End-to-end security for video distribution: The combination of encryption, watermarking, and video adaptation

Andras Boho, Glenn Van Wallendael, Ann Dooms, Jan De Cock, Geert Braeckman, Peter Schelkens, Bart Preneel, Rik Van De Walle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Content distribution applications such as digital broadcasting, video-on-demand services, video conferencing, surveillance, and telesurgery are confronted with difficultiesbesides the inevitable compression and quality challengeswith respect to intellectual property management, authenticity, privacy regulations, and access control. Meeting such security requirements in an end-to-end video distribution scenario poses significant challenges. If the entire content is encrypted at the content creation side, the space for signal processing operations is very limited. Decryption, followed by video processing and re-encryption is also to be avoided as it is far from efficient, complicates key management and could expose the video to possible attacks. Additionally, when the content is delivered and decrypted, the protection is gone. Watermarking can complement encryption in these scenarios by embedding a message within the content itself containing, for example, ownership information, unique buyer codes, or content descriptions. Ideally, securing the video distribution should therefore be possible throughout the distribution chain in a flexible way allowing the encryption, watermarking, and encoding/transcoding operations to commute.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6461625
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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