When people think about security and IP traffic, they typically think about digital rights management (DRM), and all the attendant connotations that come with it. However, there are really two different types of security to consider: DRM that secures the content itself, and network security, which secures the transport of IP packets.
In the second category, Motorola announced today that the company has achieved “Manufacturer Certificate Authority” status from CableLabs for DOCSIS 3.0 products. What that means is Motorola is certified to provide security keys and certificates for all DOCSIS equipment, from DOCSIS 1.0 through DOCSIS 3.0.
Aside from the fact that security in DOCSIS systems is important, the news is interesting in the context of Motorola’s history as a provider of conditional access (CA) technology. On the broadband side of the business, most folks think of Motorola for its set-tops. What is talked about less frequently in mainstream discussions is the conditional access security technology that makes those set-tops viable in an industry obsessed with protecting its content. The CA technology used to be embedded in set-tops, but is now effectively separated through the deployment of CableCARDs. In any case, it is a huge piece of what made Motorola successful in the cable world.
On the DOCSIS front (mainly modems today) security is certainly as important it is in set-tops. For the entertainment industry it is becoming even more so as more content is delivered over IP. How should content providers deliver that security? It certainly starts with the network.