Farncombe Consulting Group has launched a new security validation programme designed to speed the amount of time it takes for new conditional access (CA) and DRM products to reach the market.
The two-step programme involves the completion of a self-administered questionnaire to gauge compliance with certain objective minimum security requirements (MSRs). This prevents providers from finding themselves at the back of the queue if their technology were to fail at a later stage.
“At the moment, CA and DRM system vendors with untested security systems will often be asked to pay for a full audit – without any idea whether they are likely to pass or not,” points out Andrew Glasspool, Farncombe co-founder and the partner leading the development of the new programme. “Using our custom pre-review process, they can now obtain an accurate picture of whether their new product is ready for an assessment. When they’ve completed that first step, they can then proceed to a full review.”
If a CA system fails to comply with the Farncombe MSRs, the vendor receives a full report explaining which measures it failed on and which aspects need to be rectified before it can be re-submitted or taken to a full review at a later date.
The system has been backed by Dr Abe Peled, chairman and CEO of leading content security firm NDS Group “NDS welcomes this initiative by Farncombe, a well-known industry expert, which will help the use of adequate security systems by operators.”
Nagravision – another top firm in the security field – also welcomed the move: “Nagravision has known and worked alongside Farncombe for 10 years in the field of pay-TV security. Their independence and expertise in the area of conditional access and DRM technology is trusted by operators and content security vendors alike. Nagravision can unhesitatingly recommend them as leading experts in the content security field,” said a company spokesperson.
Such testimonials are rare in the pay-TV business, where conversations with the studios and sports rights holders as to the performance of individual systems are often left undiscussed.