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Iain Johnston and Chris Hurst

Iain Johnston and Chris Hurst are the top team of Blackwired, which brings a military philosophy to defending nations and enterprises against threats from the Dark Web. Chris brings a lifelong interest in computers and lessons learned as CSIO in BT, while Iain contributes the experience of a military career more recently applied to Cyber.

In this interview they describe the fundamentals of the Dark Web and the activities within its industrial complex before moving on to illustrate its significance to the critical activities of commerce and Government. The interview illustrates, with examples, the potency of the threat from the Dark Web and what the emerging industry of cyber countermeasures can do to protect us all.

Pamela Cook

The youngest of six children, Pamela Cook was born in a Birmingham slum with no electricity or indoor sanitation. But the family was re-housed when she was three and she describes her childhood as very happy.

Her lack of enjoyment at school and the need to earn money from her early teens, gave her an understanding of the working world and a will to survive. But she also inherited her parents’ strong sense of moral ethics, making her determined to try to do good in the world.

Pamela has achieved that goal as CEO of Infoshare, a data technology company which creates accurate single views, for example, of people, places, addresses and objects. When she took the helm in 2010 she re-mortgaged her house to fund a major company restructure. Since then, she has tried to re-shape the business to use its technology and position to benefit vulnerable people, from children at risk and victims of crime to those likely to be most badly affected by Covid-19.

“What I have discovered is being able to make a real impact on people’s lives,” she says, whether they are at risk, need early intervention or are trying to disguise their true identities.

Pamela is also a magistrate in Thames Valley, and sits on the Cabinet Office SME Panel, fighting for the rights and fair treatment of small businesses in the UK. She is a popular speaker on successful information sharing, protecting citizens and the implication of legislation on data sharing and analysis.

She was named the Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2019 Enterprise Awards, and listed on the 2020 DataIQ 100 people in data, and on the 2020 Global Top 100 Data Visionaries.

Geoff Squire OBE

Geoff Squire OBE spent 50 years in the UK IT industry, from machine code to $Bn companies.  Geoff learnt arithmetic and the value of pounds, shillings and pence at an early age doing sums upside down over his father’s shoulder.  University was never an option but interest in numbers led on to jobs in programming and thence to growing roles in ICL.

He is perhaps most famous for establishing Oracle in the UK with an opportunistic pitch to Larry Ellison.  Subsequently Geoff led Veritas to a Y2K $75Bn market cap.  In recent years Geoff has focused, with his wife Fiona, on their grant giving charity and he serves as Chairman of Give as You Live Ltd, a technology company dedicated to raising money for UK charities.

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