Building an online course is no small feat. It requires countless hours of research and work processes to convert the knowledge into digestible formats for learners. Now imagine all that hard work going to waste because of cyberattacks.
A learning management system (LMS) lets you host your online learning and protect the content of your courses, thanks to its practical and interactive elements. But most of the LMS systems focus on course development and delivery, giving little to no consideration to the privacy and security of the course content.
Whether your goal is to train students or enable data-driven recruitment in your organization, you should understand the security features a prospective LMS offers—and this guide is the best place to start. Read on to learn the must-have security features for an LMS and how to choose the right one to protect your online content.
Why Are Privacy and Security Important for Online Courses?
Online courses or training materials usually contain sensitive information you don’t want available to unauthorized persons or third parties.
Suppose your online course platform only relies on users logging in to the platform for security. In that case, it defeats the purpose of allowing only specific individuals to access the LMS because users can easily share login credentials.
Any online course platform must have a strong security component for adequate protection against cybersecurity threats and internet data breaches. While there’s a lot of value in having an LMS for e-learning, you must take security very seriously so you don’t end up trading convenience and scale for more risk.
Another critical factor for secure LMS features is that stolen content can be very costly to an organization. An attack or system compromise can endanger personal information, expose proprietary business information, and disrupt learning operations.
Your customers and employees want to know that their data and personal information are safe. So security features are essential for protecting your user data and company details.
What Are the Key Security Features of an LMS?
Most modern LMS contain advanced security protocols to ensure that your course information is safe from prying eyes. But to be sure you’re working with the right system, consider an LMS that has these key security features:
Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is an important protocol for securing data on the internet. It’s a snippet of code encrypting the traffic between a webpage and a user’s browser.
Usually, this traffic is unencrypted and accessible to hackers. But with an SSL enabled in your LMS, the traffic becomes encrypted and accessible only by the webpage and users logged into it. This makes online communications secure and keeps information private.
SSL also protects sensitive data, like credit card information, from unauthorized persons. Hence, every LMS portal should support SSL to protect users’ private information. Also note that all subdomains should have SSL enabled, not just the main website.
2. 2-Step Verification
2-step verification is a setting where the user is required to input a code sent to their mobile phones in addition to the login credentials. This makes the LMS even more secure than merely using your username and password. So even if an attacker guesses or steals the password, they need your mobile phone or fingerprint to access the LMS.
3. Complex Password Requirements
Most people use the same password across all passworded devices and accounts. Research shows that 60% of people reuse passwords across multiple sites. Attackers know this and can easily break these passwords. Then, they have access to systems they have no business being in.
To prevent a data breach, an LMS should require a complex password structure for registering new users, ideally between 8 and 22 characters, including upper cases, lower cases, numbers, and symbols. It should also have good password policies, reminding users not to use easily hackable passwords when registering.
4. Reliable and Frequent Data Backups
To make online learning more effective, the LMS should automatically back up all data to prevent data loss. By this, user information remains safe, even if the data is erased by mistake or corrupted by malware.
Create a bullet-proof content production process and protect your course content by following these backup best practices:
- Conduct backups offsite on a separate server
- Test backups frequently to ensure the data is stored in the right format
- Perform backups regularly (daily, if possible)
5. Single Sign-On (SSO)
SSO allows users to log in and access multiple resources with a single user ID and password rather than remembering new login credentials. For instance, users can log into the LMS using their work email and password instead of different login details.
An LMS with SSO increases the security of the IT environment and provides your learners with streamlined access to course content.
6. Locked Content
High-performing teams in tech can relate to protecting their intellectual properties in cloud-based platforms. Naturally, you want to prevent users from downloading and reselling your course content to others or giving it away for free.
Your LMS should also enable locked content to prevent unauthorized downloads of videos and other content assets in the platform unless specified otherwise..
7. User Roles
User roles help to define structure and hierarchy, making training management efficient. It prevents anyone in the LMS network from doing anything they like to your course materials. For example, a student may edit your course materials without clearly defined user roles. And you don’t want that happening.
Implementing user roles as a secure LMS feature lets you limit administrative features and permissions to specific users, preventing data from getting into the wrong hands, even if the said user has access to the LMS.
8. System Audit Logs
An audit log records all the system’s actions, events, and changes. It captures the event name as identified by the system, the actor behind the activity, the source from which the actor originated (IP address, hostname, country, etc.), and the event timestamp.
System audit logs help security teams to investigate breaches, monitor data misuse, reduce security vulnerabilities, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. With the advancement of data-driven company culture, it’s necessary to protect your online course content by implementing system audit logs in your LMS.
9. GDPR Compliance
When choosing an LMS to host online course content, your company’s and learner’s information security should be top of mind. And the easiest way to ensure this is by picking an LMS that complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR is an advanced safety protocol that aims to regulate the use of data by businesses and how much data they can retain. Its set of rules is designed to give EU citizens more control over their data to prevent misuse by organizations. Even if your business is based outside of Europe, ensuring that your LMS provider follows data protection rules is critical.
How Do LMS Security Features Boost Your Revenue?
When you have security features in your LMS, you become less worried about the loss of content and begin to see a boost in your revenue. The LMS security features make this happen through the following features:
As a course creator, your content or intellectual property is a valuable source of revenue. And without adequate protection, it may easily fall into the wrong hands.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) encryption protects your videos, PDF’s and digital assets, thereby securing your margins and bottom line. It stores your assets on safe AWS servers to prevent unauthorized sharing or copying, giving you complete control over your digital content.
Thanks to this, no one can use third-party plugins or hacks to download your videos from the web or mobile apps. You’re good to go! So if you’re looking to improve your digital asset management and streamline your collaboration processes, consider implementing a DAM system with asset sharing capabilities.
Screen Recording & Device Restrictions
Screen recording is one of the most typical ways of piracy in the online education industry. It’s a critical issue for any content provider to consider as it brings enormous business losses.
Using LMS security features, you can prevent screen recording on your website and mobile apps. There are smart technologies that detect if screen recording apps are running and terminate the browser.
In addition, you can limit students to using a single device to access your course.
Dynamic watermarking smartly protects your course contents and helps you lock down your shared content even further. It prevents theft of your content, ultimately boosting your revenue.
Watermark your videos and PDFs with the verified student email, phone number, or custom text. This allows you to pinpoint the piracy source, making it difficult for anyone to pirate your content online.
Anti-piracy packs reduce the risk of content piracy by restricting learners’ login-sharing behavior and preventing screen captures.
Here’s how it works:
- Set a fixed monthly login limit for each user. When the limit is exceeded, the user has to enter an OTP while signing in. This OTP restricts login credential sharing.
- Monitor the IP address of each user device and block users who frequently log in from multiple IP addresses from accessing your content.
Watch Time Restrictions
Watch time restrictions limit students’ watch time for the courses to prevent login sharing. When each student only has a certain number of watch hours, they are less inclined to exchange login credentials with other students. This way, your course content is not given away for free, giving your business a chance to succeed and increase revenue.
Use Learnyst to Create and Protect Your Online Course
With billions of internet users today, it’s almost guaranteed that your intellectual property will get into the wrong hands if not adequately protected. Learnyst provides all the essential security features, including industry standard DRM encryption and screen capture restriction, to supercharge your e-learning business and increase your revenue.