Educational institutions should secure their online platforms

by CXOtoday Staff    Aug 24, 2010

SecurityThese days it is common for universities to have an online interactive platform to distribute course documents and exchange information on forums. These platforms can also be used as an administrative tool as they contain personal data of students and teachers. As a result educational institutions as well as their students need to be more careful and aware of security issues when using such online platforms.

Students use either their own PCs or those provided by the educational institution they attend. Therefore in order to prevent identity theft and data theft, online applications used by schools and universities should be sufficiently protected.

However, in reality, many platforms are only secured with a weak static password. And although choosing a complicated password and changing it regularly is encouraged, it is rarely obligatory. It is thus not unthinkable that online fraudsters would be able to hack the user accounts and abuse personal information they can find there to conduct, for instance, phishing attacks.

An effective countermeasure against hackers is strong two-factor authentication, which can be achieved by replacing static passwords with more secure dynamic ones. Dynamic passwords or one-time passwords minimize the risk of password theft, as they are valid for a limited amount of time and can be used only once. Strong authentication thus ensures that only authorized users have access to the application, and at the same time remains a very user-friendly solution.