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.
Source: Accenture Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study
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 online. Now we will discuss 5 different platforms, the pros and cons of each and when you should consider using them.
- 1 6 Ways to Securely Share Videos Online
- 1.1 File Sharing – Google Drive/Dropbox/OneDrive
- 1.2 YouTube – Optimized for Playback but Not Secure
- 1.3 Securely Sharing Through VIDIZMO
- 1.4 WeTransfer
- 1.5 Streamable
- 1.6 Wistia
- 2 Securely Sharing Videos Online – Which Solution is Best?
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, convenient and enhanced for video playback.
File Sharing – Google Drive/Dropbox/OneDrive
The simplest and easiest way to share a video is to upload the 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 (like VIDIZMO) and we’ll discuss this 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 if it’s a small file.
- 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.
- Google drive provides secure storage and delivery of your videos through it’s robust encryption mechanism. At rest, content is broken into chunks and each chunk is encrypted using AES256 keys, and each key is also encrypted using Key Encryption Keys (KEK). The whole process is also done through FIPS 140-2 Compliant algorithms.
- Google Drive is not the best for large video files. The maximum file size of the video could be 5TB, so it works if you don’t have such a large video. However, with normal large size videos being a couple of GBs, you’ll still face issues in uploading videos to Drive. As opposed to much better methods of uploading large video files such as assigning a watch folder or uploading in the background through a desktop application.
- 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 discuss 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.
- Dropbox 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. Or you can keep it private and share with select email addresses.
Yes, you can share videos privately on YouTube! And it’s best if you are not concerned about video ownership and want the video to play in high quality for the recipient. Here are some things you should take into consideration:
- 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 allows you to share videos for one-off instances, but isn’t a good option if you need to create a private on-demand library that is accessible to certain individuals only. We’ll talk about what this means in a bit.
- 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 for video asset management 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. Unlike most platforms, here you can generate multiple links and send different ones to different people.
- All video file sharing is done through tokenized links so you can expire the shared link as and when you wish.
- 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 for caching, 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 into more than 90 languages.
- You can include timed annotations, surveys, 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 and compliances provided by Azure and AWS, which includes robust on-rest data encryption. Learn more about security in VIDIZMO.
- 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 create a private video library, 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, the 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.
- As an admin, you can force an HTTPS connection such that no user can access videos using the HTTP alternative. This feature ensures consistent SSL-based video streaming and helps in mitigating Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks.
- Offers video hosting in China through professional services.
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).
VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube has solutions for both large enterprises and small businesses, with Azure, AWS, on-premise deployment and a SaaS version (Learn more on How to Buy VIDIZMO). For small organizations that need to securely share videos, we’d recommend trying out the smallest plan, which is for $13/month and you can obviously scale if the need arises.
Oh! Here’s the VIDIZMO Player, Embedded with a Short Video For You To Watch
Leading organizations such as the US State Department and NEC Japan use VIDIZMO for video sharing and management – view VIDIZMO Customers
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 is the easiest and quickest option, as you can go to their website and just start sharing.
- 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.
Streamable is another quick and easy tool that you can use to share videos online. And just like WeTransfer, it’s completely free. With its free version, you can upload videos and share them through means of a link. Here’s an overview of what Streamable has to offer:
- You can upload videos for up to 10 minutes or 250MB for free. You’ll need to pay for more storage if needed.
- Videos are optimized for streaming and readily play through the browser.
- Large videos files are automatically compressed so your recipients’ can directly play them.
- You don’t get private video sharing using email addresses.
- Anyone can download the video through the source URL, which makes it the least secure option on the list.
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:
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.