Sharing videos is similar to sharing any other form of information as it comes with its inherent security risks, when shared online through the internet. It is important to securely share videos online, while also at the same time, ensuring that the sharing process is convenient for both the sender and the recipient. Thankfully, there are tools out there (also known as video sharing platforms) that can help you achieve this, and we’ll be discussing them in this blog.
Before we begin, it’s important to first discuss why it’s even important to think about security when it comes to sharing videos online?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, when information is shared online, there is a risk of breach of sensitive information such as personally identifiable information (PII), controlled unclassified information (CUI), classified information, or sensitive and personal data as under GDPR. Breach of such information can lead to a financial loss, legal action, violation of agreements, violation of compliance, loss in reputation and much more.
Therefore, it’s important to use secure tools when sharing videos online. However, at the same time, it’s also important to keep convenience in mind. For instance, it’s not convenient for your employees to encrypt a video every time they send it. It’s also not convenient for your recipients to decrypt the video when they receive it. The video should easily play on the recipient's end and shouldn't require them to download it (as video sizes can be large!).
With technology evolving, now you can use various free and paid tools to share videos. Now we will discuss 5 different platforms, the pros and cons of each and when you should consider using them.
5 Ways to Securely Share Videos Online
We will be discussing a range of solutions. On one hand you have secure file sharing solutions such as Google Drive, which are not however, best for video playback. On the other hand, you have YouTube, which is not the best in terms of security, but offers one of the best video playback experiences.
We will be also discussing VIDIZMO, which are the best of both worlds; secure and enhanced for video playback.
File Sharing – Google Drive/Dropbox/OneDrive
The simplest and easiest way is to upload the video file on a cloud sharing platform such as Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. In summary, these are highly convenient but do not provide rich security options such as data encryption in transit and rest, greater control over your data (where they are stored and how it is handled for compliance), and rich video experiences.
These limitations are usually covered by Video Content Management Systems and we’ll discuss these later in the blog.
- When it comes to sharing video content through Google Drive, the process is highly convenient, and users can simply upload videos and share them with desired individuals through links.
- Google drive is optimized for video playback. This means that the video will automatically play within the browser, without your recipients requiring to download it. The Google drive player also creates multiple file formats, to ensure people with varying bandwidth conditions are able to play them.
- It, however, takes time to process the video and create quality renditions but this time is negligible.
- Google Drive also gives you the option to restrict downloading from the user’s end, and in that case, you can ensure that videos are not distributed further ahead without your knowledge. However, this option is not available when it comes to sharing videos with public users through links.
- One of the limitations of Google Drive is its encryption. At rest, the content in Google Drive is encrypted using AES256. However, Google being in possession of these keys can always be able to decrypt your data. Moreover, Google decrypts and re-encrypts the data when you upload a file, which gives a small window open for malicious attacks.
- Data transfer in Google Drive is also not end-to-end encrypted, which makes it vulnerable to attacks when being transferred.
- Similar to Google Drive, the uploading and sharing process is convenient in OneDrive.
- One of the advantages of OneDrive is its pricing and plans, where Microsoft offers a range of plans for home, business and enterprises. You can purchase an Office 365 plan and this comes with more than just a OneDrive subscription.
- OneDrive readily plays your videos within the browser, but it’s not the best experience. The player is simple and lacks closed captions. There are no quality renditions, and the playback may not be the best for varying bandwidth conditions or for different devices.
- At rest, encryption provided by Microsoft in OneDrive is encrypted using AES256 and is FIPS 140-2 compliant. The video files uploaded are encrypted as well as the hard drive is encrypted in which they are stored. The overall process is fool-proof and Microsoft generally offers one of the best security within its datacenters. We will discussing this even further ahead.
- Similar to OneDrive and Google Drive, the process is highly convenient for uploading and sharing videos.
- Unlike Google Drive or OneDrive, Dropbox gives you the option to restrict downloading for those that have the video link, and the link can be expired as well. However, these options are not available in its free version.
- OneDrive is also optimized for video playback and similar to Google Drive, it creates multiple qualities of the video.
- Dropbox is the least secure option when comparing with other cloud file sharing platforms. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Dropbox is a cloud service that is not provided by a tech giant, but this isn’t just it. There are two issues. Firstly, Dropbox uses its own keys for encryption and the mechanism isn’t fool-proof as hackers can potentially get access to these keys and decrypt your content. Secondly, the sharing of video files through Dropbox isn’t end-to-end encrypted.
- Dropbox has been involved in a major security breach in 2012, when it ended up compromising data for 68 million people. However, the company has improved its security a lot since then and the 2012 incident doesn’t hold much weight now.
YouTube – Optimized for Playback but Not Secure
A highly simple but not secure method would be to upload your video on YouTube, set it as unlisted and share the video ahead through means of a link. However, sharing a video through YouTube isn’t what you should be doing, if you want to share securely online.
- The advantage of using YouTube is that its optimized for video playback, where the player works on any device and through multiple quality renditions, the videos can be played under varying bandwidth conditions.
- The YouTube player is optimized for accessibility, with closed captions and keyboard shortcuts.
- YouTube offers external embedding, which is a good option for sharing to external audiences, but this embedding can’t be login restricted (which can in fact be restricted in an EVCM as we’ll later discuss).
- The drawback of YouTube is that it does not give you the option to restrict downloading on the user’s end, and in fact, those with the link can share it ahead or embed on external sites as they wish (This too can be solved through an EVCM and we’ll discuss this shortly).
- Uploading videos on YouTube also means that you are giving certain ownership rights to YouTube, which includes authorizing YouTube to reproduce and distribute your content or parts of your content.
Securely Sharing Through VIDIZMO
VIDIZMO is an enterprise video content management system that can allow you to share videos securely online. The advantages of using VIDIZMO are as follows:
- The video sharing process is easy and convenient, where you can bulk upload videos and share them through links or email, with password protection.
- No need to worry about file sizes and formats. The VIDIZMO player is optimized for playback, and creates multiple file formats (an option to choose up to 40 formats) to ensure optimized playback on multiple devices under varying bandwidth conditions. This is done by using technologies such as compression, CDN, and delivery using HLS and MPEG-DASH.
- Before sharing videos ahead, you can add closed caption files, or automatically transcribe and translate these transcriptions using AI.
- You can include annotations, handouts, and comments, to further elaborate on video content that has been shared.
- VIDIZMO provides you with the option to restrict downloading or embedding for a video at the users’ end, and these videos are shared in end-to-end encrypted formats with optional DRM support. Content is encrypted in VIDIZMO using FIPS 140-2 standards.
- VIDIZMO allows you to choose your cloud provider and data center location, or store videos on-premises. You can make use of high-end security an compliances provided by Azure and AWS, which includes robust on-rest data encryption.
- Within video sharing, VIDIZMO offers rich sharing options where you can decide with whom you want to share, the time period between which they can view, and the number of views allowed.
- You can also assign licenses to users with whom you constantly share videos, and as viewers within a YouTube-like portal, they can readily view videos that are assigned to them and no more.
- You can also change the video (re-upload a different version) even after a link has been shared ahead.
- VIDIZMO also supports rich embedding options, with SEO optimization, option to replace videos and the option to restrict viewing for embedded videos to authenticated or SSO authenticated users.
- You can track viewing and sharing activity for all your videos easily, through detailed audit log reports within VIDIZMO.
- You can also set default video publishing settings as an administrator. For instance, you can define a default sharing setting for your employees, with downloading or embedding disabled for all.
VIDIZMO, as an enterprise video content management system offers much more, where you can use the same portal to automatically ingest and manage recorded Zoom or MS Teams' meetings, index large amounts of videos through AI, stream videos externally for marketing and much more.
This is also the option to opt for when you need to share large video files (in TBs or more).
WeTransfer is a simple and convenient, yet secure video sharing website. It’s not the best for sharing video files of large sizes as the video does not automatically play in the browser. There aren’t many features included in the free version of WeTransfer, but you can benefit from much more in their Pro version. Nevertheless, it's very convenient as you can go to their website, upload your video and share the link with your recipients.
- WeTransfer Pro allows you to track downloads for your video.
- WeTransfer allows you to set password protection and expiration for links, to ensure that access is restricted. However, you can’t limit downloads.
- WeTransfer stores data in AWS datacenters, which means that data is highly secure at rest. The data is encrypted using AES 256 encryption at rest and using TLS in transit.
Wistia Video Sharing Platform
Wistia is another option you can look into for sharing videos online. Wistia is a marketing software and a video sharing platform, which is well optimized for sharing videos to anonymous users. With rich features such as embedding and SEO optimization.
- Rich embedding options such as easy embedding, SEO optimized embedding, fast load times and the option to replace a video after it has been embedded. However, for secure embedding, you do not have the option to restrict embedding to authenticated users only.
- Wisita allows you to share videos through links, but on top of that, you can use their application to invite new viewers or collaborators for your project. You can choose to give or not give collaborators and viewers the rights to download or share videos.
- Wistia is also optimized for video playback in a similar way as YouTube and VIDIZMO.
Securely Sharing Videos Online – Which Solution is Best?
The decision of choosing a solution for your organization depends on a few factors and you need to ask yourself these questions:
How large is your organization? How big is the scale of your project? How many people do you have to share with?
If you have a small organization and can easily manage who gets access to your videos and who doesn’t, and can track their viewing activity and link expiration manually, then tools like OneDrive and Google Drive can help you securely share your videos. However, if you have a large number of employees, partners, internal or external stakeholders, then an enterprise video content management system like VIDIZMO can help you better securely share your videos. The reason? It’s because these are more effective in the management of video content and their viewing, and as an administrator, you can control and ensure that videos are being securely shared by all employees in your organization.
How important is security and compliance?
If security and compliance of data are of less importance to your organization, then you can choose simpler tools such as WeTransfer and Dropbox, or YouTube for that matter. However, if you have detailed security and compliance requirements due to organizational or regional regulations, then an enterprise video content management system like VIDIZMO is recommended for you. This is because you can choose how video data is handled, where it’s stored, what access each person has, and the limits to its use.
VIDIZMO offers a detailed video sharing feature but that's not just it. It is a complete enterprise video content management system or enterprise video platform, with features to facilitate end-to-end video use cases; live streaming, on-demand streaming, integrations, AI, branding, analytics. All in one platform!
You can also read our blog on the first video sharing platform, the history of video sharing and more.