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December 2017

HOW HAS CARDLESS BROADCAST SECURITY CHANGED OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS?


Steve Christian, SVP of Marketing, Verimatrix


In 2012, Cartesian conducted an industry survey and authored a white paper exploring the future of cardless broadcast security. The white paper looked at how changes in piracy and technology were affecting the implementation of CA systems in the one-way broadcast network and, more specifically, how the relevance of cardless security to one-way service operators was changing.

Now, five years later, Cartesian has updated its original survey to reveal the latest perceptions in piracy threats and how technology has evolved to address them. In “The Future of Cardless Security Revisited,” key takeaways from half a decade ago are compared to today’s realities.


BUILDING BARRIERS TO PIRACY

Then: New security technologies lift the barriers to hacking CA cardless systems as high as those to hacking card-based systems, as long as they are implemented correctly.

Now: A modern SoC, with a robust cardless implementation, is secure enough to deter most from a direct attack on the device.





COUNTERING THREATS OF REDISTRIBUTION

Then: Operators with a low volume of premium content or a low reach should have expected the frequency with which their CA system was attacked to decrease as piracy focus turns to content re-distribution.

Now: The threat of content re-distribution is present in both cardless and carded solutions—both must implement the same level of robustness in the SoC to countermeasure this threat.


SIZING UP SECURITY

Then: Cardless CA systems are appropriate for operators with a low volume of premium content or a low reach, although the inclusion of a smartcard slot it is recommended as a precaution to mitigate the risk of having to replace all devices.

Now: Since today’s SoCs are optimized for delivering advanced cardless security, cardless CA systems are suitable for large subscriber deployments and major service offers of premium content.


PREVENTING THREATS OF ATTACK

Then: Operators must implement technologies that enable the direct fighting of content re-distribution and controlword sharing, such as watermarking, fingerprinting and monitoring.

Now: The inclusion of session-based forensic watermarking is strongly recommended in any CA system deployment, and it is increasingly considered a must-have for very high value content (live sports, UHD, etc.) Cross-industry collaboration is encouraged wherever possible.

To better understand the current status of cardless vs. smartcard technology, and for more updated predictions from Cartesian, download “The Future of Cardless Security Revisited” at Verimatrix.com/cardless.