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Preventing Data Security Breaches on an LMS

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Preventing Data Security Breaches on an LMS

How can you ensure the safety of your confidential data? What does it take to prevent a costly information heist? One of the key repositories of your organizational data is your Learning Management System (LMS). It is a treasure trove of sensitive information – information about your business processes and strategies, new products, and other vital information, and theft or destruction of this data could have catastrophic consequences.

Let us now look at some of the common challenges to the security of information stored in LMSs.

Challenge 1: Implementing effective authentication management

This is arguably the biggest information security challenge in the use of an LMS. Authentication management encompasses all activities related to identifying specific users and managing active sessions. Companies need to make sure that they have robust processes in place to manage data authentication (usernames and passwords) to prevent it from falling into wrong hands. For instance, it is advisable to have proper procedures to change passwords to prevent unauthorized access to your LMS and ensure the security of your confidential information.

Challenge 2: Encrypting information

Proper encryption of sensitive information in your LMS goes a long way in securing it against confidentiality attacks – attacks carried out by hackers to access and distribute confidential information. To overcome these challenges to the safety of data stored in your LMS, you need to focus on the storage and management of cryptographic codes, security of direct objects reference, and procedures to handle errors.

Challenge 3: Preventing Denial of Service (DoS) and integrity attacks

DoS attacks are primarily carried out to make the learning content inaccessible to users. Attackers either use the flaws in an LMS to carry out requests that make it perform an endless cycle of actions or “flood” it with a large number of requests so that it crashes. On the other hand, integrity attacks intend to compromise or destroy the data stored in the LMS. You need to focus on aspects such as changes to access permissions and privileges, detection of unauthorized devices and applications connected to your company’s network and so on to ensure the security of your critical data.

Let us now look some of the best practices of ensuring data security in your LMS.

Best practice 1: Use Secure Socket Layers (SSLs) for all actions

SSLs help overcome the data safety challenges in using your LMS by facilitating secure communication between the LMS and the browser. Many popular LMSs such as MOODLE use SSLs to cover certain critical actions. However this may be inadequate to ensure the security of sensitive information stored in the LMSs. Therefore, it is advisable to use SSLs for all actions in the LMS.

Best Practice 2: Generate new ID sessions for each validation

SSLs would be ineffective in thwarting attacks on your LMS if a new user is connected through the HTTP protocol devoid of SSL. This threat to the data security of your LMS can be overcome by creating a new ID session when the login credentials supplied by the user are validated.

Best Practice 3: Use CAPTCHA on the login page

CAPTCHAs go a long way in ensuring the safety of data in your LMS from attacks. Adding a CAPTCHA to the sign-up page makes it very hard for attackers armed with automated tools to break into the system.

To overcome challenges to the security of data in your LMS, you need to:

  • Implement effective authentication information management policies and make sure your LMS data is well-encrypted.
  • Focus on detecting unauthorized applications and devices connected to your network. It is essential to have a robust system to manage permissions and privileges. It is advisable to use SSLs for all LMS actions and regenerate a new ID session for each validation of login credentials.
  • Use CAPTCHAs on the sign-up page to prevent automated attacks.

How do you ensure the safety of the confidential information in your LMS? We’d love to know.

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