Protecting streaming services using GeoComply
This post is co-authored by Kevin Yao, Principal Partner SA, OTT, Direct to Consumer at AWS and James Clark, General Manager, Media & Entertainment at GeoComply. The content of this post was updated on May 5, 2022.
GeoGuard from GeoComply is a VPN and proxy detection solution with 99.6% accuracy. It is pre-integrated with leading content delivery networks (CDNs) including Amazon CloudFront, enabling streaming platforms to simply “turn on” VPN and proxy detection. With GeoComply, video service providers can block VPN and proxy users to cut geo-piracy and account sharing. This ensures compliance with territorial restrictions in contracts with rights holders as well as realizing savings on infrastructure costs.
Double-teaming with AWS
GeoComply is an AWS Partner. In early 2022, GeoComply joined the AWS ISV Accelerate Program. Because GeoGuard is pre-integrated at the CDN level, it is easy for AWS customers to implement as a WAF rule to quickly start blocking unwanted VPN users. GeoGuard’s solution for AWS automatically and continuously updates to protect against threats, reducing the security risk from video piracy.
How does it work?
GeoComply provides fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions that detect location fraud and help verify a user’s true digital identity. GeoComply is based on the technologies developed for the highly regulated and complex U.S. online gaming and sports betting market.
GeoGuard is a continuously updated list of the IP addresses used by VPNs and DNS Proxies. When a user connects to a streaming video service, their IP is checked against this list to detect whether they are using a VPN or DNS Proxy to spoof their location. Using machine learning techniques combined with human intelligence, GeoGuard is updated continuously – up to hourly – with new IPs, as well as expiring old IPs to ensure fewer false positives and a better experience for legitimate viewers.
The latest additions to GeoGuard include:
- Proxy over VPN: To avoid blacklists, premium VPN providers are targeting major OTT services with dedicated IP ranges. As the only solution with proxy over VPN functionality, GeoGuard’s advanced logic identifies any attempts to double-spoof streaming providers.
- With VPN providers adding IPv6 ranges that allow users to spoof their location, GeoComply has added IPv6 detection to GeoGuard. This allows OTT broadcasters to remain fully compliant with their contractual obligations while continuing to allow users to access their services on IPv6-only connections.
- Compromised residential IPs: Free VPN solutions and other malicious apps hijack domestic IP addresses from compromised devices and resell them to premium VPN providers to make users appear as though they are a legitimate viewer in the territory of their choosing. GeoGuard dynamically tracks and flags these compromised residential IPs.
Customer case study
MultiChoice Group, Africa’s leading entertainment company, deployed GeoComply’s GeoGuard VPN and proxy detection solution to combat content piracy in early 2021. GeoGuard is protecting MultiChoice’s DStv App, which streams live and catch-up content in countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
Since going live, MultiChoice has consistently blocked unauthorized viewing each month while nearly eliminating the creation of suspicious user accounts. This has freed up infrastructure capacity and cut CDN costs. Multichoice can now support more than twice the number of concurrent users for live-streamed events with the same infrastructure, resulting in a better quality of experience for its paying subscribers.
MultiChoice deployed GeoGuard through the Amazon Marketplace, using the ‘turn on and go’ capability provided through GeoGuard’s integration with Amazon CloudFront.
“As for all OTT broadcasters, geo-piracy is a major concern, and it was a real coup when we deployed GeoGuard and quickly achieved a great return on investment,” said Greg van Wyngaard, Senior Engineer at MultiChoice’s Connected Video division.
“We have been impressed by GeoGuard – it works seamlessly in the background to safeguard our content for legitimate users, ensures territorial exclusivity and helps us comply with our content distribution obligations with rights owners. From an OTT broadcaster perspective, the cost savings and efficiency it’s providing in our streaming infrastructure is a huge bonus.”
MultiChoice chose GeoGuard for its ability to better protect its revenue and business model without impacting legitimate users. With trust in GeoGuard’s data, MultiChoice can focus on supporting legitimate subscribers. Other factors in its decision were GeoGuard’s regular database updates, to reduce both false negatives and false positives, and support for SmartDNS, a technology designed to circumvent geo-restricted services.
Beyond media and entertainment, GeoComply provides geolocation fraud detection solutions for iGaming, online banking, payments, and cryptocurrency industries. GeoComply software is installed on over 400 million devices worldwide and analyzes over 3 billion transactions a year, placing it in a unique position to identify and counter emerging fraud threats.
GeoComply solutions incorporate location, device, and identity intelligence and use machine learning to detect and flag fraudulent activity. By integrating GeoComply solutions into their processes and risk engines, organizations are able to identify fraud earlier in a user’s engagement, better establish their true digital identity, and empower digital trust.
Nearly all the anti-piracy solutions and services available for video service providers involve complex deployments that require a significant level of commitment. GeoGuard is easy to deploy and integrate, requires no in-house support, and delivers savings from day one. Click Here to Get Started.