Securing Data in The Cloud

We have seen a huge increase in data breaches in the world.  We read stories daily about large scale data breaches, like the one reportedly suffered recently by search engine giant Yahoo in August.

Two hundred million accounts –usernames, hashed passwords created with the md5 algorithm, dates of birth, and occasional backup email addresses–were supposedly up for sale on the dark web .

Now, all these denial of service attacks which overload big internet companies so legitimate users can’t use them. Seems no data is really safe.

Here are some sobering statistics from a data security blog which monitors digital break-ins.

More than half a billion compromised records this year, which roughly breaks down like this:

  • 3.04 million records compromised every day
  • 126,936 records compromised every hour
  • 2,116 records compromised every minute
  • 35 records compromised every second

Most of the digital thievery revolves around identity theft, financial record breaches and account access.  And most of the stolen records were from government with the U.S.  accounting for most of the breaches.  Educational data breaches make up a small percentage of data hacking.

So in this kind of environment, how can you keep your LMS data safe in a cloud-based platform?

There are steps you can take to protect your sensitive data.  First, ask your provider what kind of data encryption they use on their servers and where those servers are located.

For example, we use two world-class data centres in Sydney and Melbourne with a two-factor authentication barrier, security badge system and motion-sensitive cameras to track all data centre activity. Linux certified engineers operate the global data centre which is monitored 24/7.

SSL Certification is another glossary term you should familiarize yourself with.  You may have noticed it when you are signing on to a secure website.  The SSL Certification triggers an “https:” sign-on window that tells you that the information between the web server and browser is encrypted. This encryption is mainly applied in web-based credit card transactions.

Also, ask your cloud provider if their hosting service conducts security audits.  This is an important question.  If you entrust all your data to the company hosting it, they should be transparent in their answer.

Other questions to ask:  How is the data stored and managed?  How does a provider keep their LMS secure?  What are their security practices and policies?

A cloud-based LMS is an attractive way to go.  No technical management issues to deal with. Nothing to install.  Just upload your LMS into the cloud and away you go. If you have any concerns about the security of your learning management system, feel free to contact My Learning Space, for an obligation-free security audit.

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