Learn the Differences between CyberSTAR and an LMS

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from agencies and contractors within the DoD is, “If we adopt CyberSTARTM, will we have to replace our current LMS?” The short answer is no. CyberSTAR actually complements and adds value to your current LMS. Keep reading to learn how.


The Traditional Learning Management System

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an online system or on-premise software program used to facilitate and execute training courses, required compliance courses, continuing education courses, and other eLearning modules and courses. LMSes are also often called training management systems, learning activity management systems, or learning experience platforms.

Within the DoD space, an LMS platform is integral to the user's (soldiers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors) ability to quickly and easily access the courses necessary for their job or compliance requirements, especially training related to the environment or role skills that are targeted and unique to the organization.


Common Learning Management Systems used within the government include:

  • Totara
  • Moodle
  • Paradiso
  • Joint Knowledge Online Learning Management System (JKO LMS)

While LMSes are great at providing eCourses to employees and contractors, they often fall short when it comes to effectively tracking and managing, especially from a high-level overview, groups of users, departments, and users within a specific discipline like cybersecurity. When it comes to reporting training/credentials to a regulation or standard, the LMSes simply aren't designed for that job.

Additionally, most learning management systems aren’t designed to manage and report on high-volume and high-turnover user groups. This poses a unique challenge for those in government who have to track and manage thousands of users coming and going each month.
Currently, the majority of government agencies and contractors are manually tracking and managing compliance within their organizations. Manual tracking and management open the door to a myriad of potential problems including:

  • Human error when conducting data entry
  • Inaccuracies arising from changing regulations and the inability to keep up or apply them correctly or effectively. This often leads to redundant training, missed qualifications, or missed categorizations
  • High incidence of fraudulent certification submissions by employees
  • Hinders readiness - forcing agencies and contractors to be reactive rather than proactive

When one or more of the points above occurs, it forces the workload to be spread throughout the organization, contributing to even greater inefficiency.


CyberSTAR Adds Value to Your Existing LMS

Organizations evaluate and implement training and workforce policies. CyberSTAR targets, executes, and manages that policy, while the LMS provides the training material.

An LMS is great at providing training courses and material for contractors and employees, but what it lacks, CyberSTAR augments in spades.

Not only does CyberSTAR work with your LMS, but it also integrates with your organization’s active directory authentication system to very quickly and easily streamline onboarding. In fact, a white-labeled version of CyberSTAR called ACTCS is used by the U.S. Army to onboard tens of thousands of users per month and manage millions of total registered users.

CyberSTAR helps streamline processes and maintain current credentials for your cyber workforce by:

  • Ensuring proper training and certification (including DoDD 8570, DoDD 8140, NIST NICE, and other commercial standards)
  • Matching personnel and roles to contractual or regulatory requirements
  • Forecasting, planning, and recruiting workforce
  • Providing continuous compliance and on-demand reporting
  • Reducing the cost and complexity of identifying skill gaps

CyberSTAR is the one source of truth for all your cyber training and certification—evaluating, expanding, and enhancing your organization’s cyber readiness.

Cyber Readiness Is Key in Combating Future Attacks


According to predictions from Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs available in 2021. As cyber-attacks continue to rise, government agencies and private companies will find themselves in constant dangerous situations.

Larger and Repeated Breaches

As we had recently presented, the SolarWinds breach, arguably the most significant breach in history, went undetected for months. Four government agencies failed to discover the breach, nor were willing to accept responsibility, leaving America vulnerable to future attacks like Colonial Pipeline.

Lack of Cybersecurity Governance

Cyber threats are ongoing and forever evolving. Instead of one-off, fix-it-and-forget-it solutions, organizations need to embrace a holistic, enterprise approach to cyber readiness. These strategies will allow for better identification, mitigation, and protection against attack.