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How to share valuable video content without the security risks

By: Spyros Poulis

Quick, secure file sharing is essential to almost anyone who works with media content, where large files need to be quickly and efficiently received, processed and distributed on a regular basis. Whether that distribution is part of internal workflow, external to contractors working on a production, or a finished programme for final distribution, sending valuable, rights-managed content from A to B is part of the media production workflow.

When valuable media is being shared, it’s critical that organisations ensure the content can only be accessed by those with permissions to do so. 

There are a number of ways to send very large media files, from freemium services to premium file sharing solutions designed specifically to get files from A to B. However, these can have security and management limitations if they sit outside of a media supply chain workflow.

Five key areas to consider when sending valuable IP content

The issues with single point to point sharing platforms are many. Often employee-managed and used outside of IT oversight, they can put media at risk because they don’t encrypt the data while it’s in transit and once delivered, the sender has almost no control over who can accesses the content and for how long. There’s no status information about files sent or received or notification upon the receipt or transmission of data. And most importantly, there’s no automation, meaning everything’s manual.

When evaluating how to distribute confidential records or valuable IP, here are five key areas to consider:

1. Access controls 

User management features, such as the setting up of team or project-based access, or the granting of different permission levels like contributor or author are vital for managing who is allowed to get hold of specific content. Some content sharing platforms were set up as services for individuals, and their access controls reflect this. 

2. At rest and in the air security

There can be issues around the protection of files at rest and in transit. The best security comes from encryption, ideally high-strength, and in place from endpoint to endpoint. Scrambling files in this way ensures they can’t be read if they’re intercepted through man-in-the-middle and other attacks on files in transit. If files are also stored encrypted, they can’t be read by the service host, or anyone who might gain access to their platform.

3. Controlled sharing

Security around the sharing of content, for example, by protecting file links with a password strengthens security. Advanced options, such as creating users and groups, adding download or time limits to links, or limiting access to certain IP address ranges are even better. Collectively, these features reduce content owners’ ability to keep files secure, which in environments where GDPR and permissions are an issue – such as any production involving members of the public or young people – is a significant challenge to demonstrating compliance. 

4. Collaboration options

A content sharing platforms do not address additional challenges around content management and collaboration. As an example, Dropbox will let users share and synchronise a working folder, but doesn’t support advanced metadata, or search. WeTransfer supports file notifications, but not the ability to add comments, tag team members or mark up an image.

5. User access control

Controlling team and individual permissions at a granular level granular is important to content security. The same applies when managing projects, folders and collections of material. Not all platforms support easily managed containers, making it far harder to organise projects, groups of contributors, and their security.

The power of the media asset management platform (MAM)

So, what’s the alternative? 

Media businesses that work with large asset stores need powerful metadata, search and management features. Those who work collaboratively with multiple iterations of large media files need version control, in-line commenting and annotation. And those who rely on freelancers, agencies or globally distributed colleagues need fast and flexible sharing – without the risks of poor user control.

These are the kind of features found in purpose-designed media asset management (MAM) platforms. Designed from the outset to facilitate secure file sharing and more, a MAM ensures that a business’ digital assets are centrally stored, properly controlled, and securely available to the right people.

Offering multiple features to help organisations stay in control of their digital assets, users get secure, centralised storage, combined with granular access control. Stakeholders upload and organise files into a library of content and maintain fine control over the groups and individuals who have access. 

These attributes were key motivators behind the decision by Banijay, formerly Endemol Shine UK, to adopt Imagen to create a single, central repository that the entire organisation could adopt without lengthy or complex training and transition processes. 

Learn why Banijay chose Imagen’s MAM platform

Powerful search means being able to find assets not just by filename but by the metadata attached to it, It was this ease of use and intuitive interface that proved crucial to US collegiate football team The Auburn Tigers when they were selecting a MAM platform to drive fan engagement and share vital clips with local and regional media. 

See how Imagen made the difference to The Auburn Tigers

Ease of distribution was one of the major reasons that ATP Media, the global sales, broadcast production and distribution arm of the professional tennis circuit ATP Tour, chose Imagen to streamline the process of managing media requests for content. The business value of easily-searchable metadata and a straightforward sharing process has been considerable for the rights owner. 

Find out how Imagen’s MAM platform helped ATP Media

How Imagen’s MAM strengthens content delivery

Granular permissions – Choose who can see your media and what they can do with it.

Set up individual and group permissions with default access rights. Manage roles and responsibilities with granular permission sets, enable access to single media items or content sets at group or individual level.

Secure data – A global network of Tier 4 data centres deliver best in class security. 

Imagen uses the most secure public cloud infrastructure to safeguard your data in facilities that are protected by industry leading physical security systems and are compliant with a comprehensive portfolio of standards and regulations.

Secure Downloads – Streaming and downloads use HTTPS 

All communication between the users’ browser and Imagen is made over secure HTTP with HSTS connections and modern TLS protocols. That means requests for data or media files (either streamed or downloaded) are encrypted – making it much tougher for anyone to intercept or steal content or information.

Expiring Media Links – Media URLs contain digitally signed access tokens with built in expiry time.

Imagen digitally signs and dynamically updates links to media every 6 hours. This prevents unscrupulous users from uncovering and publishing the URL of the media object from the source code. Non-persistent URLs deter unauthorised sharing of links to your media files.

Watermarking – Overlay logos and text onto your media to deter piracy.

Imagen can burn on screen graphics into proxies before making them available for preview online or sharing via social media. Clean, high resolution copies can be provided for trusted partners and customers.

Geo-IP Blocking – Choose which regions are able to access your media

For licensing or security reasons you may wish to block internet traffic from geographical locations based on an IP address. Preventing specific territories from accessing your media via your Imagen platform is easily achieved using Imagen’s GEO-IP filters. 

Sunrise and sunset dates – Choose a date range for content to be available

Make time sensitive content available to an individual or a group for a specific length of time and no longer – for example during a licensing agreement, or when distributing previews ahead of release date. 

Imagen gives you the power to control access to your media. To see what our media asset management system can do for you, contact us

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