The global video streaming services industry is a multi-billion-dollar market that includes renowned brands such as Disney and Netflix alongside smaller, more niche players. Due to the pandemic, many of these services have experienced a boom in growth over the past two years. With millions of additional users on streaming platforms, it’s no surprise that cybercriminals have noticed the increased demand and are attempting to capitalize on the wealth of consumer data and premium content through sophisticated cyberattacks.
In 2020, the viewing figures for streaming services were up 71% compared to the previous year. The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to expand their reliance on digital tools, and many organizations are now going completely remote or using a hybrid work environment. Because cybersecurity took a backseat, fraudsters saw an increased opportunity to get into firms’ software and databases and steal data.
Additional Risks and Responsibilities
Many streaming services have struggled to evolve their cybersecurity tools to keep up with the growth of their viewer base, leaving them vulnerable to cyberattacks such as credential stuffing. Web application security, in particular, has become an Achilles heel for organizations. According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, which contains insights from more than 5,250 confirmed breaches, over 50% of security breaches are hitting web applications (servers).
Application requests are monitored and protected by web application firewalls (WAFs). They examine HTTP requests using a set of rules. These rules may enable or limit access based on IP address, country of origin, headers and/or payload. Static rules are used in some WAFs, whereas dynamic rules are used in others. Static rules can only halt known risks, but dynamic rules allow the WAF to protect against an emerging threat.
Malware, Unwanted Software and Streaming Services
It’s also critical to mention malware and unwanted software while discussing streaming-related issues. When consumers search for alternative sources to obtain a streaming app or a TV episode, they frequently come across malware such as Trojans, spyware and backdoors, as well as harmful software such as adware. With so many companies storing high-value personal data online, it’s easy to forget that they might soon become a cybercriminal’s gold mine, with credit card numbers and other personally identifying information up for grabs. This growing emphasis on customer data underscores how threats are evolving and shows that no industry is immune.
Almost every company has the potential to be the target of malicious cyberattacks. The following are some of the most common cyberattacks streaming providers face:
- Application attacks: Cybercriminals exploit known and unknown vulnerabilities in application architecture and software code.
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: Artificial traffic is used in these attacks to cause a site or service to become inaccessible or slow to respond to legitimate visitors.
- Credential stuffing: Attackers take advantage of the fact that users frequently reuse usernames and passwords across many accounts. Attackers can acquire large lists of stolen credentials on the dark web and use automation to attempt each one to get access to the target service.
The application’s surface area components may be susceptible to attack or vulnerability. Custom code, third-party libraries and integrations are all included. Any one of these components could be vulnerable. If one exists, a bad actor will try to exploit a vulnerability in these components. While the attack surface is always present, the goal is always to minimize it. WAF, DDoS protection and bot detection/mitigation are all cloud-based solutions. Traditionally, the first line of defense against DDoS attacks has been specialized hardware. It still requires regular maintenance and assistance, and it has trouble keeping up with high-volume DDoS attacks. Scrubbing stations, cloud protection and CDN security, on the other hand, are rapidly becoming the preferred methods for such attacks.