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The devil’s in the data

Reflecting on NAB, we are reminded of the excitement that our recently launched Streamkeeper has been generating. We’d had a sense of it before the show when talking to customers, content owners and industry analysts, but as the whole industry came together in Las Vegas, it was clear to see that Streamkeeper solves a real challenge the media industry is facing.

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Not to be out done, our other recently announced product, XTD (Verimatrix eXtended Threat Defense) has been quietly gathering momentum. This is best illustrated by the announcement that Megacable – a quadruple play operator in Mexico with 4.2M subscribers – is deploying XTD to protect video streaming apps and set tops, as well a financial services and internal apps.

While Streamkeeper is an all-encompassing solution for protection video content and XTD is focused on protecting software running on unmanaged devices (e.g. mobile phones), they share a very important commonality – data intelligence. Both solutions analyze data coming from apps looking for threats that put our customers at risk.

This is what people expected to see from the merger of Inside Secure and Verimatrix. Launching a whole new classification of security services. A combination of cybersecurity and anti-piracy.

What does the data tell us?

What differentiates Verimatrix’s solutions is the ability to combine data across four dimensions to flag risks to our customers in an easy to digest form.

  • Behavior – device isn’t acting as expected (e.g. never moving).
  • Temporal – events from the device show a pattern over time (e.g. repeated attaching of debug tools).
  • Environmental– device and physical attestation (e.g. rooted phone).
  • Misalignment – cross checking data points (e.g. GPS, IP location and cellular network service don’t match).

To illustrate what that means in practice, let’s look at a real example that was identified by Verimatrix’s AI.

The data being analyzed comes from an OTT app that streams live sports to subscribers’ mobile phones. With a handful of devices, a recurring pattern was observed where every three or four days the app is wiped and reinstalled. The devices the app was being installed onto were slightly compromised but within our customer’s risk appetite – i.e. the compromise occurred often enough in their subscriber base that they’d lose more than they’d gain by blocking all these handsets. 

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While none of the data points individual concerned our customer, when it was viewed as whole, we were seeing a highly suspicious pattern. Normal users don’t wipe their app periodically.

Context is everything

The eureka moment was when the pattern was overlaid with the fixture list. The suspicious sequence the AI had detected occurred immediately before the start of every match. Verimatrix analysis suggests this is done to prepare the App for abuse so the content could be pirated.

The above example is relatively simple – it only analyzes a few data points across two dimensions – yet it already shows the power the services like Streamkeeper and XTD can bring in detecting risk that previously would either have gone undetected or would have required security policies so restrictive as to ruin the user experience.

One of the many benefits that Verimatrix brings is powerful cybersecurity that runs quietly in background without impacting your user experience for legitimate users.

See how we can help protect your business: 

  • Mobile applications and APIs
  • Video content
  • Digital payments
Do you have questions about applications and content security?

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