New SenseMaker® Release

We are very pleased to announce a new release of SenseMaker® software (SenseMaker® V2.3), on a new cloud-based server platform, has nearly completed final testing. We are now planning to migrate all existing SenseMaker® services to the new software & infrastructure over time, without disruption to existing projects.

SenseMaker® V2.3 and the new infrastructure will bring significant improvements in:

  • Security, privacy and access management
  • Reliability and availability
  • Support  and maintenance
  • Enhanced ability and efficiencies for extremely large capture counts

In addition to multiple types of testing conducted by Cognitive Edge, an independent industry recognised security testing provider (TrustNet) is now finalising penetration testing of the new SenseMaker® v2.3 environment.

Security, privacy and access management 

SenseMaker® V2.3 security supports our commitments to fully meet the EU General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) and other relevant government and industry regulations such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) STAR ratings scheme.

All SenseMaker® data is now protected by end-to-end encryption. As required by EU GDPR only users authorised by the designated client representative will be able to access de-encrypted SenseMaker® data.

Implementing this change means with V2.3 there are now only three types of SenseMaker® users.

  • Respondent Users – anonymous or identified with secure Respondent UserID
  • Client Users – any person (staff, contractor, consultant) acting on behalf of the client
  • Administration Users – Cognitive Edge support staff

All client users will access SenseMaker® through a common SenseMaker® logon screen. This replaces all of the different ways users now access Designer, Analyst and Modify Fragment functionality. As required by EU GDPR authorised representatives of the client will control which projects and which functionality SenseMaker® will allow a given userID to access.

The changes also allow new features for respondents to be introduced over time, such as “one-time” respondent URLs for census-style services and “anonymous User_IDs” for sensitive journaling, e.g. for mental health & addiction services.

Reliability and availability

To meet the security standards, a new cloud infrastructure for SenseMaker® has been architected and implemented. SenseMaker® V2.3 takes full advantage of the rich functions cost-effectively and rapidly available on cloud-based virtual servers from Amazon Web Services (AWS) e.g. ‘hardened’ operating environments, server vaults and network logging and safe encryption key management. The new infrastructure provides the added benefit of increased reliability and availability plus we can now cost-effectively offer clients their own custom designed, ultra-high availability SenseMaker® environments, which we can guarantee to be compliant to our base system as the creator of an AWS server, and the SenseMaker® software are all automated via creation and setup scripts. This service is intended for clients who want even higher availability than the new standard, shared SenseMaker® platform will provide.

Support and maintenance

The new environment provides a range of functions which allow our Support Desk to troubleshoot problems much more easily. We have also implemented extensive logging of access and use. The environment also includes “before imaging” of the major data change functions, modify fragment and project definition updates. The logging and imaging functions not only provide for undo facilities but also provide clients with access monitoring reporting.

We will also be making other process changes for Designer users linked to quality control, expectation management and testing when projects ‘go live’.  Out of hours and enhanced support options, including certification of testing by Cognitive Edge, will also be introduced in consultation with our most active users.

Server Deployment and Project Migration

We are planning an initial server deployment in ANZ, US and Europe. These will replace our existing US, EU and the Merlion/Kafka server deployments.

As mentioned above, we are in the process of planning migration from the existing servers to the new AWS servers, which will be organised to be seamless for existing projects. We will be updating you with more detailed plans as we get closer.

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