Saturday, January 18, 2020

2020 #VWEDU: #BIZ: Can virtual worlds meet network security requirements? Some can and some still have problems.

Can virtual worlds meet network security requirements?   
Some can and some still have problems.

A simplified look at the issues of secure communication in educational use of virtual worlds.
  • Even education has security requirements: FERPA
  • Business and government units have even stronger needs.
  • How well do virtual worlds fit these needs?
  • OpenSimulator: not at all
  • CybaLOUNGE:  Completely and certainly.
  • 3DWebWorldz: It probably does and certainly can.

Private network

  • A private network may be operated by a government agency, business, or school.
  • It may be entirely local or communicate with its nodes via encrypted transmissions. 
  • If a virtual world is operated within a private network, its security depends entirely on Network security.
  • Such a virtual world is as secure as anything else in the network.
  • Opensource software can be installed and run on a private network
  • Proprietary software can only be used on a private network with permission of the owner.
  • Thus a user of a private network often prefers opensource software.

Public network  

  • A public network, usually the internet, exposes all communications to interception.
  • The current solution to this security threat is encryption.    
  • The web-based solution is the https protocol.
  • The digital teacher assistant and FERPA: there are security issues.
  • The security issues apply to OpenSimulator.
  • Any web-based virtual world can use secure communications. 
  • The communications can be as secure as bank-level communications.
  • Opensimulator communications are not secure at this time
  • Efforts to make them secure are in progress.
  • To meet FERPA requirements (or the equivalent):
  • educational users of OpenSimulator can use confidential nicknames for students.
  • There are security risks at each end of the connection, but they must be managed at the site.  

Visit me on the web

  • Drop by my web offices Weekdays: 12:-12:30 pm Central time (US)
  • I am available for free consulting on any topic in this blog.
  • Cybalounge and 3DWebWorldz (Orientation room)
  • I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
  • Web-worlds, 3D virtual worlds running in a browser. Summary
  • And we can visit the Writer's Workshop on the Web
  • Don't register -- enter as guest.  


  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain.
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.
  • Second LifeLindenSLurl, and SL are trademarks of Linden Research Inc.
  • Annotated screenshots made with Jing
  • This blog is not affiliated with anything.   Ads are from Google.
  • Selby Evans in Kitely and hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.

No comments:

Post a Comment