Selecting an LMS: On-Premise & Security

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Selecting an LMS: On-Premise & Security

The more connected our world becomes, the more security has become a concern when it comes to purchasing software.

Is my Learning Management System (LMS) secure?

This question should be at the top of your list when it comes to selecting an LMS. Any new software immediately becomes part of your business ecosystem – and as they say, a chain is only as secure as its weakest link.

An LMS usually contains sensitive information. This includes employee data and confidential product or strategy details. A breach of the LMS could be disastrous. You could lose competitive advantage, or worse, commit a compliance infringement.

Would you want your LMS to be the weakest link in your enterprise network?

Data security is a huge issue. Thousands of websites are hacked every day causing businesses to lose their data and reputation. It can also cause financial harm, emotional distress and clients’ confidence lost.

There is a trend toward training in the cloud, but this could potentially put the safety of your business at risk. Some Cloud LMS providers don’t perform security audits, they might not deliver your data over secure connections or even store all of your personal and learner data in plain text.

It’s really very simple. Once you put data into a SaaS system, you give permission to unknown entities who can and will access your data. So, it’s imperative that you feel confident that the LMS provider you choose takes security as seriously as you do.

So what makes an LMS secure?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an LMS that will help keep your LMS secure:

  1. On Premise Deployment. On-premise is the only way to have full control of your security, information and data.
  2. Single Sign-On with Active Directory. An authentication system demonstrates who is accessing the system.
  3. Two Factor Authentication. In addition to SSO, it’s important to authenticate users outside of the system who access the LMS.
  4. SSL. Encrypted communications provide optimal security conditions by industry standards.
  5. User Role Setup. User roles determine what activities users are allowed to perform, what data they have access to and whom they can work with.

The Selection Process

Choosing an LMS is no small task. In order to have the best chance of success, it’s imperative to put a team together that represents all stakeholders and their needs.

The IT department should be center stage when choosing an LMS. They bring useful insight about technical requirements needed in an LMS, such as:

  • Deployment models
  • Integration ability
  • Customization strategy
  • Feature development
  • Enhancements
  • Security

In the past year, 31 percent of LMS buyers switched to a new LMS system. Not meeting IT security requirements is one reason why they switch. Another issue is the LMS not integrating with other business systems.

Security is important in the selection of an LMS. Ask yourself these questions: Does the vendor provide enterprise-grade encryption? Do they show you a service-level agreement with clearly defined data policies? Does the platform comply with regulations for your industry (e.g., HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GLBA)?

For some companies, the nature of their business requires ultimate security. That means the cloud will never be an option. Even with the popularity of the cloud, larger organizations are still more likely to be running on premise. And, this generally comes down to the need for control.

Choosing an LMS isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work and due diligence before making a final decision. Your IT strategy must be considered and positioned as a top priority. As a result, there will be a higher chance that your LMS will fit cohesively within your business environment and contribute successfully to the goals of your company.

If your company needs an on premise LMS solution and has SharePoint then our solution, ShareKnowledge, may be a good option. ShareKnowledge inherits all existing authentication protocols from SharePoint and can seamlessly ‘talk’ to all of your other business systems – providing a much more secure and cohesive solution. For more information, please fill out the form and a team member will contact your shortly.

Key Consideration:
Technology, Selection

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