in Defence / Security

Andy's wizard website helps secure the world

Posted 27 April 2017 · Add Comment

A website created out of boredom on a kitchen table in Bath a decade ago has grown to become the go-to place for the world's biggest security agencies.



Andy Cuff (above) had just set up his cyber-security business Computer Network Defence (CND) when he developed the Security Wizardry Radar Page.

He never dreamed then that it would receive nearly 40,000 hits an hour or be used daily across the globe with America’s National Security Agency (NSA) depending on it.



Indeed, Andy was taken aback when he was watching a news item about the NSA and saw his website in the background on a huge screen while President George W. Bush was being shown around its capabilities (above).

The website is updated constantly with all the latest cyber threats and is used by government agencies and businesses so they can ensure that their networks are capable of defeating them.

With real-time alerts and ‘virus’ news uploaded by staff at CND, the site has become the most popular tool in the on-going battle against cyber criminals and enemy states.

The CND staff responsible for identifying vulnerabilities which could be exploited by hackers are headed by Michele Jordan who works North Carolina in the US. She is supported by cyber security researchers in the Isle of Man, working from the company’s Security Operation Centre.



Above:
The CND team at Security Cleared Expo - Bristol (30 March 2017).
Courtesy CND Ltd.

Cyber security experts have to deal with more threats than ever and these threats are growing in complexity and sinister intent. The information from the radar page is used to help protect systems and networks in order to keep information secure.

Andy said: “I only set it up at first because it was raining and I was bored - I wanted something to do. It took me about half an hour on my kitchen table.

“I had absolutely no idea how successful it would become – we’re getting 38,000 hits an hour from all around the world.

“In fact the only country that doesn’t appear to use it is North Korea. It grew quickly because there was obviously a need for a resource like this.

“The website is available to everyone for nothing and all we get from it is a lot of thanks and some great exposure. Our users even ask why we don’t update the look and feel and leave it ‘retro’.

“When I saw photos of it on the screens at the NSA in the US I realised just how important it had become. There are also pictures of it being used by the US Fleet Cyber Command.

“Knowing that some of the finest security people in the world are depending on it, you realise just how big it has grown.

“There is also an app we’ve developed so security experts can keep in constant touch with the updates.

“I was first introduced to cyber security whilst serving in the RAF. I was immediately hooked and have worked in this awe-inspiring field full-time ever since.

“When the RAF threatened to move me back to mainstream computing, I left, set up a cyber-security company and joined the army cyber reserves, which I still enjoy.

“Cyber security continues to grow at an exponential rate and the UK is one of the world’s leaders in the field, which is why we set up a cyber-security recruitment division. It is now one of the oldest cyber security recruitment agencies in the country.

“Our core business is working across the whole information security sector and being such a fast-moving area we have to stay on top of what is going on. So as well as inputting the information on the wizardry website we use it too.”

CND works across the world for clients of all sizes, employs 50 staff and is based in Bath.

 

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