As businesses use video content more regularly — for PR, recording boardroom meetings and marketing show-and-tells through to social media messaging and direct marketing — video storage has become increasingly business-critical.
And not just any old storage will do. Data security and compliance have become growing challenges for businesses since 2018, especially in the light of EU-wide regulations. Take the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example. This enshrines the right to be forgotten, as well as reinforcing existing data protection rights for individuals. Under GDPR, a Subject Access Request (SAR) allows anyone to ask a company or organisation to provide data about them, which would include video as well as written information.
Could you fulfil such a request? How long would it take you? Do you know where all of your video is and who has access to it? For not only do your video assets need to be stored securely, they need to be easily searchable for data including personal information. This is where a media management platform like Imagen comes in, a system designed to store, catalogue and share video assets, while ensuring that strict security and compliance regulations can be seamlessly and transparently followed.
Rich video management functionality
Much of the functionality needed to deliver security and compliance is not entirely new. Robust permissions, for example, have been a feature of MAMs, DAMs and media management platforms like Imagen for some years.
Permissions can be viewed from two perspectives – granular internal permissions, and external viewing permissions. Internal controls include enabling the creation of individual and group permissions, setting default access rights, managing roles and responsibilities, enabling access to content sets at group or individual level, and the ability to ban or suspend users. Externally, a business will often want to be able to set timeframes for content to be available — during a licensing agreement, for example, or when distributing previews ahead of a release date.
Of course, internal identity and access management is an essential layer above internal permissions, and many larger corporations have comprehensive SSO (Single Sign On) systems in place, which Imagen supports seamlessly. Compliance isn’t just legal. It’s about picking a system that works with the technology and infrastructure you already have.
Secure storage and distribution
Storage and distribution are also areas where tight security controls are essential. This is an evolving area, moving beyond siloed, local data to cloud storage and globalised CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). Best practice here is key, such as ensuring that all streams are encrypted with HTTPS as default, and ensuring that any cloud or CDN partners are also fully compliant with the relevant regional regulation.
A strong SLA (Service Level Agreement) is also important, detailing exactly what that compliance looks like, so there are no costly misunderstandings. Imagen uses the most secure public cloud infrastructure to safeguard data in facilities that are protected by industry leading physical security systems. So, your content is locked up tight.
Additional techniques such as watermarking (to enable easy IP management and dissuade copyright infringement), plus digitally signed and dynamically updated media links also play their part in an overall security stance. Imagen has pioneered the use of non-persistent URLs, another technique that deters unauthorised sharing of content links.
Compliance is not an option
Compliance is a moving target. But even as enterprises across Europe grappled with the impact of GDPR, there was one overarching challenge — data discovery. It’s the driving force behind a media management platform too and it all starts the moment you upload media content.
Being able to use a secure, automated ingest via fully documented API (and one that also automatically appends crucial metadata should you choose to), considerably simplifies the process of media creation and management. Access to rich metadata is not only vital for tracking the appearance of individuals in video footage, but also for applying permissions to them. Have release forms been signed? Are there young people in shot? Have their parents/guardians signed release forms – and vitally, what permissions have been given? All these questions should ideally be easily answered by manual annotation or metadata.
The result of being able to catalogue, view, search and segment your video by these types of parameter mean that monetising your video assets is made much easier. It also mitigates the potential for the use of footage that doesn’t have appropriate permissions, which could trigger serious consequences. GDPR fines for small offences run up to €10 million or two per cent of a firm’s global turnover; while serious incidents can incur fines of up to €20 million or four per cent of a firm’s global turnover (whichever is greater).
In short, the days of storing video content on DVDs or portable hard drives in desk drawers, and edited using freeware or unsecure online sites have passed. Businesses of all sizes now need to manage their valuable video assets correctly and be able to demonstrate best practice data management.