Eight Years of Improving Security
October is an important month for Caveon. Eight years ago in October, 2003, several assessment industry veterans formed a small consulting company focused solely on improving the security of our clients’ test programs. That company is Caveon Test Security!
Fast forward to 2011, and it’s gratifying to consider what this entrepreneurial group of test security zealots has accomplished. Since that fateful October day, we have conducted over 50 Security Audits of leading test organizations and vendors, flagged and removed tens of thousands of internet-based risks, and conducted statistical analyses of over 30,000,000 test instances for many of the largest, most important test programs in the world.
As I consider the number and breadth of these engagements, perhaps it is worth sharing a few of the core values under which we always operate:
Throughout our years of operation, one fundamental operating principle has always applied: client confidentiality. We never reveal the details of our client engagements without the express approval of our clients. Our clients require and appreciate this sensitivity as we investigate security incidents and provide reports on our forensic analyses. This is not secrecy– this privacy stems from respect for our clients and for the right to privacy of individuals and organizations.
We constantly strive to improve means and methods for strengthening exam security. We are always interested in sharing the nature of our work. Not only do we share our methods and science with clients, client stakeholders, TAC members, educational measurement researchers, and other appropriately interested parties; we are committed to furthering the science around test security. We regularly present at conferences and webinars where we openly share our Caveon approach, theories and methodologies. In fact this last year, we have presented at conferences in Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, Hong Kong, and Prague.
When we conduct an engagement, our approach is to focus on the situations and incidents that are most egregious, as evidenced in the data and the results that we analyze. We highlight those problems that are most readily identified, documented, and ideally, resolved. Dealing with these problems effectively will have the greatest positive impact to the overall validity and security of test results. This reasonable approach helps our clients, most of which suffer from ever-constrained budgets and resources, effectively concentrate their time, resources, and dollars where the likelihood of inappropriate test taking is highest.
Lastly, our growth and success is directly attributable to a few overarching principles—We always strive to exceed our clients’ expectations, comport ourselves honorably, provide valuable services, and share, as openly and honestly as we can, recommendations for improving the fairness and validity of our clients’ test programs. These principles result in proven, practical protection for our clients, and we intend to follow them for another eight years!
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