During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a global exponential push toward in-home digital services usage including both entertainment (TV & video, gaming, social networking) and local (news, e-learning, healthcare, fitness, culinary) digital services. One of the leading media analytics technology vendors highlighted that there has been an unprecedented 40% rise in worldwide downloads of mobile gaming apps, while consumption of national news on Facebook and YouTube increased by 50% and 97% respectively in March 2020. Furthermore, as remote e-learning, virtual out-patient, in-home health, and wellness adoption continue to increase in the next 12–18 months, it becomes increasingly important to safeguard the primary digital user engagement touchpoints (i.e., mobile and online apps). Omdia believes that the connected digital services paradigm shift will become the de facto norm. With the launch of newer applications, it is essential for media enterprises and developers to protect these front-end user interfaces (UIs) from intellectual property (IP) theft, cyberthreat, ad leakages, and brand loyalty losses. Therefore, mitigation of these vital business risks to offer authenticated, uninterrupted, and native engagement anywhere everywhere is a necessity in the highly fragmented and unstructured digital services landscape emerging because of the pandemic.
Verimatrix’s ProtectMyApp service offers a boon in disguise
In February 2019, Inside Secure acquired Verimatrix for an initial cost of $148 million, adding approximately 900 customer portfolios and 300 members of the workforce. The combined entity was rebranded as Verimatrix with the relaunch of its horizontally integrated premium content, digital user lifecycle protection solution, and services offerings in July 2019.
The company has been an early mover into the mobile and online apps security and analytics solution segment, with a breach-monitoring framework woven into its code protection. Its traditional focus has been on iOS- and Android-based mobile development leveraging C/C++ (Native Development Kit [NDK] in Android terminology). This has protected against cybersecurity breaches pertaining to code alteration, reverse engineering, and unregulated access to back-end infrastructure. In 2017, it expanded the offering to Android Java and Kotlin code.
In the rapidly evolving in-home digital services consumption model caused by contactless connected living, media enterprises are pushed toward investments in technology to provide continuous security breach protection and monitoring of their initial digital engagement touchpoints across multiple devices and geographies at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). This leads to adoption of Verimatrix’s ProtectMyApp service, which provides the following value proposition:
End-to-end automated apps lifecycle security workflow without offsetting viewership performance
Multifaceted device and security system agnostic
Agile analytics engine for faster multidimension threat detection from losses related to jailbreak devices, side channel attacks, reverse engineering, and access to back-end systems
Real-time threat shutdown (cloned or repackaged access protocol)
Negligible integration overhead costs
Highly transparent and flexible monthly subscription pricing mode ($499–2,999 for 2–20 catalogs)
Zero apps ecosystem protection deployment downtime (average is less than 15 minutes)
Therefore, because primary digital touchpoints are vulnerable to cyberthreats, which could result in revenue leakages and brand equity losses in tomorrow’s connected-life economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, embracing a managed apps security service will become a necessity for the sustainability of content owners in the next two to three years. It will also enable aggressive expansion of both premium and niche content repositories (i.e., exploitation of newer monetization avenues) into emerging Asia Pacific economies with a high piracy index such as India, Indonesia, and China.
Kedar Mohite, Principal Consultant, Media & Broadcast Technology