Latest News Flash: Security Risks With Regard To Video Streaming

Date: April 29, 2009

What television series is you're all time favorite? My personal favorite series include Desperate Housewives, Prison Break and of course Heroes. The good news today is that if you miss an episode it is not the end of the world because you are able to watch it again through streaming. A couple of years back you had to download an entire video before being able to actually watch it. In those days you were probably also making use of a limited dial up internet connection, it would take forever to simply download one small movie. Thanks to streaming, all those problems are in the past. The question that may be asked is:"What are the security risks involved with regard to video streaming?"Video_streaming..jpg

Firstly I would like to clarify exactly what streaming is. The name actually gives reference to the method of delivery as opposed to the medium itself. It works in a very practical and clever manner. Basically when you visit a specific URL of a streaming video or click on a streaming link, this streaming process will begin. Part of the video gets transferred over while you are watching the first part. The wonderful aspect to be considered is that the remainder of the video file is being sent over by the server in the "background", so you don't need to wait impatiently until the totality of the video has finished transferring before you are able to begin watching.Prisonbreak_series..jpg

It is fascinating for everyone to know that there isn't actually that big of a network security risk with regards to streaming videos. There are risks associated with having the UDP ports, or your fire wall open in order to allow the streaming to take place. It is also important to know that there are a variety of security vulnerabilities in the technology itself. These include buffer overflow vulnerabilities on the specific Microsoft servers, which are running Windows Media Services on various older Windows 2000 machines.

This is not the only danger involved with regard to video streaming. The bad news is that performance issues may arise due to the volume of bandwidth which is used for video streaming. It is vital to know that streaming video actually drains resources. This may all cause a major problem in a company with lots of staff who rely on the internet for work purposes. It can be suggested that if your employees are using video streaming for their own entertainment and personal needs then there should maybe be a company policy implemented that bands such activity, as it can actually cause extreme problems to the company network.

It can be said that video streaming does cause security risks and problems. Each person should decide for themselves if video streaming is worth the risks involved. Are there more video streaming security risks that have not been brought to our attention? The answer is that it is possible and that there may be new computer security video streaming vulnerabilities discovered in the not too distant future.

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One Comment

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