Farncombe Launches Pay-TV Security Validation Programme

By Farncombe Consulting Group, PRNE
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BASINGSTOKE, England, February 10, 2011 - Farncombe Consulting Group, the privately-owned European TV services
consultancy, has launched a security validation programme designed to
facilitate new conditional access (CA) and DRM products reaching the market.
At the same time the process makes it easier for an operator or content
provider to select or confirm the use of a new system.

The two-step programme involves first filling in a self-administered
questionnaire to gauge compliance with certain objective minimum security
requirements (MSRs) - which if satisfactorily completed then opens the door
to a comprehensive review and validation process.

"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," points out Andrew Glasspool, Farncombe co-founder
and the partner leading the development of the new programme. "Using our
custom pre-review process, they can now obtain an accurate picture of whether
their new product is ready for an assessment. When they've completed that
first step, they can then proceed to a full review."

If a CA system fails to comply with the Farncombe MSRs, the vendor
receives a full report explaining which measures it failed on and which
aspects need to be rectified before it can be re-submitted or taken to a full
review at a later date.

Andrew argues that this should benefit all the main industry players.
"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."

US studio HBO acknowledged the benefit of having a third-party security
auditor provide a summary review of security system details. "Validation of
expectations (or expected performance) of security systems by expert
organizations is essential for content companies to have comfort with systems
used to securely distribute our valuable content," it said.

Dr Abe Peled, Chairman and CEO of NDS Group, a leading content security
company, said, "NDS welcomes this initiative by Farncombe, a well-known
industry expert, which will help the use of adequate security systems by

Nagravision - another top firm in the security field - said: "Nagravision
has known and worked alongside Farncombe for 10 years in the field of pay-TV
security. Their independence and expertise in the area of conditional access
and DRM technology is trusted by operators and content security vendors
alike. Nagravision can unhesitatingly recommend them as leading experts in
the content security field."

The documentation required to apply for the security validation programme
and to be assessed by Farncombe's content security practice can be obtained
from Farncombe on application. A number of security technology companies have
already applied and been assessed.

About Farncombe Consulting Group

The Farncombe Consulting Group (www.farncombe.eu) is a specialised
professional services firm operating in the broad digital video technology,
telecoms and digital media sectors. Initially focused on pay-TV and digital
TV technology through founder company Farncombe Technology, it has since
grown into a globally-recognized television consultancy, servicing a large
international client roster that includes broadcasters, operators, telcos,
hardware and software suppliers and a variety of government, regulatory
bodies and private equity companies.

The Group comprises a number of practice areas covering a wide range of
core skills. These include: Content Security, Strategy, Technology
Consulting, Programme Management, System Integration, Engineering Services,
Test and Certification, Design and Training.

Farncombe's Content Security practice is responsible for administering
the new security validation programme, and has carried out numerous audits of
CA systems. It is frequently asked to assess CA systems as part of RFP and
due-diligence processes, and has advised a wide range of clients on content
security issues, including Hollywood studios and European pay-TV operators.
It was also recently appointed by UK pay-DTT operators Top Up TV and BT
Vision to write an independent paper on minimum security requirements for the
UK regulator Ofcom.

For further information contact Farncombe as below:

    Lara Lerville
    Paris Office

Lara Lerville, Paris Office, +33-1-71-18-29-86, lara.lerville at farncombe.eu

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