Cisco and Roku Expand Video Streaming Security, And Other News


Cisco and Roku Expand Video Streaming Security

Earlier this week, Cisco announced a deal with Roku in which it would enable its proprietary Cisco Videoguard Everywhere DRM video protection solution on all Roku devices, including Roku TV and Roku streaming players. The two companies will be collaborating closely in order integrate Cisco’s Videoguard security solution into Roku firmware. All pre-existing Roku devices will be automatically updated to include Videoguard, which will initially support secure video on demand and linear content playback for the Spectrum TV app for Roku.

VideoGuard Everywhere is a software-based solution that covers Conditional Access and Digital Rights Management, enabling pay-TV operators to secure distribution of video content over a wide variety of devices. Initial features and services that Cisco will be providing to Roku include secure video on demand and linear content playback. The solution will also allow Roku to regulate the number of devices used simultaneously on one subscriber account.

Rajeev Raman, senior director of Strategy, Studio Design, and Product Management, Video Software and Solutions at Cisco, said “We have been working closely with Roku to deliver a lower-cost, easy-to-deploy software security solution leading to innovative services like the Spectrum TV app on the Roku platform. Charter has been a pioneer in the industry for downloadable security to give its customers more options to watch what they want on the devices they want in their homes.”

Charter is slated to employ Videoguard across its systems as well as on its Worldbox and Charter Spectrum TV apps, which are supported on a wide array of consumer devices ranging from PC’s to mobile phones.

“We are always looking ahead for ways to make our customer experience better, providing more flexibility and options for accessing the television content people want to watch,” said Jim Blackley, executive vice president, Engineering and IT, Charter. “By expanding the Cisco downloadable security solution to our Spectrum TV App channel on Roku streaming devices, we can better control device streaming rights and functions within the home without compromising on the experience.”

Sprint’s CEO Predicts Drastic Recovery in Profits

Speaking to investors in the wake of the recently-concluded Jefferies Technology Conference held in Miami, Masayoshi Son, the chairman of Softbank, Sprint’s Japanese corporate parent, assured participants that Sprint would soon experience a ‘V-shaped’ recovery in profits and operating budget.

Perhaps seeking to assuage the doubts and misgivings of shareholders following the dramatic and precipitous 18% decline in shares that Softbank experienced in January, Son noted that Sprint had secured $11 billion in total committed liquidity and was showing definitive signs of a turnaround. Softbank’s quarterly profits nosedived by 30% in the first quarter of this year. With quarterly operating income down by more than 50 million yen compared to a year ago, Softbank is struggling to revive and turn the fortunes of Sprint, reducing capital spending, slashing prices to attract customers, and putting up assets as collateral in order to secure lower cost loans.

Son noted that Sprint, which is currently the smallest of the four major US wireless carriers, was showing signs of solid progress, having gained subscribers on a net basis over the last three quarters, and is hoping to increase profits at a rate of 200 billion yen per annum.

IoT Security Concerns to Drive Funding for Cybersecurity Startups

The analyst firm Gartner has released a report estimating that security spending with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) is slated to increase by 23.7% in 2016, reaching $348 million, compared to $281.5 million in 2015. While established and existing large network and security vendors will undoubtedly benefit from this uptick in spending, startups are making their presence increasingly felt in this space as well as funding begins to surge.

While cyberphysical security startups attracted a whopping $228 million in venture capital investments in 2015 according to Lux Research, the firm also forecasts that this sum will reach $400 million this year driven by increasing adoption and interest in IoT technology.

Important concerns affecting the IoT security segment include cost and lack of adequate security solutions. Yet the need for these solutions is undeniable and pressing, as Gartner estimates that as high as 25% of all identified cyberattacks in enterprises will involve IoT. As we’ve noted in previous posts, cyberattacks on IoT assets are serious issues that have the potential to threaten critical infrastructure and affect national security.

American and Israeli startups respectively comprise half and one-third of the IoT security startups that were analyzed in the Lux report. These startups are developing solutions in device behavior analysis, network behavior analysis, authentication procedures and methods, as well as encryption for IoT. Most of these startups seek to provide horizontal security platforms capable of supporting a diverse array of IoT products in various deployment scenarios.

Mark Bunger, vice president at Lux, argues that “with rapid adoption of ‘Internet of Things’ in products ranging from connected cars to industrial workplaces, the need to secure cyberphysical assets is growing…Connected consumer and business products have begun flooding the market, but security has been an afterthought. The world now has to figure out how to secure the multitude of things that have recently become connected.”

While increased regulatory oversight in the market is expected to spur IoT security development, high TCO and lack of uniform standards and integrated solutions present stymying obstacles. Because an IoT network is composed of multiple connected devices, each device presents a potential vulnerability and point of entry for hackers.

As Adam Fingersh, SVP at Experian, observes, “the ‘Internet of Things’ is only as strong as its weakest link, and it is important to fully understand what an interconnected environment means. Opening products and services to the Internet dramatically increases the opportunities for cybercriminals, who can hack those products to get into your broader systems.”

Vodafone Plans to Launch NB-IoT in Multiple Markets in 2017

The UK-based telco Vodafone has recently announced intentions to deploy narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) systems in multiple markets next year, according to Erik Brenneis, director of Vodafone’s IoT group. He used the occasion to also underscore the industry’s need to focus on rapid trials and aiding quick and easy consumer adoption of NB-IoT in their products.

NB-IoT, a low power and low cost network focused on IoT, would enable more low-cost devices to connect to the Internet, opening up new market segments.

“In [the] future, manufacturers will be able to create connected devices that wholesale for just a few dollars by using NB-IoT,” Brenneis added.

Vodafone also recently partnered with Chinese telco manufacturer Huawei in establishing a NB-IoT focused lab in the UK.

“The open lab in Newbury, United Kingdom, is the first of several planned across the globe. They will provide developers with software development kits, live test networks, and an end-to-end connectivity model, including service support and device management, accessible through Vodafone’s Application Programming Interfaces,” Brenneis said.

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