You probably don’t run a secret organization of international spies, but even so — your company likely has video content you’d prefer to keep confidential.
Consider your town hall in which the CEO mentions the hiring freeze and the new, more restrictive work-from-home policy. Your internal communications team wants to use the recording in a company-wide email, but there’s fear the media could intercept the video if it were leaked and then of course speculate about the health of your high-profile company.
Or what about that sales training video helping you boost the effectiveness of your reps? It could get leaked to your competitors – or worse, they could see that demo explaining stealth features. These videos are useful within your organization, but if they’re not secure, your competitive advantage could become a competitor’s intel.
So, how can you make your videos secure?
Adjust Your Video’s Privacy Settings
If your business is still in an experimental phase using YouTube alone, you can use the ‘Private’ or ‘Unlisted’ settings to keep content under wraps.
Unlike YouTube’s default ‘Public’ setting, private videos are hidden from search engines and aren’t listed on your channel (they’re only accessible through your video manager). From your video manager, you can choose up to 50 people to share the video with by entering their email addresses. These people will be able to view the video through an email invite, but they must have a YouTube account to access the content.
Similarly, unlisted videos are hidden from search engines and aren’t discoverable through your channel. These videos are only accessible to those who have the URL, but the unlisted option differs from ‘private’ in that the person you share an unlisted video with doesn’t need a YouTube account – just the URL, and the content can be seen beyond 50 designated people as this URL can be easily forwarded on. These light privacy options are fair game if you’re:
sharing harmless educational content (maybe with non-paying e-course members)
getting feedback on an entertaining top-funnel video from a subset of initial customers you trust, or
working at a non-profit seeking an inexpensive option for internal-only content
Unlisted Youtube videos are not your best bet if you’re a larger, more security-conscious business with a greater amount of potentially sensitive info. This is because, with the unlisted option, you can’t control whether your intended viewer will share your URL with someone else. As YouTube advises, if you want to avoid others sharing your link, set videos to private.
That said, larger companies should look for a video marketing platform with more sophisticated security options.
A standard B2B video marketing platform will often allow you to invite specific people (internal or external) to join your instance to view an asset (or a group of assets), and you can determine the actions they can perform (i.e. they can view, but not share; or they can view, download, and see the audience engagement metrics for select videos, for example). However, because security needs range based on your company’s size, some video platform providers cater to the enterprise with advanced options.
Here’s a few to look out for when evaluating platforms:
Password Protected Video
As the name implies, this is a gating option that only permits authorized employees or workgroups to view your content. You set the password or access code, and only those who have it can view the content.
Domain Control and Time-based Delivery
To go a step further, you can restrict the domain on which your video is embedded or shared. In this scenario, if you had a custom sales pitch video for a high-value prospect embedded on a web page, your audience could view the content on said page, but couldn’t share or embed it elsewhere.
Some platforms also allow you to schedule when you want a video to become available and when the embed code will expire – otherwise known as time-based delivery. By making a video active for only a certain time, you can ensure it’s watched within a limited period (maybe during or after a scheduled live demo, for example).
IP Address Restriction and Single-Sign-On
If you’re looking for a very secure way to ensure only those within your company can access your videos, a platform equipped with IP Address restriction is an excellent option. This means that your videos won’t load if someone’s browser isn’t using a whitelisted IP address, network, or VPN. This method is definitely a handy option for ensuring your internal training videos aren’t educating the competition too.
For those interested, you can also BYOAS (i.e. bring your own authentication system). In other words, single-sign-on is available if your company wants to create an internal video content hub for all your training content, internal communications, and executive briefs. With this option, employees can simply login to your company’s video portal to see videos using their company credentials.
Encrypted Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMPE)
Select video platforms offer RTMPE, or video streaming as a means of securely delivering your video content. In short, this method breaks your video up into pieces to be delivered only as playback if a specific piece is required. This method is pretty clever in that nobody ever has your full video on her computer at one time (so it’s difficult to copy or steal the content). This is especially helpful if you’re particularly security conscious, or, in a different context, if you’re trying to monetize premium content.
Overall, video encryption involves encrypting the transmission of your content as it is delivered via video stream or in “packets” of content, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When looking for a video platform suited for the enterprise, you’ll want to know whether your videos files will be encrypted at rest and in transfer. As a baseline, AES 256 is an encryption algorithm you can be pretty confident about since it’s accepted as standard by U.S. and Canadian governments.
Secure video opens up doors for your business to provide what’s now an expected content format to your internal audience of employees, and to external viewers without the worry that it’ll “go viral”. Shop around for the security measures mentioned here and your audience should always be exactly who you intend.