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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 11, 2011

Pay-TV Security Validation Program Launched by Farncombe

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor

A security validation program has been launched by Farncombe Consulting Group. New conditional access or CA (News - Alert) and DRM products will therefore receive a smooth progress to the market. An operator or content provider will be also able to select or confirm the use of a new system in an easy manner. Farncombe Consulting Group is a privately-owned European TV services consultancy.

Compliance with certain objective minimum security requirements or MSRs can be gauged by filling in a self-administered questionnaire. This is the first step of the program. The second step involves a comprehensive review and validation process. This process is carried out only if the questionnaire has been satisfactorily completed.

In a release, Andrew Glasspool, co-founder and head of the development of the new program at Farncombe said, "At the moment, CA and DRM system vendors with untested security systems will often be asked to pay for a full audit - without any idea whether they are likely to pass or not."

According to Glasspool, the vendors will be able to obtain an accurate picture of whether their new product is ready for an assessment with the company’s custom pre-review process. They can then proceed to a full review after completing the first step.

A full report is received by the vendor in case a CA system fails to comply with the Farncombe MSRs. The report describes the measures on which it failed. Before a report can be re-submitted or taken to a full review at a later date, the aspects which need to be rectified are also mentioned in the report.

In a release, Glasspool said, "They get to identify the up-and-coming products and create a security road-map for their businesses going forward; while the vendors can call on an independent and respected expert opinion to show that they are in a position to support the requirements of both operators and content-providers."

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell