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How Secure is Online Proctoring: Things to Know About Online Proctoring

When it comes to online proctoring, security is absolutely vital. It's important for both students and institutions to know that their data is safe and their privacy is protected. But how secure is online proctoring, and how do proctoring companies maintain security for their clients? In this guide, we’ll look at the importance of security for remote proctoring and see how it works.


What Is Security in Online Proctoring?


So, what are we referring to when we speak about security for online proctoring? Well, security in the modern world is typically broken into three key elements, or pillars, known as confidentiality, availability, and integrity.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the part of security which focuses on keeping user data private and confidential. It's all about ensuring that messages, images and other forms of data are only viewable and accessible by those with the appropriate authority. 
It also means that anyone who does not have the relevant authority is blocked and excluded from viewing and accessing this private data. So, in the world of online proctoring, confidentiality means that only authorized people can view the data collected and stored by the proctoring system, and only authorized test takers can access the exam files.

Availability

Availability, meanwhile, is the part of security that focuses on ensuring that systems and apps are running and accessible when they need to be used. It ensures that relevant users are able to access the services and resources they need to access at the appropriate times. 
In the world of online proctoring, this means that the various proctoring controls like webcam monitoring and audio tracking run without interruption or delay during every test period.

Integrity

Integrity is a cornerstone of security in the modern world. This is the part of online security that ensures the integrity or authenticity of data and applications. It makes sure that every piece of relevant data is intact and not tampered with by outside, unauthorized sources.

When it comes to online proctoring, integrity is essential to ensure that messages and alerts from the proctoring software are delivered to the appropriate people without any tampering. It also ensures that examination data is not tampered with in any way which could give a test taker an unfair advantage.


What Remote Proctoring Companies Do For Maintaining Security?


There's a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of a remote proctoring service to ensure that every exam is taken in a completely secure way. Fortunately, the best online proctoring companies have various techniques to create and safeguard secure online testing experiences.

Assessment of Partner Practices Regular Security Audits Recurring Policy Reviews

One of the main ways in which proctoring companies create secure experiences is by reviewing the safety practices of all relevant technology partners. For example, any vendors or software providers connected to a test or exam will need to be analyzed and assessed.

This is a vital part of the secure proctoring puzzle, as a single weak link or loophole could threaten test security in a major way. It's essential for proctoring providers to identify those loopholes or exploitable areas and take steps to seal them.

Regular Security Audits

It's not only partner services that need to be assessed and analyzed. The actual proctoring software will also need to be tested regularly. This is why many remote proctoring companies carry out regular security audits and tests of their services.

Vulnerability scans, for example, are used to identify weaknesses in the system that need reinforcing. Meanwhile, penetration testing looks at how easily a hacker could disrupt the system or access sensitive data. These methods shed light on unseen weak spots and identify ways to make tests more secure for all.

Recurring Policy Reviews

Every trusted remote proctoring provider also needs to carry out regular reviews and updates of their privacy policy, too. The world of online security and data protection is always changing. It's up to proctoring providers to change and evolve with it, making the necessary enhancements and improvements to their policies over time.

A trusted online proctoring provider should regularly review their policy to look for ways in which data is collected, what type of data is collected, and how that data is treated. A strong privacy policy is not only good for the company, but also provides peace of mind to students and faculty.

What Are The Possible Problems With Security Of Remote Proctoring?


Even though remote online proctoring is regarded as one of the most secure methods for testing and student evaluation, there are some potential problems with this approach.

Screen-Sharing

One potential problem with proctoring is the threat of screen-sharing, in which a test taker's screen can be viewed by someone else remotely. They could then see the question and collude with the taker to provide the correct answer.

Remote Access

Remote access takes the above problem even further. In this scenario, it's possible for a test taker to provide access to their computer to someone else who takes the test for them, while the intended taker simply sits in full view of the camera and pretends to do the test.

Authentication Failures

Usually, examinees are asked to display an ID of some kind to their webcam lens to authenticate their identity. There are ways in which this may be exploited, with the use of fake IDs or unclear views of the ID in question.

Privacy Concerns

There's also a risk of privacy concerns for students who are aware that they are being watched while taking an exam. They may fear for the safety of their data and personal identity when having to show IDs to the webcam or share their screen with a proctor.


How Remote Proctoring Companies Deal With Security Problems?


As well as the methods outlined earlier in this guide, like partner assessments and policy reviews, remote proctoring companies use a range of other tools and techniques to provide secure online tests:

Secure Browsers

Most proctoring companies use secure browsers which can be downloaded and installed to student devices in seconds. These browsers maximize protection and privacy for all concerned.

Strong Data Protection

Remote proctoring companies also create strong data protection policies and take extra steps to ensure that user data is safeguarded at all times.

User Comfort

The best online proctoring apps are designed with user comfort in mind. This is done to give students more peace of mind and help them feel safe and comfortable during online tests.

Security Training

Proctors and other users of online proctoring apps are also provided with thorough training before using this software to reduce the risk of errors or malpractice.


What Security Software And Technologies Used In Online Proctoring?


A wide range of security tools and technologies are used by online proctoring providers. The list below provides some of the most commonly-used tools:
  • Firewalls - Web application firewalls work to block and filter unauthorized web traffic in and out of a device or application 
  • Intruder Detection - Intruder detection systems constantly monitor traffic and look for the signs of any intruders on the network 
  • Anti-Malware Programs - Antivirus scanners and anti-malware programs scan for viruses or malicious software on devices and get rid of any threats they find
  • Multifactor Authentication - This form of authentication requires users to have a secondary method of authentication to help with verifying user identity and protecting user accounts
  • Logging Tools - Logging tools are used to identify malicious activities before they have time to spread to other apps or devices 
  • Backups - Backups of data and files are stored and ready to be loaded if the system becomes compromised in any way.


How ProctorEdu Manages Security of Online Monitoring?


ProctorEdu can provide the most secure experiences for examinees and test organizers. Here’s how:

Ongoing Security Training

All new members of our team undergo extensive security training. This ensures that they are not only capable of using our products to an expert-level, but also aware of the importance of security in online testing and how to enforce it. This training is ongoing for all team members.

Peerless Data Protection

ProctorEdu takes data protection seriously. In the case of both test takers and test organizers, data is always treated with care. All data is maintained in the most secure way to protect user privacy and minimize risks.

Secure Browser and Systems

Every aspect of the ProctorEdu experience is designed with strong security in mind. Our secure browser makes testing as safe as it can possibly be for all. And all other aspects, from our privacy policy to our proctoring features, are updated regularly and in line with the highest security standards.


Conclusion


As we can see, the importance of security for online proctoring cannot be understated. Remote proctoring can make online testing infinitely easier and more convenient, but those benefits count for nothing without strong security systems behind them. 

That's why it's so important for test organizers and institutions to always choose a proctoring solution that offers the very best standards of secure testing, data protection, and user privacy. If you’re looking for a secure proctoring provider, ProctorEdu can meet your needs.


FAQs

Can online proctors see you?

Yes, the way in which online proctoring works means that proctors are able to see students as they take tests. They can monitor your screen for any suspicious behavior, like clicking on other windows or opening other apps, as well as your webcam feed.

Is online proctoring legal?

Yes, online proctoring is legal and is fast-becoming one of the most widely-used methods of proctoring in the world today. Students will naturally have to accept the terms of the testing procedure and agree to take the test with proctoring, but the system itself is perfectly legal.

Is Online Proctoring safe?

It depends on which provider you choose. The best online proctoring providers invest in strong security tools and technologies like firewalls, antiviral software, and secure browsers to ensure that the highest levels of security are met during every test and exam experience.