I’m a cyber security consultant, advising on the steps institutions and individuals can take to keep their information safe in the context of our changing relationship with the Internet. I work with all sorts of organisations, small and large, in the public and private sectors, to help them to use information more safely.

My expertise is in the ‘human’ side of cyber security. My particular specialisms cover governance, strategy and policy, learning and development, compliance, information risk, the Internet, the knowledge economy and urban and regional development.
I’ve presented my research at international conferences in the UK, the US and Sweden. I have an undergraduate degree in Social and Political Studies from the University of Sheffield and a Masters and PhD from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Civic Design.

I regularly make media appearances to discuss current cyber security issues, for example I have recently been interviewed on BBC Breakfast and I was an expert contributor for series 5 of BBC Rip Off Britain.

Policy

I can work with you to develop a comprehensive suite of cyber security policies, so that everyone in your organisation knows how important cyber security is and what is expected of them. Contact me to discuss your approach to information security.

Training

Human behaviour is the biggest problem facing cyber security. I design and deliver informative and engaging bespoke training sessions that build awareness and change behaviour. Contact me for more information on cyber security training.

Advice

Cyber security is a broad, complicated and diverse subject. Whether you are looking for some informal advice for your organisation, or you want some expertise because of your work in the media or academia, please feel free to get in touch.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is all about how we can safely use information that is now more networked and connected than ever before. We use technology to share in an unprecedented way: almost 60% of people talk more online than they do in real life. And the Internet economy is bigger than the healthcare, construction or education sectors.

This has made the UK more of a target for cyber criminals: we get more phishing emails here than in any other country and the UK is the worst place in the world for identity fraud. Cyber techniques are also increasingly being used in warfare and terrorism. So cyber security is really about addressing the challenges that come with our amazing progress in the digital age.

Common issues to look out for

What are phishing emails?
Phishing emails are often sent from criminals to large amounts of people, pretending to come from trusted organisations. Spear-phishing attacks are when the emails are targeted at us, for example referring to use by name or claiming to come from one of our contacts.
What is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)?
A Distributed Denial of Service is when a network is so flooded with external requests that it simply shuts down (imagine trying to cram 1000 letters into a postbox at the same time). In a DDoS, a network of computers carries out a co-ordinated attack: the computers having been infected with a virus, most often without their users even knowing.
How can we avoid picking up viruses?
We pick up viruses when we download malicious software, usually by clicking links or downloading attachments in phishing emails or from pirating films, music, games or pornography. Be wary of downloading email attachments you weren’t expecting and clicking links in emails. If in doubt, check that the sender’s address is genuine (hover your cursor over the sender’s email address to make it display fully).