Europe’s Top Ethical Hacker is Star Attraction at Business Technology Forum

An ethical hacker who has exposed security weaknesses at top global brands has warned that employees are just as susceptible to hacking as computers.

Jamie Woodruff, technical director of Metrix Cloud, was the keynote speaker at the Business Technology Forum, Yorkshire’s fastest growing technology event.

The full-day expo, now in its fifth year, is organised jointly by NGC Networks and fellow technology providers Blue Logic and Ben Johnson. Attendees included IT and ICT professionals, finance and commercial managers and directors, procurement specialists and business owners from across the North of England.

In the opening seminar of a packed day, Woodruff told a standing room only audience at The Village Hotel, Leeds, that companies should be aware of the threat of social engineering – where hackers manipulate individuals’ behaviour to gain information.

He outlined various tactics that he has used to carry out an ethical penetration test.

In one example, he watched the comings and goings of people at an organisation over a period of months. He observed how, every Friday, a pizza delivery driver would arrive at the office and be granted access through security.

Woodruff got a job at the pizza shop and was subsequently able to make the delivery and access the interior of the building. His destination was the server room. A security keypad only held him up momentarily as he used a UV spray to discover which buttons had been pressed.

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“The most dangerous threat you have is routine,” he told delegates.

“The way I break into organisations is not through the firewall. I can just make a simple phone call to manipulate an employee. They are a valuable asset to your company but they are so undervalued in terms of cyber security.

“For me, it’s all about profiling individuals – learning their routine.”

Woodruff, who has been hacking since he was nine years old, said he even buys official company uniforms, which are available on eBay, to ensure he looks the part.

His intended target is always data, which he said is more valuable than currency, adding that it takes just 35-40 minutes to take 200,000 accounts.

After Woodruff’s memorable opening, the Business Technology Forum programme continued apace with free, educational seminars and workshops on the theme of ‘digital innovation for the future workplace’.

Guests received advice tailored to their business needs and were able to sample the latest technology through practical demonstrations in the exhibition hall. Brands on show included Microsoft, Avaya, Canon, Gamma, IBM Security, Sage and Objectif Lune.

NGC Networks director Nikki Guest said: “Jamie’s keynote address was the perfect way to kick-start our best Business Technology Forum yet – and he certainly provided plenty of talking points for guests!

“We hope that attendees gained fresh insights into the latest technological advances and took home some tips on how technology can make their business more agile and competitive.”

Keep an eye out for news about the Business Technology Forum 2019 at http://businesstechforum.co.uk/

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