Popularity puts Digital Media & Entertainment at greater cyber security risk

by July 30, 2020 0 comments

Soma Tah

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we live and work. With stringent lockdown and social distancing measures needed to control the pandemic situation, left the majority of the people homebound. Hence, people have been increasingly turning to the internet to do their work, stay connected, and keep themselves entertained too. But the changed media consumption habits created immense pressure on the digital media and entertainment companies. A massive increase in the digital entertainment content consumption made them extremely vulnerable to cyber security threats also.

Mitesh Jain, Country Sales Manager- Media & Carrier Division at Akamai Technologies tells about the challenges faced by the digital media companies during this crisis, and how Akamai solutions helped them deliver the content at scale without any hiccups.

Digital media & entertainment cos saw a sudden spike in the content consumption during the COVID-19 crisis. How Akamai helped these cos during the crisis?

The sudden spike in various OTT platforms and gaming networks have caught many of the platforms unaware. Akamai for that matter has been designed to take care of these volumes even in the current times and that’s the fundamental reason why a lot of large media houses trust us to deliver their content at scale without worrying about the traffic spikes and in the most cost-effective manner. 

For example, the twelfth edition of the IPL cricket tournament concluded with another high for reported online viewership. Hotstar leveraged Akamai Technologies to live stream the VIVO IPL 2019 final between the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to 18.6 million concurrent viewers.

Akamai’s adaptive media delivery solution is optimized for adaptive bitrate streaming to provide high quality, secure viewing experience across the wide variety of network type, which could be fixed or mobile and at varying connection speeds because when you look at delivering content on the mobile network, the network conditions don’t remain constant at all times, users could be on the move and switching between 3G and 4G and at some point to the WiFi network. So, this solution is built on Akamai’s globally distributed intelligent platform which takes care of ensuring that we deliver the content at scale with reliability, availability, and with reach. 

Akamai has interesting edge-solutions; How do you help the Digital media & entertainment industry in dealing with the current crisis?

Edge is essentially part of the internet, which is close to the users. It is the last mile connection that comes into your home or to your office, school which is important because that’s where all the bandwidth is on the internet. The good thing is that by having Akamai infrastructure at the edge, our customers can apply the first layer of defense in security closer to most of the users or these devices- giving us a unique capability to absorb bot attack. Akamai has done a lot of innovation in the past on creative approaches to change the way one thinks about security and that can provide the best of service for our clients who work with us.

How 5G and edge computing will change the content viewing expectation of the customers? 

Akamai has been working on to take a further step in for edge computing, where we have been running tests and theories offering inside the warehouse operator networks. 5G is an exciting service for Akamai, as we will play a huge role in security. Akamai naturally secures the data by monitoring traffic closest to wherever the end-users are also known as the edge. The whole content viewing experience will go through a high-level transition as 5G will deliver higher-level connectivity and vastly increasing bandwidth capabilities, but the security will be one of the major factors once 5G is high and running. 

Going forward, many broadcasters will try remote production of events and sports- How do you plan to work with your customers in hosting digital events and supporting those remote production models?

In terms of live content delivery that is in case of any digital events or live sports games, our media acceleration suite of products facilitates the fundamental shift in the way media distribution solutions are designed to maintain high-quality delivery. So, for the remote working models, we will focus on ensuring that right from the time the stream comes out of the encoder, Akamai at that very moment takes that streaming into their live origin platform. And from there Akamai starts distributing the stream down to the users, ensuring glass to glass latency remains within 6 seconds from the time the streams are captured on the ground to the time it is delivered on to the end-users screen. Akamai would also ensure the security of these streams because as more and more platforms look at subscription-based models, the prediction of these streams becomes a key consideration for all these content owners. Akamai has also a suite of services to ensure that the streams are protected and is only delivered to the users who are the internet users for this content.  

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