Matrix security, more commonly known as “matsec,” is one of the most vital components of a comprehensive and effective corporate security system. Information— whether a corporation’s financial records or its latest industrial designs—remains perhaps the most valuable commodity of our time. And given the increasing use of computer matrices for data storage and manipulation, the need for complete and efficient matrix security systems grows more important each day.

Knight Errant has long been a leader in the field of matrix security, with expertise that no other security firm can offer. We can provide highly trained security deckers, state-of-the-art intrusion countermeasure programs, and the latest hardware to create an effective, efficient matrix security system tailored to your needs. The following overview of matrix security development will enable you, our customer, to better understand matsec in general as well as Knight Errant’s available matrix security systems.

A HISTORY OF MATRIX SECURITY

The origins of today's matrix security systems and technology can be traced directly to the computer security departments common to corporations and government agencies during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. These departments existed to protect an organization's computer hardware, software, firmware and data.

To perform these tasks, the departments employed computer scientists and security specialists who designed and implemented procedures, programs and hardware to protect an organization’s electronic assets. The mission of contemporary matrix security differs little from these aims; today's security deckers protect much the same assets as did their twentieth-century counterparts. However, the tools and techniques used by the matsec practitioner have changed drastically as a result of several important events. The first of those events occurred on February 8, 2029, when a computer virus of unprecedented power and unknown origins struck computer systems across the world. Computer security officers and system administrators scrambled to shut down their systems. In most cases, they failed; the virus crashed innumerable systems, wiping them clean of their data and even burning out their hardware. As the virus spread, governments toppled and the world economy nearly collapsed. Within the first quarter of the year, the virus had shattered the Grid, the data network that connected computer systems worldwide. In response, the president of the UCAS ordered the creation of a multi-agency task force to contain and destroy the virus. The members of the resulting Echo Mirage project soon found themselves overwhelmed by the psychological demands of psycho-physiolog-ical combat in cyberspace, and so the project leaders began recruiting the most brilliant data-processing mavericks private corporations had to offer.

By August of 2029, the team used improved cybertechnology to begin a coordinated attack on the virus. Eighteen minutes after engaging the virus in cyberspace, four Echo Mirage members had died, victims of lethal biofeedback induced by the virus. During the ‘continuing assault on the killer virus, the remaining Echo Mirage members learned they could easily defeat existing computer security measures by using their cyberterminals. As a result, several corporations began to develop new security software designed to repel intruders using matrix interfaces and to aid in the containment of any future viruses These new programs were the first generation of intrusion countermeasures, more commonly known as "IC."

Meanwhile, the members of Echo Mirage developed new combat programs and more powerful cyberterminals, as well as new techniques to combat the virus. By late 2031. the team had finally destroyed the last remaining concentration of the virus code. The task had cost billions of dollars and claimed the lives of twenty-five of the original thirty-two members of the Echo Mirage team. Four Echo Mirage veterans returned to the corporate employers who had so generously loaned them to the project. Within five years cyberdecks had become commercially available. The appearance of these cyberdecks, as well as the 1C, hardware, and firmware developed by Echo Mirage designers, represents the birth of matrix security as we know it today.

LATER EVOLUTION

Initially, matrix security divisions concerned themselves solely with protecting their corporation's computer assets, such as data, software, hardware and firmware. But as security technologies such as closed-circuit video and trideo. access controls, maglocks, and alarm systems became increasingly networked and complex, matrix security personnel found themselves spending larger amounts of time operating these systems— while still shouldering full responsibility for computer security. This development overtaxed matrix security workers and forced personnel trained as computer scientists and technicians to handle “traditional” security problems and incidents. As a result, intruders found it increasingly easy to defeat technical security systems.

To help alleviate this problem, security system designers developed matrix-accessible security systems and hardware. These enabled matsec personnel to control maglocks, alarm systems and the like without having to leave their firms' matrices. Unfortunately, the new hardware also enabled any intruder who gained access to a company's matrix to control these systems. And so matsec personnel ended up monitoring an increased number of matrix nodes—the new technology intended to decrease their work load actually increased it. System designers created intricate program frames and 1C to ease the burden, but this additional software severely slowed and occasionally overloaded corporate matrices. Unauthorized intrusions continued to increase, forcing matrix security personnel to spend even more time monitoring non-matrix security systems.

Advent of Security Riggers

In the late 2040s. designers at CerebroTech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ares Security International, began experimenting with Artificial Sensory Induction System Technology (ASIST) in an attempt to create a more efficient means of controlling matrix-accessible external security systems. Unfortunately, the layers of programming required for the user interface on an ASIST-equipped cyberdeck slowed the system to unacceptable levels. The CerebroTech team solved the problem by combining Muscular Signal Transference (MST) technology and Vehicle Control Rigs (VCRs) used by riggers with ASIST technology. This breakthrough resulted in the first closed-circuit simsense (CCSS) system.

By 2050, the first CCSS systems were operational. These systems enabled riggers to "drive" a security system in much the same manner they control a vehicle. The new “security riggers" enabled matrix security personnel to again devote themselves exclusively to patrolling the matrix. The development also enabled corporations to remove all non-matrix-related security functions from their matrices, making these functions less vulnerable to intruders. As the work of security riggers has become increasingly important in recent years, many firms have begun creating separate technical security divisions to oversee these tasks.

DESIGNING A MATSEC SYSTEM

All modern matrix security systems are composed of three components—security deckers, intrusion countermeasures, and hardware. All Knight Errant matrix security systems provide the highest quality components available. Many of our highly trained, experienced security deckers, for example, have backgrounds in military, intelligence, or law-enforcement matrix work. Knight Errant also works closely with the most highly respected software and computer firms to provide you with state-of-the-art intrusion countermeasures and the latest hardware and firmware—all custom tailored by our specialists to meet your matrix security needs.

Before designing any system, members of our matrix security technology division will visit your work site to evaluate your existing matrix system and meet with you to discuss your security needs. Within a few days, they will return with several recommended security configurations. Our experts will recommend security decker staffing arrangements, intrusion countermeasure configurations, and any modifications or additions to your hardware needed to provide the best matrix security available. You are free to choose from any of the recommended systems or consult with our experts to modify any of the recommended designs to best fulfill your requirements.

Once you have approved a system, we will assemble all the necessary components and install them within days. Knight Errant will provide dedicated security deckers who perform matrix security work exclusively. Depending on your needs, these deckers will perform matrix watch duties themselves or train your own deckers to carry out security operations. Once your system is in place, our deckers will run mock-intrusion drills to thoroughly test the entire system and keep it running at optimal effectiveness.

HOW IT ALL WORKS

Once your matrix security system is in place, roaming security deckers and certain forms of intrusion countermeasure programs (1C)—white and access—will “patrol” your matrix constantly. If a decker or 1C program detects any persona that lacks the proper identification codes, the decker or 1C triggers a passive alert. If further attempts to identify the persona fail, the decker or 1C triggers an active alert. The decker may then attempt to detain the persona himself or call for additional security deckers. If an 1C program triggers the alert, the decker monitoring the system will dispatch at least one security decker to investigate. In addition, any variety of aggressive 1C programs— the so-called gray, blaster, killer, and trap 1C—may be activated to confront the intruder.