The Mean Failure Cost Cybersecurity Model to Quantify Security in E-Learning Environments

The Mean Failure Cost Cybersecurity Model to Quantify Security in E-Learning Environments

Neila Rjaibi (University of Tunis, Tunisia), Latifa Ben Arfa Rabai (University of Tunis, Tunisia) and Ali Mili (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8844-5.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter presents an overview of security challenges in e-Learning systems, and discusses a recent review related research on security risk management approaches in e-Learning to give a proper context to our work. The literature review proves a lack in quantitative security risk management models applied to e-learning system and presents the strengths of the Mean Failure Cost model in quantifying security threats with a financial risk measure. Moreover, we focus on presenting security aspects of e-Learning applications, and analyze its respective stakeholders, security requirements, architectural components and threats. The Mean Failure Cost (MFC) cyber security measure suitable for e-Learning systems is defined and computed. We adapt it to quantify security threats and risk within e-learning systems. It is based on the identification of system's architecture, the well-defined classes of stakeholders, the list of possible threats and vulnerabilities and the specific security requirements related to e-Learning systems and applications.
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Introduction

As the reach of the internet expands to cover ever broader aspects of our economic and social welfare, cyber security is emerging as a major concern for researchers and practitioners, dealing as it does with privacy, confidentiality, user authentication, etc. E-learning systems epitomize computing systems and networks of the internet generation, since they involve multiple stakeholders, geographically distributed resources and data, and special requirements for confidentiality, authentication, and privacy.

Addressing Cyber Security within e-Learning systems becomes empowered to make online information more secure. Certain competences need to be identified as necessary skills to manage security online such the ability to assess sources and architectural components, understanding the privacy, confidentiality and user authentication.

Quantitative security risk management models are an important concern for most organizations and networking contexts, in order to assess, gauge risks and disclose security problems related to security requirements, architectural components, threats and stakeholders.

The literature review proves a lack in quantitative security risk management models applied to e-learning system and presents the strengths of the Mean Failure Cost model in quantifying security threats with a financial risk measure. Given the shortcoming of the proposed qualitative security management approaches for e-Learning, we propose to study the way of quantifying security threats within e-learning platforms.

This chapter focalizes on the quantification of security threats of a given e-system in general and for e-learning system in particular using an economic measure abridged by MFC (Mean Failure Cost).

We focus on presenting security aspects of e-Learning application, and analyze its respective stakeholders, security requirements, architectural components and threats. In addition, we adapt the MFC measure to quantify security threats and risk within e-learning systems.

This chapter proposes:

  • An overview of security challenges in e-Learning systems;

  • A recent review related research on security risk management approaches in e-Learning, to give a proper context to our work.

  • We focus on presenting security aspects of e-Learning applications, and analyze its respective stakeholders, security requirements, architectural components and threats.

  • A cyber security measure called the Mean Failure Cost (MFC) suitable for e-Learning systems is defined and computed. We adapt it to quantify security threats and risk within e-learning systems. It is based on the identification of system’s architecture, the well-defined classes of stakeholders, the list of possible threats and vulnerabilities and the specific security requirements related to e-Learning systems and applications.

This chapter forms a huge potential to focus in general and deeply the e-learning global policies and in particulars the cyber security and security risk management of e-learning systems in order to implement future safe and secure e-learning platforms. This current research can assist security professionals and experts, administrators, and others involved in the e-learning sector in making their security decisions to reduce the technological cost investment without increasing the risk.

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What Is E-Learning?

A clear definition of E-learning concept is the use of technology to deliver information for training. This modern education is useful and interesting in the way it creates interactions between learners and instructors, or learners and learners regardless of time and space (Sun et al., 2008). E-learning is an educational system where the instructor and the learner are at distance, the use of the technology makes collaboration and communication possible between them.

The E-learning has gone through a spectacular development during the past years. In today’s Internet age, education requires the share and the distribution of information. We need a system or a platform, and then we call this an e-learning system or distance learning system or the e-learning platform which supports the online and / or the live and / or the blended learning processes. When they support live learning they can be an electronic support for course.

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