Remote Education & Training: How To Secure Courses And Educational Materials From Sharing And Piracy

Remote education and training are already widely available, but it’s a competitive market, and security is still being overlooked, especially in the case of online courses.

New, affordable enterprise-level software-as-a-service options that allow companies to customize learning and development plans, as well as courses and online content, are available.

These can be used as part of the enterprise learning and development pipeline to quickly create personalized learning programs for employees and members of the community. However, that education also comes at a price — security is only part of the challenge. 

Traditional sharing of educational materials occurs in a number of different ways, some of which are the same as other forms of content theft.

Remote Education & Training

For example, a person may commit theft by copying a course or course materials and then posting them online. However, the implications and consequences of this form of copyright infringement are even more severe in a learning environment.

The downloader of the course or educational material is not only stealing the product, but also the time, effort, and money that went into producing it.

Furthermore, this person is possibly taking away the ability of a person to get the course for free, or at least under a license that allows for widespread distribution. 

Additionally, this person is more likely to sell the program on online or retail sites and make money from it. Again, this person is taking something that wasn’t theirs and placing their financial value on it. 

Even if the downloader does not accept a profit, their information and actions leave a far larger digital footprint that can be used to identify them and affect their career, so it’s not a great option. 

Sharing of course and educational material over the Internet

There are several different ways the sharing of course and educational materials can occur. One is by “ripping” (copying a CD-ROM or DVD and forwarding it to others for download).

Another method is to copy course materials, apply patches and distribute them online, or simply to link to another website or web-based discussion forum in which other people have discussed a course.

Another form of sharing is to broadcast lectures to friends or colleagues, as was done with MIT’s TV Lectures. This is also known as “e-learning TV.” 


If you’re not taking steps to secure course materials, they can be easily stolen, along with the time, effort, and money associated with creating them.

A person who decides to share a course or curriculum with their friends or colleagues has little incentive to do anything beyond linking to the course, which they’ll never view.

In a number of scenarios, it can be expected that someone will learn from watching the video and continue to learn from it later.

Unfortunately, these resources remain vulnerable to damage and theft when they’re provided online, or sent as attachments to email and shared without proper security measures. 

Securing data, preventing IP theft, and sharing

Before sharing learning or educational materials, it’s essential to assess the privacy and security of the person receiving your information.

If you don’t know, you should do some additional research. But, if you do know them, you should make certain that you have done your due diligence. Find out the following: 

  • Verify that you know and trust this person. 
  • Identify a reason why you’re sending the information to them. 
  • Make sure you know how they’re allowed to receive the information and what restrictions they have. 

Educational institutions, corporate learning centers, and employers should not only verify the identity of any individual receiving course materials but also use additional methods to confirm whether it’s actually a student or an employee. 

Secure remote training and document printing

To prevent people from stealing your materials, you should encrypt your content. Encryption refers to a technology that scrambles data so it can’t be read without the key (or password). Encrypting content can help prevent piracy because it prevents people from taking and downloading a course from your network and then sharing it with others. 

However, this is only effective if everyone involved uses secure remote training – using the appropriate software tools, to prevent copying, printing, and editing of content. 

Encrypting and securing information is key, but protecting course content needs to have additional security measures to control how content is used once it has been decrypted.  

DRM – The perfect security solution for controlling course content access and materials 

The need for encryption is critical when it comes to securing course materials and information related to course development. 

For instance, the “courseware suite” – a collection of materials for learning, development, collaboration, and delivery – is an essential component for creating and delivering a successful corporate learning strategy. Organizations seeking to deliver courseware or materials for learning or development should also protect these resources by using a suitable system such as DRM that meets their needs. 

DRM protects against a range of security threats, including: 

  • Copying, including copy and paste 
  • Sharing 
  • Printing 
  • Editing 
  • Screen grabbing 

The best DRM helps reduce these threats by protecting content and ensuring it is stored and accessed securely regardless of its location. When the system is configured correctly, the content and the entire system, including document printing, are authenticated, allowing it to be controlled and restricted. 

Enabling the appropriate security for protecting and managing the security of courseware and information effectively prevents users from gaining unauthorized access. This is done by protecting the physical device and by encrypting the content. Encrypted content provides protection against unauthorized use whereas DRM controls enforce how that content can be used by authorized users. 

The technology used for any DRM system has to be robust. It should prevent unauthorized access to the system and any content. The system should also enforce security and other technical controls to ensure that training courses stay secure such as copy protection and materials from being printed. 

Learning organizations can use DRM to protect the security of courseware and content and prevent piracy and unauthorized sharing. 

Further Read:

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  3. What Kind of Anti Malware Policy Do Computer Users Need?
  4. How to Create a Custom E-Learning App for the UAE