Cyber Security Challenges of Distributed E-Learning Systems

Bandara, I.; Ioras, I.; Maher, K. and Lusuardi, C. (2015). Cyber Security Challenges of Distributed E-Learning Systems. In: INTED2015 Proceedings, IATED, pp. 4605–4609.

URL: https://library.iated.org/view/BANDARA2015CYB

Abstract

Security considerations play an increasingly important role for distributed computing. At the same time e-Learning, which is also a widely used approach to learning, depends crucially on the Internet. E-Learning systems epitomize computing systems and networks of the Internet generation; these systems are complex as they must guarantee a satisfactory experience for the learner and a positive image of the learning process. Nowadays the Internet is confronted with security challenges as a result of increased illegal activities, and the e-learning environment is now confronted with such threats. As e-Learning systems are open, distributed and interconnected, delivering a secure environment for multiple learners and stakeholders, in which resources and data are geographically dispersed (and with the additional requirements for confidentiality, authentication, and privacy), becomes even more of a challenge.

In this paper, we illustrate the most important cybersecurity challenges and how to manage these security challenges with respect to the effective operation of distributed e-Learning systems. Security of distributed e-Learning systems represents a unique challenge as numerous systems are accessed and managed via the Internet by thousands of users over hundreds of networks. Moreover, this paper reveals the prevalence of e-Learning systems and the security associated requirements for distributed computing, with an emphasis on commercial and academic Internet environments. Also, we discuss the major security challenges that can be relevant for distributed e-Learning systems including: IT policies and procedures in distributed e-Learning systems and their standard architecture; and, threat- modeling to identify threats, attacks, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures that could affect distributed e-Learning systems.

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