SME Survival Guide: Why online criminals love Cyber Monday just as much as you

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up


Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday


If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer


Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

Monday 26 November is the 332nd day of the year, meaning there are just four weeks to go until Christmas. But, even more newsworthy than that, is that it’s also Cyber Monday 2018.

The floodgates will now officially be open for 24 hours of bargain hunting at all major retailers, but if you’re looking to capitalise on these flash sales too – as a buyer or a retailer – it’s important to keep an eye out for the digital criminals lurking in the shadows. Here’s why they love Cyber Monday just as much as the rest of us…

Phishing for presents

Let’s face it, you’ve probably spent the last month deleting – or flagging to revisit – a seemingly endless stream of marketing emails from some of your favourite brands. You might have even been lucky enough to receive an e-card from a supplier or customer. But, it’s this kind of content you really need to take note of.

As inboxes burst with festive messages and money-saving offers from every corner of cyber-space, it’s hard to tell which emails are from legitimate senders, and which might be impersonating someone you know. And, let’s admit it, your average cyber-criminal isn’t going to be worried about GDPR compliance.

To protect yourself, take a second to inspect your message for any tell-tale signs of a phishing email. Does the email address look genuine? Are there any basic spelling or grammatical mistakes? If you’re unsure, never click any links, instead visit the website of the retailer directly.

Mind the app

A new addition to the hacker toolkit in recent years has been smartphone apps. Consumers who purchase through their phone or tablet might only download certain apps for better functionality during the sale season.

Copycat apps constantly look to cash in on the annual shopping frenzy, seeking to trick people into entering their login credentials or credit card details as they hunt for the best deals. Keep your wits about you when downloading from your app store too, making sure that any purchases are verified. You can do this by checking the logo and wording is correct and not just designed to mimic your favourite brands.

Better safe than sorry

You wouldn’t leave your front door wide open, so why do the same with your PC?

Before you even start flashing the cash, it’s a good idea to conduct your annual IT security health check. Make sure to update all your web-enabled devices’ security settings and see that your firewall and anti-virus software is up-to-date.

If you have employees who you suspect might be swapping their lunchtime stroll for a spot of online shopping, why not make the most of our free cyber security and network assessment to make sure your SME is protected in the run-up to the festive season.

The hacker who stole Christmas

While you may not recognise the name ‘Magecart’, this clandestine network of credit-card skimming groups has already targeted the likes of Ticketmaster, Newegg and British Airways. If you transact any business through a website or app, it’s imperative your SME is protected from any potential vulnerabilities.

If you’d like further advice on how to protect your IT infrastructure against malicious activity this Cyber Monday, contact our friendly team of experts about conducting a customised IT audit!

Why online criminals love Cyber Monday just as much as you Why online criminals love Cyber Monday just as much as you