Security Assessment: The Benefits of A Secured Network

There are immediate benefits to be derived from having a secured network. For companies, there are great financial benefits to be realized, while for individuals there is the benefit of having the peace of mind that a hacker can’t just break into your computer network. For you to enjoy these benefits you will need a strategic security company that is able to perform effective security assessment and penetration testing on a regular basis. The Information Technology (IT) Security Company will ensure that vulnerabilities in the network are identified and resolved to prevent the likelihood of hackers getting access to your network. Here are some other benefits of getting your network assessed for security purposes:

Good Knowledge and Clear Understanding

The information that you will gather from an IT consulting Security Company will perfect your knowledge and understanding of the current information concerning the security risks. Some experts will tell you that one of the very first steps in getting a secured network is to understand your organization’s security state. When your understanding is clear and complete, you will be better able to identify the vulnerabilities that are associated with your network. This understanding will further help you in your plight to protect critical business information, confidentiality and the integrity of your business.

Established Internal Awareness of Information Security Risks

Another benefit to be derived from assessing your network’s security is the fact that internal awareness and vigilance will be increased, thus increasing your chances finding holes in your network that can be exploited by hankers. Not only will you be able to benefit from identifying holes quicker, but more informed decisions can be made by management, and other weaknesses present in the processing, storing and channeling of data throughout the organizational security controls.

Improvements to the Overall Security System

With periodical reviews, evaluations and assessments of the network within your company, there will be the added benefit of an improved overall security posture. Of course, when improving your network’s security, you will need to bear in mind that the information that is pertinent to the business’ objectives is the focal point of security. In other words, the improvements must be made where the core information is entered, processed, and stored. Also by performing penetration testing and security assessment, you will be in a position to proactively secure and resolve any weakness before it is exploited by unlawful hackers.

Meet Regulatory Compliance Standards

In all industries there are best practices and regulatory compliance standards that must be followed. If these standards are not adhered to, the company usually faces fines and penalties, and in some extreme cases imprisonment. To help you satisfy these requirements and forgo the penalties, a security assessment is undertaken to evaluate your current position, where you need to be in relation to the standards, and the strategies and penetration testing that may be necessary for you to implement if you are going to meet the industry standards and requirements. Don’t worry too much about the standards; focus on getting the professional consultation that is necessary for your success.

Protect People And Property With A Monitored Home Security Network

A monitored home security network provides homeowners an affordable and effective way to keep occupants safe and protect their investment in the house and its contents. These services monitor the property around the clock and every day of the year. Alarm systems alert the service provider in the event of burglaries, fires, medical emergencies, floods and other situations where the home’s occupants are in need of help.

The standard alarm system to prevent burglary or theft is a basic closed circuit that surrounds the house. Installers typically attach sensors to the hardware in doors, windows and other entryways. As long as the system remains activated, if someone forces open the window or door, the sensors will sound the alarm.

Systems installed outdoors often have motion sensors. If anyone walks near the sensors, bright lights will be turned on, thus exposing the intruder. This is often enough of a deterrent to convince the intruder to leave immediately.

Pet owners used to stay away from motion detectors because they were worried about false alarms. With advancements in technology, certain motion sensors are able to distinguish between humans and pets. The sensors use mass and weight parameters to tell the difference between a small pet and a human.

The system will usually include a digital keypad installed somewhere near the front entryway. Homeowners use a personal code to arm or disarm the system. The keypad may also provide a convenient and fast way to contact local police, fire and other emergency responders.

Some systems also include a keychain remote. With the remote, the homeowner can control the alarm system from anywhere inside the house with no need to walk to where the keypad is installed. The portable remote also works from outside the house within a certain distance.

Consumers should purchase a system that has battery backup. This feature is especially valuable in areas that frequently lose power due to storms. An emergency backup lets homeowners rest assured their property remains protected without interruption.

To discourage trespassers, homeowners can display yard signs and window decals in strategic places. Decals and signs indicate the property is protected by an alarm system. Burglars usually look for an easy target to exploit. They are far more likely to move along when they see any evidence of an alarm or surveillance system on the property.

Consumers can choose a system with a control panel that doubles as an intercom with two-way communications capabilities. With this setup, the control panel will respond to voice commands from almost anywhere inside the house. Residents can still request help from an emergency dispatcher even if something is preventing them from interacting directly with the control panel.

Homeowners with a reliable monitored home security network know that help will be on the way at the first sign of a fire, break in or any other type of emergency. They can relax when they travel knowing their property is under protection 24 hours a day. Purchasing a security system is a wise investment because it can save lives and protect your property.

Ant Colony Optimisation for E-Learning Applications Over a Secure Network

This work was initiated when Paraschool, the French leading e-learning company contacted the INRIA research center to conceive an automatic algorithm that would allow the relatively rigid albeit functional existing Paraschool software to behave differently depending on user specificities. After several brainstorming sessions where neural networks, evolutionary algorithms and other artificially intelligent techniques were considered, it appeared that swarm-like algorithms could be used, thanks to the great number of actual users (more than 10000) and more especially ant-based probabilistic optimisation that could easily be grafted on the existing pedagogical graph constituted by the Paraschool software.

Moreover, Ant Colony systems present the interesting property of exhibiting emergent behaviour that allow individuals to benefit from the dynamic experience acquired by the collectivity, which means, in pedagogic terms that a student could benefit from the pedagogic lessons drawn out of his peers’ successes and failures.

The implementation of these algorithms yields results that go beyond the requirements of the Paraschool company which will soon be experimenting in real size the automatic dynamic optimisation of the pedagogic graph (their set of interconnected lessons and exercises) implemented by their software. This paper successively presents a concise description of human-learning concepts and their software implementation, a short description of the technical implementation of the Ant-Colony based optimisation algorithm and a discussion on the use of various selection operators. A set of experiments is then conducted, showing that erroneous arc probabilities can be automatically corrected by the system.

II. ELEMENTS ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF LEARNING

The main concepts of teaching and learning used nowadays are still very old. The two main currents are Constructivism, that was elaborated by Kant and Behaviourism: a theory that came from Pavlov’s experiments.

A. Constructivism

In 1781, Kant tried to synthesize rationalist and empiricist viewpoints. Kant sees the mind as an active agent, that organizes and coordinates experiences. Along these lines, Piaget states that knowledge is not simply “acquired,” by children bit by bit, but constructed into coherent, robust frameworks called
“knowledge structures.” Children are not passive absorbers of experience and information, but active theory builders. Papert, a mathematician, and one of the early pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (he founded the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT), worked with Piaget at the University of Geneva

IV. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANT COLONY:

ALGORITHMIC OVERVIEW

All nodes (html pages) of the new Paraschool software now contain a new ACO-powered NEXT button that leads the user along an arc chosen by a selection algorithm (see section V), based on the probability associated with the arc. This probability is computed by taking several factors into account in the design of a weighted fitness function described in the next section. These factors are the following and play at both
the individual and collective levels:

A. Pedagogic Weights: W

This pedagogical weight is the main value of each arc. It is implemented as a static (i.e. “global”) variable (W), accessible to all ants. (W) is set by the Paraschool teachers and reflects the relative importance of the arcs that come out of a particular node. In other words, the teachers encourage the students to go toward such or such exercise after such or such lesson by giving the corresponding arc a higher weight. This valuation of the graph describes the pedagogic structure that will be optimized by the ACO algorithm

B. Pheromones: S and F

There are two kinds of pheromones that can be released on arcs to reflect students’ activity:

S: success pheromone.
This floating point value is incremented by ants/students on the adequate incoming arcs when
they are successful in completing the corresponding exercise.

F: failure pheromone.
This last value is S’s counterpart for failure. These pheromones are released not only on the arc that
led the ant to that node but also on previous ones in the ant’s history with decreasing amplitude.

This is meant to reflect the fact that the outcome of a particular node (exercise) is influenced by all the nodes (lessons, exercises) the ant went through before but with an influence that, of course, diminishes with time. For obvious pragmatical reasons, this “back propagation” of pheromone release is limited in scope (atypical value of 4 has been agreed upon). To illustrate this, let us consider an ant that went through nodes A,B,C,D,E,F and that reaches node G. When it validates node G with success, 1 unit of success pheromone is dropped on arc (F,G), 1/2 unit on arc (E,F), 1/3 of a unit on arc (D,E) and 1/4 on arc (C,D). In addition, to allow for dynamic adaptability of these pheromone amounts (S and F), evaporation is performed on a regular basis, usually every day, by reducing S and F in a given proportion _ typically around 0.999.

CONCLUSIONS AND PERSPECTIVE

Paraschool wanted a smart automatic system that could adapt to different users without manual intervention, which would be totally unrealistic to envisage on 10000 students. The ant-based system described in this paper not only offers such automatic features by gradually modifying pedagogic paths suggested by teachers using collective experience and by making the structure individual-specific thanks to variables such as H but also comes up with emergent informations that can be used as a refined auditing tool to help the pedagogical team identify the strengths and weaknesses of the software and pedagogic material.

From a more theoretical standpoint, this work can be seen as a new take on Interactive Evolutionary Computation where the solution to a problem is gradually constructed and modified by multiple interacting entities with different and possibly opposite goals. A creative and robust compromise can be reached that balances all the influences and constraints, which allows all participating entities to benefit from an emergent culture and to enhance their decision making processes accordingly. This suggest a great deal of new and exciting applications in the field of Collective Cognition Modelling and Collective Evolutionary Design.