Interfacing between technophile and technophobe


Note: This is my personal website, and any views or opinions expressed on it are my own. Those views or opinions are not necessarily endorsed or supported by any police service I have been employed by: past, present or future.

I have over 17 years experience in UK law enforcement; a significant number of which were spent investigating terrorism offences. When I moved into investigations, my senior officers learned that I used to work with computers. And so I became the resident investigative expert on anything with a plug.

Senior Officer: “Can you look at this Communications Data and make sense of it for me?”

Me: ” I’ll do my best Sir, but I’ve not really worked with this sort of data before.”

Senior Officer: “I thought you used to work with computers?”

Me: “Well, yes sir, I did but that was almost 20 years ago and it was mostly fixing paper jams in printers, not mobile phone data analysis.”

Senior Officer: “I’m sure you’ll figure it out, then.”

As a result of conversations like these, I did my best to learn new technologies, and bring my knowledge up to date. I became relied upon to translate technical documents into plain English for senior police officers and partner agencies.

Eventually, I moved into providing crime prevention advice for the modern age; delivering presentations to employees of small/medium businesses, public sector and charities.

These presentations and cyber awareness sessions were effective. In 2019 I was (anonymously) name checked by Rt. Hon David Lidington CBE in his keynote address to the 2019 National Cyber Security Centre flagship CyberUK event, having prevented a company from sending £125k to a fraudster. I received letters of appreciation from the incident response team at American Express, and the Almshouse Association national charity. I was offered platforms to speak to the business customers of all four major high street banks, and asked to return by each. I’ve also spent days training the entire staff of regional councils, schools, a football club, and provided the keynote presentation to a countywide Multi-Agency Incident Response featuring over 150 people from numerous organisations.

Since then, I’ve worked on Dark Web investigation, and am researching how the very same hacking techniques used by criminals, can be used to disrupt their activities.

I decided to jot down some of the things I’ve learned on my journey, in the hope that it might help others to develop their cyber awareness, and their resilience to cyber crime.

The majority of my technical knowledge is entirely self-taught. My articles are not based on my cybersecurity qualifications, but on years of experience in responding when bad things happen to good people, helping them to pick up the pieces, figuring out the why and the how, trying to ensure that bad things don’t happen again and using what I’ve observed to try and stop the same bad things happening to other good people.

Thanks for stopping by.

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