Michael Mansfield has been working in the telecom & data networks industry since 1986, having completed his apprenticeship whilst working at CAMTECH™ Electronics as part of the design team behind the famous Joint Academic NETwork [JNT X25] (JANet) the forerunner for what we now know as the internet.
Janet developed out of a number of local and research networks dating back to the 1970s. The JANet system first went live in April 1983, hosting about 50 sites with line speeds of 9.6 kbit/s. In the mid-80s the backbone was upgraded to a 2 Mbit/s backbone with 64 kbit/s access links, and a further upgrade in the early 1990s sped the backbone to 8 Mbit/s and the access links to 2 Mbit/s, making Janet the fastest X.25 network in the world.
Renowned for his in depth knowledge of both voice and data transmission protocols our founder has worked with some of the UK’s largest network providers, private corporations and government bodies whilst specialising in cyber counter-intelligence and network security.
Mitigation of risk and prevention rather than cure is key to creating a secure platform for computers, users and programs to perform their individual functions and in today’s business climate, network security must be top of the list of requirements for any I.T manager or online business.
The size of organisation is usually pretty irrelevant to most computer hackers, although for some the kudos of taking on the very biggest corporations is the driving factor behind any network attack. Most “unethical” attacks are carried out by individuals motivated by some kind of financial or commercial gain and whilst there are many things an organisation can do to reduce the risk of attack there is no such thing as being totally un-hackable but forewarned is forearmed.
We have over 30 years’ experience in network design and systems security and have worked with some of the UK’s largest government agencies and blue chip organisations. Our system security & evaluation skills are the same as those employed in signals intelligence and defence intelligence here in the UK.
The term "white hat" refers to an ethical computer hacker, or a computer security expert who specialises in computer & network penetration testing to ensure the security of an organization's information systems and network. Ethical hacking is a term first coined by IBM and is meant to imply a broader category than just penetration testing. Contrasted with black hat, a malicious hacker, the name comes from Western films, where heroic and unfriendly cowboys would traditionally wear a white or black cowboy hat..
We offer a wide range of “pen test” services tailored to each individual client’s needs and system specific requirements. We document thoroughly the entire testing process and demonstrate system vulnerabilities by adding pre-agreed code to weak points in your corporate network.
The methods employed by our security specialists will be varied and designed to replicate “real world” attacks, whether by curious individuals or talented hacking teams and government agencies.
Aside from the regular penetration testing service on offer, we also conduct a more aggressive approach to breaking into your corporate network. This may involve social engineering tasks such as employee exploitation or the use of so called “honey pots” designed to catch the more sophisticated of network users.
Due to differing legislation worldwide, we only offer this service to UK based business, and only then upon the sanction of the board of directors. We do not offer this service to individual clients or those involved in political activities.
We recognise that not every business has the ability to recruit their own in house security specialist nor has the capacity to do so. With this in mind we offer a one-to-one consultancy service, where we take the place of that employee and can offer practical real time advice to management or those tasked with providing your I.T services.
We regularly attend development meetings on behalf of clients, and will liaise with equipment and software suppliers should this be necessary or beneficial. Our consultancy service also extends to cover all aspects of forensic auditing and data reclamation
There exist information-theoretically secure schemes that provably cannot be broken even with unlimited computing power, an example is the "one-time pad" but these schemes are more difficult to implement than the best theoretically breakable but computationally secure mechanisms.
In some jurisdictions where the use of cryptography is legal, laws permit investigators to compel the disclosure of encryption keys for documents relevant to an investigation. Cryptography also plays a major role in digital rights management and copyright infringement of digital media
Encryption protects data. It protects data when it's sitting on our home computers, on our mobile devices, whilst in our corporate networks and whilst in the cloud or held in data centres. Encryption protects data as it's being transmitted around the Internet. It protects our conversations, whether video, voice, or text.
It protects our privacy. It protects our anonymity. And sometimes, it protects our lives.
This type of protection is important for everyone. It's easy to see how encryption protects government departments and law enforcement agencies, journalists, human rights defenders, and financial institutions but encryption protects the rest of society as well. Of course it not only protects us from criminals but it protects our data from our competitors, neighbours, and even family members. It protects it from malicious attackers, and it protects it from accidents. Encryption works best if it's ubiquitous and automatic. The two forms of encryption you use most often are via the https URLs on your internet browser, and the handset-to-mast link for your mobile telephone calls, these work so well because you don't even know they're there.
Encryption should be enabled for everything by default, not a feature you turn on only if you're doing something you consider worth protecting. This is important. If we only use encryption when we're working with important data, then encryption just signals that particular data's importance. If only nonconformists use encryption in a country, that country's authorities have an easy way of identifying them. But if everyone uses it all of the time, encryption ceases to be that clear signal marker. No one can distinguish simple chatting from deeply private conversation. The government can't tell the dissidents from the rest of the population. Every time you use encryption, you're protecting someone who needs to use it to stay alive.
It's important to remember that encryption doesn't magically convey security. There are many ways to get encryption wrong, and we regularly see them in the headlines. Encryption doesn't protect your computer or phone from being hacked, and it can't protect metadata, such as e-mail addresses that need to be unencrypted so your mail can be delivered.But encryption is the most important privacy-preserving technology we have, and one that is uniquely suited to protect against bulk surveillance, the kind done by governments looking to control their populations and criminals looking for vulnerable victims. By forcing both to target their attacks directly against individuals, we protect the rest of society.
But whatever the level you operate at, security is the most important factor when designing networks or considering new projects that involve data in any shape or form and should always receive your fullest attention as it is the very foundation that you build the rest of your computer systems on.
Whilst we are not affiliated with any particular software manufacturer or equipment manufacturer nor are we in a position to recommend one particular solution over another, but we are able to evaluate precisely the threats posed to your business whether it be from external factors such as commercial espionage, hackers, viruses and malware to disgruntled employees and attacks from within the business. Whatever security solution you choose, prevention is always better than cure.