Nagra Project Radar revealed as SSP – unifying security in cloud era

Remember Nagra’s secretive Project Radar which the security vendor was expected to unveil in a blaze of glory at IBC? Well, it turns out Nagra very quietly rolled out the new product under everyone’s radar, hidden subtly within a separate customer deployment press release. This suggests Project Radar was more an extension or upgrade of an existing technology, rather than a creation hot of the press from the R&D department.

Project Radar’s real name is Nagra Security Services Platform (SSP), which perhaps we should have spotted sooner considering we were one of the first industry publications to learn about the launch back in July, when executives teased a technology all about addressing scalable service protection. At the time, the new venture was outlined as being able to map how well an operator is performing against competitors – highlighting particular areas of vulnerability. Now, we have a bit more substance.

Nagra’s cloud-based SSP, coined cloud.SSP and running on AWS cloud infrastructure, is described as a flexible and modular security platform going above and beyond typical CAS and multi-DRM enablement by managing home domains, concurrent sessions, device authentication, forensic watermarking and other security aspects of a pay TV operator’s service. The Kudelski Group subsidiary says this reduces reliance on third-party technologies, giving operators and content owners freedom to roll out new service modules.

At its core is traditional linear TV schedule management over DVB, IPTV and OTT, as well as VoD license management, jazzed up with a number of advanced features including account and device management, multi-DRM management, business rule enforcement, messaging services, watermarking services, and home networking control.

SSP’s modularity allows Nagra to support separation of business logic and security logic, meaning operators can select best of breed content and business management platforms without compromising security.

Cloud.SSP already has a couple of customer accounts, firstly winning a deal at Bharti Airtel’s telecoms subsidiary Wynk to secure streaming content, followed by a significant deployment at Vodafone. As mentioned earlier, the absence of a dedicated SSP press release was peculiar and the Wynk announcement adds to this by saying the latest win marks the first deployment of the cloud.SSP for an OTT pure play service in India – implying there are non-pure play deployments outside of India which means the technology is certainly more than 10 days old. Effectively then, Nagra SSP is the unification of security technologies in a cloud environment – as a result enabling additional security features. Could this perhaps be interpreted as commoditization of security software in the cloud era? Either way, Nagra multi-DRM is part of SSP, supporting the major DRMs as well as Nagra’s proprietary Nagra PRM.

“The ability for operators such as Airtel to deliver content to any device is a must in today’s digital environment,” said Stéphane Le Dreau, SVP Sales and Services at Nagra. “The cloud-based Nagra SSP with multi-DRM support allows operators to do that now directly from the cloud, reducing complexity by managing all devices under one unified system while ensuring best-of-breed security overall.”

The Vodafone deal is an extension of the only publicly announced Nagra account of Vodafone Spain, which we have long suspected had already been expanded out across the telco’s footprint. Vodafone has now deployed Nagra SSP in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Romania for Vodafone TV services. It includes the Nagra Connect client and player across Vodafone TV set tops, browsers, open devices and connected TVs.

This deal relates directly to Vodafone’s expansion last week of its cloud TV technology in Portugal, Greece and Romania, joining existing Spain and Italy deployments. The service is described as a multi-country telco-grade TV system relying on a single common cloud-based platform.

Nagra describes the Vodafone announcement as the first major roll out of Nagra cloud.SSP at scale, using a multi-tenant cloud platform to support each operator market as a single tenant with secure device authentication and session management features.

“Cloud.SSP enables Vodafone to centrally manage all its security needs, including those that extend beyond traditional content protection, via a single platform. It meets all Hollywood studio and sports rights holder requirements for Enhanced Content Protection and can be delivered via public, private or hybrid cloud. Nagra Connect is a converged CAS/DRM client for connected set tops and TVs. Its secure player extends the viewing experience securely to all portable media devices,” adds Nagra.