How much did your last cup of coffee cost?

Nice cup of coffee

Imagine the scene, you’re between meetings and decide to drop in to your favourite coffee shop for a steaming hot cup of your favourite coffee, a cake and to tap into their Wi-Fi to read your emails, refresh your knowledge in time for your next meeting or simply to surf the web.

Then the urge hits, you look around and see that everybody seems respectable enough so you you head off to the toilet thinking that your laptop is safe on the table. After all, nobody would lift it in sight of all those customers, staff and CCTV cameras would they?

Laptop tracking service provider, Prey, found that areas offering free Wi-Fi were the second most common target for opportunistic laptop thefts, the only riskier place being left in a visible place in your car.

Open Laptop

If stolen, it’s not only the inconvenience of replacing the laptop, re-installing your applications and copying back your data [you do back-up your data don’t you?] it’s the additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.

The Ponemon Institute, a US cyber crime consultancy, put the real cost of the loss of a laptop and it’s data at nearly £31,000. This was broken down in to £4,000 for the loss of Intellectual Property, forensics and legal bills adding around £1,500 with a staggering £24,500 attributable to the loss of income, customers and competitive advantage associated with a data breach


When you sit down and try to log-on to the Wi-Fi there’s often a selection of hotspots to choose from. How do you know which is the free service provided by the venue and which is a spoof.

It’s very easy to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot using a mobile phone, Mi-Fi type of device or laptop and allow other users to connect through this free connection. However, all of the traffic can then be intercepted by the person providing the spoof account. What sort of important information is passed from your laptop through this connection? It could be your details to access your online banking, the log-in to your company network or the necessary information required to access your corporate email account.

So, the next time you stop off for a cup of coffee and decide to log-on using their free Wi-Fi, just make sure you know which network that you’re connecting to and that you don’t leave your laptop unattended.

And if you’re in need of help, then just give me a call on 01793 238020 or send an email to

Not so Civil Servants

As the new inquiry in to the Hillsborough disaster got underway a number of disturbing facts came to light.

Whitehall Street Sign

One that hit the news late in April was the discovery that civil servants had been making sickening edits to a variety of Wikipedia pages, starting in 2009, the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

In one instance “Blame Liverpool fans” was added to the Hillsborough section of Wiki.

In 2012, computers again accessed Wikipedia to make edits from Whitehall’s secure network, changing “You’ll never walk alone” to “You’ll never walk again”.

Although Wikipedia has been able to identify the IP addresses used to make these edits, all this serves to demonstrate is that they originated from Whitehall, there’s no way to identify who, out of the hundreds of thousands of users on the network, actually made the edits.

Unless they own up, or someone else who knows who made the edits provides the names it’s highly likely that the culprits will evade any action

Similar problems exist within our education establishments, thousands of incidents of cyber-bullying have been reported with many posts being made by children of school age during school time, inferring that they took place whilst the posters were on school premises, potentially using the school’s IT network.

Now there’s a solution. The latest security appliances from Cyberoam not only secure networks from external hacking and intrusion but enable IT managers to log all internet access, blocking sites with black lists, allowing sites via whitelisting and recording individual activity, enabling any improper web access to be traced back to the perpetrator.

If you are worried about the security of your IT network then please get in touch to explore the issues, discuss your concerns and find solutions. Drop me an email or give me a call, 01793 238020, for a free and confidential chat about your concerns.