the data, protection means securing the file through codecs, passwords, container formats, etc., so that others cannot access the data inside.
But for optimal security, you can apply both encryption and protection, which is the best option to protect your content. When you use the word encryption in casual conversation, it might mean encryption, protection, encoding, or all in different proportions. Therefore, encryption in this context means protecting your data in every way possible – which, of course, includes both encryption and protection.
Video encryption is the process of keeping your video secure from unauthorized viewers. Why do you need to encrypt your videos? There could be two reasons. The first is personal and the second is Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Personal encryption, as the name suggests, is used for personal privacy. For example, when you make a video and want to share it with your family, friends, customers, etc., but not unrestricted access for all. DRM blocks people out either temporarily or permanently through a given set of conditions.
The types of DRM include:
Region-centric video – Do you want to cater to a particular region? You don’t want other regions/countries to see the video. The reasons for this form of DRM could be either you are barred by law to cater to other regions, or you want to control the market dynamics. In such scenarios, you need region-specific management.
Device or media-centric – This is done to restrict your media from playing on devices that don’t support it. You create a media that is exclusive to a particular device like iTunes, Kindle, Apple TV, etc., and those that don’t conform to the device are unable to play it.
Software-centric video – You need adequate software support and/or also pay a license fee to play some videos. When the operating system doesn’t support the codecs or if the license is not paid for, then certain NLEs don’t play some codecs. Hence, codec licensing is another way you can control the viewing of your video.
Adaptive streaming – During adaptive streaming, the video dynamically adapts to the resolution, bit rate, etc. of the internet speed and/or some other factors.
What is DRM?
Student project for Contemporary Issues of Computer Science course at University of Texas, at Austin.
How online videos are protected
First, the video is encoded into standard encryption, which is stored in a secure server. Not everyone is allowed access to the video. You need to login to the server with a verified email account and password to view/access the video.
The video is transmitted through a secure pathway to the viewer’s computer, and can be viewed on a browser, which decrypts the video. The browser does not allow unauthorized access to other software to either view it or record it. The browser also does not allow the OS to store the content in the viewer’s computer. The secure connection is terminated soon after viewing is complete.
For targeted marketing and statistical research, the data from the viewer is passed on to the content provider. With this data, you can also track down pilferages and leakages. And, if by chance the video is downloaded, then the encryption makes sure that it does not play on the available media player.
Video encryption options
There are two scenarios when it comes to video encryption: video at rest and video in motion (streaming).
Video at rest – Some options for videos that remain on hard drives or those that are downloaded to play at a later stage are:
- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) – 128, 192 or 256 bits
- Google Widevine
- Apple Fair Play for videos from iTunes
- Windows Protected Media Path or PMP
- Video in motion or streaming video – Some option for video in motion or streaming video are:
- RTMFP and RTMP(E)
- HTML5 DRM
The most secure of the encrypting systems is AES, which has been adopted by the United States government and is now used worldwide.
The most popular encryption tools are as follows:
Axcrypt – Axcrypt is cloud-based encryption software that keeps your content safe and secure. Files are protected by 128 or 256 bit AES encryption, which is sufficient to keep intruders at bay. It is available on Windows and macOS. It is best suited for individuals and small teams. A free 30-day trial version is available.
Veracrypt – This offers free encryption to everyone and is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Veracrypt also provides effective encryption. It is a popular security tool that provides enterprise-grade encryption.
CertainSafe – This is a cloud-based, high-quality encryption software available on a desktop computer. You can share and store videos, documents, photos, private messages and other files without the fear of third-party exposure. A free 30-day trial version is available, and you can subscribe to a monthly plan.
Folder Lock – This is an effective encryption tool available on Windows, iOS and Android. You can use Folder Lock to protect your data on mobile devices. It can protect your videos, files, photos, wallet cards, contacts, audio recordings and notes on your mobile device. You can download the basic free version.
If your business needs to protect its data and company information, eServe is a digital content transmittal program designed to keep all of your intellectual property and secured internal data protected from outside influence and risk. We are at the forefront of encryption technology, and have helped many businesses protect against data breaches. Contact us to learn about the solutions eServe can provide.