CPS 2022: Finding the Right Balance Between Speed, Security and Scale

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry is at an inflection point with content volume and distribution methods exploding. Consumers and fans demand more and more of their favorite movies, TV shows and other video content, while content creators struggle to find a solid strategy to provide the goods.

The key is to have the right mix of speed, security and scale when it comes to content distribution to ensure profitable growth for content creators, a panel of experts said at the Dec. 6 Content Protection Summit (CPS), during the session “CLOSING CONVERSATION: Delivering Content Securely with Speed and at Scale? Yes You Can!”

During the session, the experts provided their takes on how to find the right balance between what viewers want to see and the right volume and distribution methods by content creators.

From challenges within the content supply chain to design and deployment, a wide selection of choices have yielded the best results and hold the most future promise.

“We chose this as our closing conversation because it was a nice wrap,” said moderator Guy Finley, MESA president and CEO.We talked about physical things today. We talked about digital things today. But, ultimately,  when you talk about delivering things securely with speed and at scale, I think that’s ultimately all of our goal, right? And with the advent of the streaming wars and what’s gone on through the pandemic, gasoline has been poured on this fire.”

What’s more, “not only are we dealing this within our own [organizations] but also with all of our partners who are all scrambling to get things in, done on different window timelines that we’ve ever had inside of this business,” he added.


Addressing the security part of the conversation, John Jacobs, field chief information security officer at Fortinet, said “that’s a great place to start.”

When it comes to security, he said: “Listen to the FBI: A lot of this is about hygiene. But there is a shift and, as fast as we’ve moved in the last couple years, if you can’t do it securely, it’s not worth doing. And that has been a shift for a lot of people. The focus previously had been just get it done.”

Among the various vertical sectors, Jacobs said the one group that got security right “very early is financial services,” which deals directly with money, Jacobs said.

But, he said: “In honesty, we’re talking about the same thing. Content is money. Data is money. And so, while it’s direct [in financial services], it’s only one level or two levels removed here.”

What is crucial in the M&E sector is that security be a “focus in each one” of the key steps, starting with development and then moving into production, post production and, finally, distribution, he said, adding: “I can’t stress enough the hygiene component of it.”

The type of “hygiene” that Jacobs was referring to, however, is “culturally different,” Finley pointed out, noting: “Every organization’s culture has a different standard for hygiene.”

What makes the challenge even more complex is that “there are so many variables in the type of assets that need to be moved around” now, according to Ben Stanbury, Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) chairman.

“If you’re location based, they’re using physical media and transport tools,” Stanbury said, adding: “I think that’s where we’re definitely seeing a lot of change currently: More technology, more digital transport opportunities in locations that were previously inaccessible…. I’ve been doing this long enough where we were uploading assets through cellphones or hotspots or hotel Wi-Fi networks. Thankfully, those days are kind of gradually getting behind us. But, generally, I think as it pertains to production, most production teams are looking at opportunities to support non-linear production.”

That, Stanbury explained, comes down to: “How many things can they do simultaneously as quickly as possible, get turnarounds done in minutes [or] hours so if [creatives are in different time zones, they can actually start working on different elements very quickly.”

Which Two Do You Need Most?

Before, it was typically a question of “which two do you want” most of scale, security and speed, “not which three do you want,” Richard Atkinson, CDSA president, pointed out.

It’s an industry where “does the concept of good enough work?” has been the norm, he said, noting that is “very deeply rooted culturally.”

The panelists seemed to agree, in the end, that the balance between scale, security and speed will only get better.

Presented by Fortinet and produced by MESA, CDSA’s Content Protection Summit is sponsored by Convergent Risks, Richey May Technology Solutions, GeoComply, Signiant, Verimatrix, Shift Media, EIDR and EZDRM.