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Are your web applications protected from cyber threats? Theft of consumer data from popular websites was featured prominently in the news in 2016. Yahoo! announced that it had yet another massive attack with data from more than 1 billion user accounts compromised, making it the largest breach in history. This blog is the second of a series covering protection of your content, applications, and access to them, and will discuss the state of web application threats and defense strategies.

 

Most observers expect the frequency of cyber-attacks to increase during 2017, part of the reason being the ease by which attacks against web applications can be launched. The application layer is hard to defend, being exposed to the outside world. This is because in order for an application to function, it must be accessible over Ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS). For a good discussion and demonstration of how the most common web application attacks are performed, read the article and watch the embedded videos from SecurityIntelligence.

 

Defending Against Web Application Attacks

 

There are two fundamental ways to protect against attacks: On premise Web Application Firewall (WAF) network nodes, and cloud-based protection. On premise hardware based WAF network nodes deployed between the internet and an organization’s network, have been a popular solution. These devices contain software that can detect the signatures of attacks, and only pass legitimate traffic through to the network. Because all traffic to a website must pass through the WAF so it can detect and block attacks, there is a significant impact on performance of web applications. The reality is on premise WAF nodes are almost passé.

 

What is rapidly becoming the go to solution is cloud-based defense. This is implemented by locating WAF nodes between origin servers and a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), which does the heavy work of content caching, web acceleration, and delivery of static content to websites. Web app attacks are dynamic, so this is the only traffic the CDN forwards to the WAF nodes. This minimizes the performance impact of WAF protection, and locks down IP traffic, as the WAF only accepts traffic from the CDN. The WAF detects attacks by filtering traffic according to rules from the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) ten most critical application security risks. In addition, a security operations centers monitors dark Internet blogs and industry bulletin boards for new threats. When a new vulnerability is identified, an operations center creates a new security rule and pushes it to all WAF nodes. Even “zero-day” attacks can be closed prior to app vendor patches. The scalable cloud-based architecture results in a low total cost of protection of WAF services.

 

Best Practices Right Now

It will take time for the necessary application security vulnerabilities to be patched. In the meantime there are steps organizations can take to protect themselves.

  •      Implement the latest state of the art web application cyber-attack defenses. This means at the very least cloud-based protection integrated with a CDN.
  •      Make sure all web application patches are installed. If you have custom web applications, understand how the popular cyber-attacks are architected as described in the article from SecurityIntelligence, and that your applications are designed to prevent these attacks.

More to Come

The next blog in this series will cover securing content in motion with HTTPS. Also, as part of this series will be updates on events that may occur related to security issues.  See you here next week!

Webinar title:

Key Strategies and Best Practices To Proactively Protect Digital Assets and Apps

 

Description:

In the last few months we have seen cyber-attacks on corporations as diverse as Deutsche Telekom and Tesco. From the boardroom to the backroom there is an increasing awareness of complex cyber-security attacks. Businesses need a proactive solution that not only protects digital content and properties but also keeps one step ahead of these evolving threats. 


Join us on 18th January for a live webinar with Limelight's digital security experts, who will share specific use cases to illustrate key strategies and best practices for a cloud-based security solution. 

 

Presenters:

Charlie Kraus,Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Limelight Networks & Kerrion Burton-Evans,Solutions Engineer, Limelight Networks

 

Duration:

60 min

 

Date & Time:

Jan 18 2017 2:00 pm

 

Timezone:

United Kingdom - London

Hello Limelight Connect members.

 

Q: If I have an mp4 file in the origin with multiple language audio, will HLS and DASH from MMD OD automatically  generate multi audio in the output manifests?


A: Yes. MMD OD is a simple, yet powerful, engine to deliver chunked streaming output from your media files. One of the many features of MMD OD is the ability to support the transmuxing of multiple language audio tracks to HLS and DASH outputs. Following industry specifications, you will find the language tracks listed within the HLS manifest files and the DASH Media Presentation Description (MPD) files, ready for your player to access .

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me at kweinberger@llnw.com.


Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members.

 

Q: I just decided to stop publishing videos through LVP. How long do I have to retrieve my files? 

 

A: We're never happy to see a Customer go, but we realize sometimes it happens. In these cases, we want to ensure that the great experience you had while using our services continues through your transition to your next adventure. For that reason, we give you a generous grace period of ninety days after you leave us in which we will preserve your media. If you have a change of heart and just can't live without Limelight in your life, come back within ninety days and your account will be reactivated and all your media will be just as your left it. We'll take you back - no questions asked. 


Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me at kweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

At Limelight, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our customers have a positive experience with Limelight. We’ve asked for your feedback and have listened to it and acted upon it to help make our products and services the best in the industry.

 

We want to thank all of you who participated in our Limelight 2016 Voice of the Customer survey. We had a great response, and you provided extremely valuable input on all areas of our business. 

 

Here are just a few of the features and innovations we’ve delivered this year that have incorporated feedback from our customers:

  • Release of the award-winning SmartPurge, Limelight’s fast and intelligent purge tool
  • Self-service options with added configuration capabilities in Control 3
  • Live & VOD video packaging services over HTTP & HTTPS with custom bitrates
  • PoP expansion and increased capacity in more regions and countries

 

 

We appreciate your enthusiasm and remain committed to continuing to use your feedback as we select our new features and innovations in 2017.

 

For more information about the improvements we’re making and how they affect you, please talk with your Account Manager. And as always, please feel free to engage with us here on Limelight Connect.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the data analysis for Limelight’s December 2016 "State of Online Video" market research.  The trends are undeniable.  Watching video online is no longer the future – it’s here today.  Why stay home to watch your favorite TV show when some broadcaster decided you should be watching it, when you can watch what you want, whenever you want, wherever you happen to be?  Consumers have taken control, and that has the traditional broadcasters and content distributors scared. 

 

How did this all happen?

 

I have been involved in the world of broadcast television for quite a while.  I began my professional career 30 years ago as a television Broadcast Engineering Operations Technician for a local television station in the US.  My job was to help get programs on the air so people at home could watch them.  Sometimes it was live programming, but most of the time it was pre-recorded shows.  When news broke, people tuned in at 6pm to learn more about the day’s big story.  Occasionally, we would even interrupt regularly scheduled programming for a Special Report.  However, the station controlled what you could watch and when you could watch it.  Viewers understood that was the way the world worked.

 

In the early 1990’s, computers and digital technology came along and changed the way video content was created.  It soon became feasible to convert analog video into digital files that could be stored on a computer disk for non-linear editing.  I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and joined a company that helped lead the digital video production revolution.  Over the next 20 years, I worked to bring about the demise of film and video tape in the video production process as everything became digital.  However, the distribution of this digitally produced content was fundamentally the same.  There were more cable TV channels broadcasting content, but the stations controlled what you could watch and when you could watch it.  Viewers understood that was the way the world worked.

 

Then, things started to change.  It started slowly and almost imperceptibly.  Broadband speeds to homes increased.  People started recording their cats doing funny things and posting them online for other people to view.  Viewers wanted updated information about breaking news events and didn’t want to wait until the evening newscast.  The Internet became a legitimate place viewers could go to watch video, even if the experience was often frustrating and the content was limited.

 

At first, the traditional Broadcasters and content distributors were concerned.  Would they lose viewers as people spent time watching user generated content on YouTube?  They soon convinced themselves that Internet video was not a threat to their traditional business model.  People would continue to turn to them because they had the best content.  They were half right.

 

As more diverse content became available online, younger viewers began to search out videos aligned with their interests, even if the production quality was poor and the video would stutter and re-buffer several times each minute.  Millennials controlled what they would watch and when they would watch it.  That was the way their world worked.

 

The Internet quickly became a viable way for content distributors to make videos available to viewers.  At first, the content was limited.  NetFlix took the pay TV movie channel business model and moved it to the Web.  Viewers could watch movies according to their schedule online.  Other companies followed.  Soon, compelling original content also became available online.  Now, everyone realized the benefits of watching what they want, when they want, on any device they want, at home or on the go.  It was a brave new world.

I spent the last decade working with the world’s largest broadcasters and content distributors on ways to streamline their content production and distribution processes.  Some foresaw this fundamental shift in viewing several years ago.  Others were in denial until very recently.  However, they all now realize consumers have taken control of the viewing experience, and audiences are more fragmented.  Their old business model of forcing you to watch what they broadcast when they broadcast it has completely imploded.

 

 

 

The results of Limelight’s December 2016 “State of Online Video” market research report confirms online video viewing has gone mainstream.  More than three-quarters of the people surveyed watch video online each week.  More than half of those people are watching more than two hours each week.  Among Millennials, the numbers are significantly higher.

 

People are going online to watch many different types of content.  While the majority reported watching TV-shows, those over 60 reported primarily watching original content from sources such as YouTube as well as news.  Millennials primarily watch TV-shows and movies.  More than 68 percent of respondents subscribe to a video on demand service.  We’ve come a long way from cat videos. 

 

While the majority of people use their computer to watch online videos, smartphones are increasingly being used as people want the flexibility to watch content on the go.  For Millennials, the smartphone is already the preferred device for online viewing.  Streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV are also gaining in popularity as people want a high-quality in-home online video viewing experience on a large monitor, similar to what they get when watching traditional broadcast TV. 

 

What I found most interesting from the survey results is how expectations of the quality of the online viewing experience has grown to a point nearly matching expectations from broadcast television.  In the early days of online viewing, consumers learned to accept the fact that picture quality wouldn’t be as good as traditional broadcast television and the video would often stutter or re-buffer.  The new survey results show that 48 percent of people will stop watching a video if it re-buffers twice, and 78 percent will stop watching if it re-buffers three times.  Viewer expectations have certainly increased!

 

Half of online video viewers reported also subscribing to traditional cable or satellite TV.  Cost is the primary reason people are considering cutting the cord, although 24 percent said they are waiting for the ability to subscribe to just the channels they want online.  This may be a good sign for companies such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now that are offering “skinny bundles” that allow viewers more flexibility in choosing the channels they want at a lower cost.  However, content is still king, with 20 percent of Millennial males saying they won’t cut the cord until more live sports become available online.

 

What does this all mean?  Consumers have clearly taken control of the video viewing experience.  They want to choose what to watch and when to watch it.  They will pay to access the content they want online, but they expect it to be delivered flawlessly on any device.  Content distributors need to ensure the quality of the viewing experience in order to satisfy consumer demand and maximize revenue.  The good news is the technology needed to ensure such a high-quality online viewing experience is readily available from Limelight.

 

The content distribution process has undergone fundamental changes over the last few years as consumers have taken control.  The traditional broadcast television business model is imploding.  I’m excited to be part of the Limelight team that is helping content distributors thrive in this brave new world.

Hello Limelight Connect members.

 

Q: Will the GOP size of the RTMP ingest stream be changed by MMD Live?

 

A: No. MMD Live will preserve the integrity of the incoming stream. Whatever GOP size you set for the incoming stream, that size will be maintained on the streaming outputs.

 


Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or email me at kweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members.

 

Q: I only have MP4 files for my video library. How can I use MMD On Demand to power my VOD service for adaptive bitrate HLS and DASH delivery? 

 

A: MMD OD (On Demand) has a powerful feature for VOD service providers who have MP4 versions of their video assets and do not want to encode them into various formats with separate manifests. Through a simple URL formation consisting of the various bitrate versions of the MP4s, you can have MMD OD dynamically create HLS, DASH, HDS and MSS manifests and ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) streaming. This saves you the hassle of encoding your files to different bitrates and storage costs for the encodings and manifests you would have to create. Contact your Account Representative to find out more. 


Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 


Q: Will your new HTML5 Player support your Player API?


A: Yes, our new Smart Embed contains the HTML5 Player and supports the Player API functions. The Player API (https://support.limelight.com/public/video/en/Default.htm#Video/Video%20-%20Platform/player_api.htm%3FTocPath%3DAPI%2520Guides) is a powerful suite of player user experience functions, configuration options and events that can be used to control the embedded player from your web page. Easily programmed using JavaScript, this API gives developers countless options for the creation of unique, fully integrated viewing experiences. 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 

Q: Can I add MediaVault to an existing MMD Live slot?


A: MediaVault is a powerful tool to help you protect your streams from misuse. Adding MediaVault to MMD Live streams is easy, just a click to enable it's done. But, slots must be set up from the start with MediaVault. If you have a slot already set up, just copy your slot and then enable MediaVault in the copy before you save.

 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

ablanchard

Safe for the Holidays

Posted by ablanchard Nov 18, 2016

November is a good time to pause and appreciate all the work behind the scenes Limelight customers have done to prepare for the holidays. Anticipating the holiday rush, retail and entertainment customers have worked hard on their websites, re-configuring and adapting them to being an important front door.  Video-on-demand sites have cached and stored multiple copies of the most popular movies.  Game publishers have prepared their multi-cdn configurations for massive traffic flows that begin in November and continue throughout December.   Much of this preparation started back in January-- with account reviews and planning sessions where customers worked with their Limelight rep to identify online trends that would impact their coming year.  

Planning ahead, however, means more than just configuring for friendly online traffic.   Especially for retail, entertainment, and financial sites, there is a real “Grinch” out there in the form of cyber threats, particularly web application and DDoS attacks.   You may recall the original Grinch slithered down chimneys and stole presents, food, and decorations put out for the holidays.  Like the Grinch, a web application attack can sneak in and target customer records, stealing them in minutes or less, then whoosh up the chimney with customer data that has taken all year to collect.  However, unlike the Grinch, Web Application attacks sometimes leave no trace they have stolen from you, and - they can happen all year round.  Data breaches, which occur in almost 40% of web app attacks, are expensive to recover from, plus lead to serious customer churn after the fact.  Research shows that the size and value of data breaches is growing year over year. 

 

That’s why in August, Limelight announced its Web Application Firewall solution (WAF) that can block multiple types of application attacks. It protects against well-known “Grinches” out there, as well as villains specific to your industry.  Limelight’s WAF solution allows you to customize your detection rules to block unique, specific threats.  In addition, our DDoS Attack Interceptor, announced last year, absorbs and scrubs botnet attacks. And here’s the real holiday news: they are both easy to implement and extremely cost effective.

 

Following the August announcement, on November 10, Limelight hosted a webinar: Key Strategies and Best Practices To Proactively Protect Digital Assets and Apps .  You can watch this online for a 5000 ft view of practical steps to protect content, using resources and capabilities that are within easy technical and financial reach of any CDN customer.  Not only does it cover the ability to turn on a Web Application Firewall, it covers existing security suite features in the Limelight CDN that can protect your content and control website access.  For a total summary, read our recently updated whitepaper: Limelight, 10 Ways to Protect Your Digital Content, 2016.

 

“Every Who Down in Who-Ville liked Christmas a lot.  But the Grinch who lived just north of Who-Ville… did NOT”

                                                                                                         from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss

 

Sophisticated, highly interactive websites are what we help customers build and run every day.  But increasingly, our business will be helping those same customers protect all the valuable customer experience data they collect as a function of having a fabulous website.   Read more, and we look forward to planning with you in 2017.

Announcing the New SmartEmbed and New HTML5 Player

We are proud to announce that our latest version of our SmartEmbed is completely rebuilt, with market leading technology and updated features and functionality. In anticipation of modern browsers moving away from browser plugins, and Flash in particular, we have adopted HTML5 playback as the primary way to show video. And, by basing our HTML5 player on open source, we can provide you with ongoing improvements made by the open source community. All this is included in your Limelight service and is available today.

 

"Smart-what?"

As part of the broad set of video solutions we offer here at Limelight, we have always been asked by customers to provide them with a simple way to play back the videos they host and stream with us. Our SmartEmbed is the result of those requests, and it has been a solid performer for video playback in the time when digital video was dominated by desktop browsers.

 

The power of the SmartEmbed is that by placing this simple bit of code on your website, you can offer your visitors a single video or playlist of videos that will work on all browsers and operating systems. The "smarts" lay in the browser and OS detection logic that understands what your visitor is using to view your site, and then pulling down the right player and the right encoding format to give them the best possible viewing experience.

 

Popular browsers are starting to move away from supporting Flash (see my blog post Flash in the Limelight), and Limelight is providing you a way to move with them. The legacy SmartEmbed used the browser's Flash player primarily. Our new SmartEmbed uses no browser plugins and skips Flash altogether. Still intelligent in understanding your visitor's device and OS, now it pulls down our new HTML5 player which has better compatibility with both desktop and mobile browsers. Both legacy and new SmartEmbeds are available in the Media Library so you can plan your transition to fit your schedule.

 

OK, So What's New?

We put in months of effort to ensure the new SmartEmbed and new Player support all the great features you have become accustomed to: Analytics, Ad Playback, Content Restrictions, Channel and Audio Only Playback, Player API, etc.

 

But what's exciting is what's new.

 

Extensibility Through Player Plugins

Not to be confused with browser plugins, Player Plugins are simple javascript code snippets that you add to the HTML5 player to produce new functionality. Do you want display social sharing buttons hovering over the video? How about building your own set of custom hotkeys to control player functions? Or display a call to action after your video finishes? Once you have the new player in place, there's no end to the creativity you can apply to your playback experience using the Player Plugins. Contact your Account Manager for more information on how to play!

 

Better Accessibility Support

Accessibility for hearing and sight impaired is important to Limelight, and critical to certain customers. By leveraging an open source player, we get the advantage of a whole community of developers dedicated to making the player more compliant with current standards. While this is an ongoing effort, our new player gives us a giant leap forward and a path to even better improvements.

 

Multiple Embeds On a Single Page

Under the category of "Boring but Important," we have seen many situations where placing multiple SmartEmbeds on a single page has been confusing and just plain didn’t work. Our new SmartEmbed was built from the ground up to support multiple embeds per page.

 

Focus on Security

The world is moving to SSL, and our new SmartEmbed is ready. The same SmartEmbed can be used on both HTTP and HTTPS pages, and all communications between the player and our backend for media access and analytics is done using HTTPS. In addition, we have added an Opt Out feature to suppress the collection of analytics data, should your local regulations or privacy policy require it.

 

Available Now

There's no time like the present. Go into the Media Library and look for the "Limelight HTML Player" under the Embed Tab. Pull down the embed for a single video or a channel. Put it on your website and give it a go. Then plan your transition to using the new SmartEmbed across all your webpages. Get ready for a better, and smarter, experience.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 

Q: Does the Limelight Player support 360 degree videos?

 

A: Yes!

 

Our Limelight SmartEmbed and HTML5 Player V2.0 has the ability for Customers to add their own plugins. Limelight doesn’t endorse or create plugins at this time, but the open architecture of the Player gives Customers the flexibility to use plugins they create or that can be found in the open source community. 

 

For details, contact your Account Manager. 

 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello, Limelight Connect members.

 

This week we have a question about the Transmux slot type of MMD Live.

 
Q: Do I have to publish all bitrates that I configured to a Transmux slot?
A: Yes. Transmux slots give you the flexibility to define the bitrates you want to publish and the order they will appear in the output chunked streaming manifests. However, if you do not publish all the bitrates that were configured for the Transmux slot, the playback will not function correctly.

  

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello, Limelight Connect members.

 

This week we have a question about file types for MMD On Demand.

 

Q: Can MMD OD take an M4V file as input?
A: MMD OD supports multiple input formats. These include: 


ISMV (Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming)
TS (MPEG Transport Stream)
MP4 (MPEG-4)

 

Also, MMD On Demand supports the H.264 video CODEC and the AAC audio CODEC.

 

Even though M4V files are similar to MP4, MMD OD currently doesn't support the M4V format. You can package an audio only stream in MP4, however, and it will stream perfectly.
 
 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.