Test Security and the Human Element

Written by: Christie Zervos, Director of Operations, Caveon Test Security

2012 was a progressive year in computerized robot technology. By the time the holidays rolled around, the world had seen the unveiling of Baxter, the humanoid robot who can complete diverse factory tasks such as operating machinery, sorting and packing. Then came the new Cheetah robot that can run at speeds that rival Usian Bolt, reaching over 28 miles per hour. It seems like as technology advances, robots are competing for many roles that were once thought of as purely human functions.

The fact is, we live in an age of automated services. Whether we are paying bills, getting groceries or renting movies, computers are assisting us more and more frequently; taking the place of real people. (They are, after all, cheaper to employ and don’t need bathroom breaks.) However, when it comes to test security, we believe in the necessity of the human element.

Web patrol is just one area of test security where there are significant benefits to using living, breathing people over computers or robots. The benefits include:

 Humans are adaptive: Trained web experts employ the most adaptive search techniques that permeate all areas of the Internet. While unconscious, mechanical bots are limited by their programming. For example, you would not ask a robot to investigate a crime scene. The answers are not always simple or salient. A good detective is forced to synthesize all the clues.

 Humans are interactive: In addition to targeted web monitoring, humans can initiate actions and engage in tactics such as participating and joining in discussion boards where tips for finding illegal test content are discussed. Robots can only monitor keywords.

 Humans are intelligent: Foreign language skills and cultural knowledge can be used for international web channels to adapt search techniques to anywhere in the world.

 Humans are tactful: Interactions can be more effective when a real person is serving content take-down notices on behalf of customers.

It is growing more apparent as time goes by that faceless, automated services are outpacing human interaction in many industries.  But not at Caveon – we believe in real people using technology and doing the work. So what if we can’t solve a Rubik’s cube in 5.35 seconds and we expect an ergonomically-sound workspace. Real people bring a lot more to the table…and are a lot more fun to be around!

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