Akamai Intros Enhancements at the Edge, Securing Premium Video
Content delivery network Akamai today introduces a variety of edge computing enhancements, many of which are designed to improve quality and security for video. As a whole, Akamai says, these edge enhancements help companies speed their transition to the cloud and make online development more agile.
The security features are collectively called Akamai Content Security Capabilities, and combine new abilities, optional add-ons, and existing features. There's a lot for premium video distributors to appreciate. For example, Enhanced Proxy Detection, a new option made available through Akamai partner GeoGuard, lets customers check an IP address against a database of anonymous proxy or VPN services, and they can then allow, deny, or redirect the request. Akamai recommends using it with Content Targeting, which can block traffic outside of predetermined geographic areas, using the two services to meet the contractual requirements of rights holders.
Another enhancement builds intelligence into Akamai's Token Authentication system to provide protection for devices that don't accept cookies, such as connected TVs. Instead of cookies, the system using tokens generated using shared confidential strings, and helps reduce link-sharing.
Akamai is launching Standard TLS at the end of Q1, but has already enabled it as an add-on in its web performance and security solution. An improvement from the previous version, it provides for the secure delivery at scale of HTTPS content using customer-branded SSL certificates. Akamai says it's an essential for streaming TV services and large broadcasters.
Additionally, Akamai Image Manager now supports a new capability called Video Optimization, so the tool can manage images, short videos (5 minutes or less), or both. Content stored from any location is made available through Akamai's Intelligent Edge Platform, which provides optimized versions to end users when requested. The idea is to make image management simpler for smaller organizations as they won't have to create and store files in a variety of formats and sizes.
"Security is becoming an increasing challenge for each and every media organization today," notes Ari Weil, Akamai's global vice president of product and industry. "From DNS attacks to content piracy, bad actors are coming at media companies from every angle, presenting major threats to both the businesses and the end users. Akamai is laser focused on not only helping media businesses provide the fastest, highest quality, and lowest-latency viewing experiences, but also providing them with the most secure content distribution. These updates reflect Akamai's commitment to that focus to protect both our customers and their users."
Photo: Akamai's Network Operations Command Center
Promising a frictionless sign-on experience for both consumers and providers, Verimatrix rebrands Akamai Identity Services.
Reducing latency for HTTP Adaptive Streaming video to 3 seconds or less is possible, but it requires a complex workflow.
Akamai Cloud Wrapper aims to take the strain off cloud origins, while Direct Connect solves first-mile problems by avoiding the public internet.