We all have witnessed the sudden paradigm shift where movie theatres have been replaced by OTT (over the top) platforms and books and magazines by e-books amid the global pandemic.
As social isolation continues to be the new normal amidst remote working and social distancing measures, the popularity of OTT streaming apps – both video and audio has jumped exponentially to meet the surging demand.
The latest stats reveal that the number of users in the OTT Video segment is expected to reach 462.7 million by 2025.
However, with the increase in subscriptions and the number of audiences online, several underlying threats have severely impacted the OTT businesses.
One such issue is poor login concurrency, which can lead to severe identity theft issues for individuals and OTT platforms.
Login concurrency refers to a situation where a user is logged into multiple devices from a single identity.
Login concurrency can be pretty risky as two or more users using the same credentials have access to resources and critical information, and it becomes difficult for service providers to identify the unauthorized user that may have wrong intentions.
Let’s understand this in-depth and understand the harmful consequences of poor concurrency management for OTT platforms and how OTT platform providers can leverage identity management.
What is a Concurrent Login?
Concurrent login is a situation where a user is logged into a network through a single identity from multiple devices and has access to resources and information.
The user can be a single individual or two or even multiple individuals using the same identity on a platform to access services from different locations or devices.
There can be multiple reasons for concurrent login: the user’s negligence, poor session management by vendors, or a sneak into a consumer’s identity.
How Concurrent Login Affects OTT Platform?
Various live streaming cloud OTT providers face challenges where concurrent login issues hamper user experience and eventually become a threat.
Cybercriminals are exploiting consumer identities of OTT subscribers and are accessing critical consumer information and trying to exploit business data for diverse purposes.
Moreover, the most subscribed OTT platform globally has reported users sharing access credentials beyond permitted limits with their friends and families, which is the leading cause of revenue loss.
Thus, to overcome the situation where concurrent login is exploited in OTT services, there needs to be a stringent mechanism that provides real-time insights regarding a user’s login details and adequately manages login sessions for each sign-in and sign-out.
Here’s where the role of a robust CIAM (Consumer Identity and Access Management) comes into play.
Let’s dig deeper into this.
Poor Session Management by OTT Platforms
If a user interacts with a platform and makes several interactions, the web application issues a session ID. This session ID is issued whenever a user logs in and records all their interactions.
It is through this ID that the application communicates with users and responds to all their requests.
The OWASP broken authentication recommendations state that this session ID is equivalent to the user’s original login credentials. If hackers steal a user’s session ID, they can sign in by impersonating their identity. This is known as session hijacking.
The following points list the scenarios that can cause broken authentication.
- Weak usernames and passwords.
- Session fixation attacks.
- URL rewriting.
- Consumer identity details aren't protected when stored.
- Consumer identity details are transferred over unencrypted connections.
Impact of Broken Authentication and Session Management
If a hacker successfully logs in by stealing a user’s credentials using any of the above-mentioned broken authentication techniques, they can misuse their privileges and impact the company's sustainability.
Cybercriminals can have various intentions of hijacking a user’s web application, such as:
- Stealing critical business data
- Identity theft
- Sending fraud calls or emails.
- Creating malicious software programs for disrupting networks.
- Cyber terrorism
- Selling illegal items on the dark web
- Sharing fake news on social media
In short, hackers can use broken authentication attacks and session hijacking to gain access to the system by forging session data, such as cookies, and stealing login credentials.
Thus, it would be best to never compromise with your web applications' security.
How LoginRadius Protects Against Broken Authentication
LoginRadius has been at the forefront of offering a multilevel security web app environment. Here is how LoginRadius applications protect against broken authentication:
- End-to-end SSL encryption for data in transit and ensures protection against unauthorized access.
- Multi-factor authentication eliminates the risk of being exposed to attacks.
- One-way hashing of passwords considerably improves consumer security.
- A single sign-on (SSO) solution allows users to use the same profile to log in everywhere.
With increasing OTT subscriptions and user expectations, OTT platforms need to gear up to deliver a flawless user experience in a way that doesn’t hamper their overall security mechanism quickly.
Adding stringent layers of security through a robust CIAM solution becomes the immediate need of the hour for OTT platforms facing concurrent login issues that affect their brand reputation and overall business revenues.
Originally published at LoginRadius