I was sat with Dan one day and he opens up a piece of free open-source penetration testing software and shows me how easy it is to steal data. Within 2 minutes he had a trap set up which would collect any passwords passed over the network. It was drawing down Facebook, FTP, Twitter, university credentials. We obviously stopped this and deleted the data but it highlighted an important vulnerability. We set out to fix this.
Connectere is our passion brought to life. We are two innovative and business focused computer scientists who realised that browsing and working on secure networks is one of the most important things in today’s world. With the availability of more and more open networks, especially in places such as hotels, coffee shops, shopping malls etc comes the threat of malware, spyware, viruses, all with the intention of stealing your data.
Connectere will provide a secure alternative to this, through being able to connect to your personal and safe Virtual Private Network, on any other network in the world, whether it be open or not. Providing you the security of your home network wherever you are.
When you remotely connect to your Connectere device it will use symmetric-key encryption between whichever device you use to connect, and your Connectere device at home to create a secure tunnel using PTPP connection where any information that passes through it is encrypted and secure. Once any data reaches your VPN at home, it will then have the added security of both being encrypted with the symmetric key and any further protection you have already set up, e.g. Firewalls, anti-virus etc.
This will provide you the peace of mind of being able to access any sites on the internet in a secure manner, whether it be simply browsing your social media without the worry of your personal information being stolen, or even carrying out personal banking activities online – whether you’re connected to the open WiFi in Starbucks down the street, or in a hotel in the Caribbean.
Since our original thinking of this over a year ago, we have started to develop the product in our spare time whilst also maintaining full time jobs in innovation in the Financial Services industry.
A small device that you plug into your router or PC
What it features:
8 simultaneous connections initially
Access to home network
Desktop software that allows you to connect from any device
I achieved a First Class Honors on Computer Science at university specializing in app development and web security. Following this I went on to work with Hewlett Packard on their networking equipment to automate their deployment in sensitive and life critical environments. I’ve now brought this knowledge with me into the financial services industry where I work as co-head of innovation and a lead architect.
With a first class degree in Computer Science and a focus on Network Security. Previous projects have included white hat hacking and penetration testing. Previous employment including Microsoft and now working within Innovation in the financial services and acting as a co subject matter expert in security, my passion (if you already couldn’t tell!) is computer security. With more and more focus on educating people about how important it is to keep your data private, I truly believe that we can make it easy for you to do exactly that.
Why do you need a VPN?
Working on a VPN guarantees that any data that you’re sending or receiving when you’re online in any network is encrypted, secure and away from prying eyes. VPN’s are highly recommended when out an about, travelling or just on an open and untrusted network, for example the networks available in coffee shops or hotels. Even though you may need to log in to access the internet, there are still lots of other people on the network, and in these scenarios the data sent is unencrypted and accessible to anyone who is looking for it.
So far since our initial ideation we have developed a prototype which will allow us to get a better understanding of both the visual aspects of the product as well as the user interactivity and functionality it will contain. We still need to do some work on the software for the VPN as well as the production, however with our first release date being mid 2016, we aim to have further developed both our thinking and production of the product to a working release. Recently, we have been adoptinng an agile approach to the project. Danny is currently certified as both scrum master and product owner so with a good understanding of the iterative approach that agile provides, we are trying to develop the software to ensure a minimal viable product will be produced at the end of each sprint.
We still consider ourselves to be young and moderately experienced compared with other Kickstarters. Between us we have worked At Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Barclays bank so we have had exposure to the industry and have strong connections to experienced business people. As well as colleauges who have offered their support and investment. What we bring is a younger and more flexible thinking. We see the conceptual side as well as the technically feasible side to our project. With this we will call on our connections to advise us and explore this opportunity.
In regards to the hardware development, sourcing and development time. This is our largest risk. To mitigate this we will look to leverage third parties for advice and consultation.
We will ensure that all prototypes and final editions are thoroughly tested before the release of the product. As well as doing user testing to ensure that the product we release is what you want.