7 Security Tips for Streaming Live Video

7 Security Tips for Streaming Live Video
Live streaming is more ubiquitous than ever these days. There are a plethora of services and a growing number of use cases too. As more professional users come on board to live video for things like remote sessions & production monitoring, the question of security comes to mind. Check out these 7 tips to make sure your live video is only ever seen by the people you intend it to be!
1) Avoid free streaming services
Services like YouTube and Facebook are super convenient when it comes to sharing video but they have some serious security drawbacks. You don’t know where your data is going, how it is being analyzed, or what other ads / 3rd party content are being shown to your viewers. Plus with millions of other users on these open public platforms, the chance of your content going before the wrong eyes is substantially higher.
Streamwell gives you absolute control over who sees what, and because it runs on your own server you can fully take it off the internet if you suspect a security issue.
2) Protect your stream keys
The stream key is the critical piece that lets your streaming software/hardware communicate with the streaming server. Anybody who holds this key can stream to the same place you’re streaming, whether that is a public site or not. So it is of the utmost importance that you keep those keys to yourself, the same way you would a PIN code for your bank card.
Streamwell gives admins and power users the ability to manage their stream keys and reset them with a click, so if you do accidentally expose a stream key you can immediately ‘burn’ it so there is no security risk on your end.
3) Use SRT
Traditionally streaming services use RTMP which works fine but that streaming protocol is woefully out of date, and hasn’t been updated since 2012. There are limitations around security and error correction, both solved by a newer protocol called SRT (Secure Reliable Transport). The big guys have been slow to adopt SRT and services like YouTube/Facebook still force you to use RTMP.
Streamwell supports both protocols equally, and any modern software / hardware that supports SRT can send this newer and more robust signal into your Streamwell server.
4) Use logins rather than public links
A public link is certainly the fastest way to get a viewer to your stream. Despite the convenience, public links are rather insecure because anybody who gets a hold of one can view the stream without any further authentication. Some sites let you share to other users of that site but they make the broad assumption that your viewers not only have an account, but use it in the context of viewing your stream (i.e. business versus personal)
Streamwell lets you easily create simple password-protected logins for your clients and collaborators. You can manage these in seconds and nobody has to sign up for anything before you can broadcast your stream with confidence. Even if you do use the public link, Streamwell lets you renew it with a click while simultaneously deactivating any previous public links you had created for that stream.
5) Avoid broadcasting copyrighted content
Virtually all hosted streaming services (ones that run like magic on the internet versus running on *your* systems) will scan the content you are broadcasting for copyrighted material and may enforce copyrights by shutting down or muting your broadcast without even telling you! They have no way of verifying whether you actually hold a license to broadcast that content and there have been more and more incidents where the big guys and their automated systems are taking down legitimate streaming content.
Streamwell runs entirely on your systems - it does not “call home”, analyze your content in any way, or promote ads / 3rd party content to your viewers. So you can rest assured that whatever you stream, they will see.
6) Clean up!
Especially if you are using a single channel / service to broadcast to multiple clients, make sure you stop your encoder and change your stream key between every session. This will ensure that if a viewer from a previous stream accidentally wanders back, they don’t see content that wasn’t meant for them.
Streamwell makes it super easy to reset the incoming stream keys and public-facing links with just a click. And as we covered earlier, you can easily define user logins and control precisely who has access to what.
7) Run your own streaming server
It had to come to this eventually. No matter how much you pay or what level of service you sign up for, the other guys operate *hosted* streaming services, meaning you have to trust them with your data.
With Streamwell, you can run one or more streaming servers on your own internal company network. You pay no subscription fees, no additional usage fees, and you have complete control over the branding and availability of your live content.
So it’s a no-brainer - if you are serious about security for your live streams, look no further than Streamwell. Learn more here or contact us now for a personalized demo!