The world is undergoing a digital revolution. We are moving from physical spaces and face-to-face interactions to the online world at lightning speed. But are we ready?
As an increasing amount of our lives moves to the digital space, the security systems that businesses and organizations once relied on in the physical space need to be carried over. Police, anti-theft systems, exam proctors, surveillance systems—these checks on misbehavior and threats to institutional integrity need to be moved into the digital world.
Virtual Security for Exams
In the absence of such online security systems, businesses and organizations are vulnerable to digital breaches of their proprietary content and information, which spells trouble for institutional integrity. This risk is especially pronounced with tests and exams, which are easily spread in the digital space in a variety of potential platforms.
Exams and tests are not only for testing organizations, like College Board, but also for training purposes within the organization. For example, tech companies such as Amazon use certification programs in order to ensure candidates have the skills necessary to do the job well. But what happens when those tests are leaked online? One online leak can have the effect of compromising an exam—or the integrity of an entire institution.
What Can Be Done? Protecting Your Intellectual Property Through Content Monitoring
Now more than ever, leaders in businesses and non-profits must adapt to the digital revolution by protecting their intellectual property online through content monitoring. They must work with online security experts, just as they do with physical security experts.
Qualified online security experts have the experience, qualifications, and skill sets necessary to diagnose the current security statuses of their clients, and to provide regular updates on the evolution of that status. In the context of exams, these security experts have the training and expertise to navigate the darkest parts of the web—like braindumps (websites that distribute stolen test material), peer-to-peer sharing, social media, discussion boards, blogs, and websites—to uncover stolen test content. A content monitoring expert can uncover the sites and boards where exam content has been exposed, which exam content is compromised, who may have stolen it, and how it will impact your institution.
Can Your Organization Keep Up with Content Monitoring?
A few things to consider:
- Bandwidth: Automated web crawlers are helpful, but they aren’t enough. Consider whether your team has the bandwidth to focus on content monitoring for your intellectual property.
- Expertise: Do you understand the specific online threats your organization faces or where to search for your leaked exam content? Depending on your industry and the type of exam you are administering, there may be specific locations your test takers frequent, and where you ought to search more rigorously.
- Trends over time: The location of your stolen exam content can reveal the behavior your test takers might employ to steal and disseminate your intellectual property. Uncovering this information can help you better prepare with enhanced security in specific areas of your test administration, item creation, and other areas.
- Language: The internet knows no barriers to language or geography. Scour the web for exam content leaks in different languages and dialects, and search for content in social media sites and websites specific to the region where content might be shared.
In the end, monitoring the web for stolen test content is the only sure-fire way to ensure your exam hasn’t been leaked and distributed online. Preserve your intellectual property and the integrity of your assessments through content monitoring, and when necessary, enlist the help of an expert.