Gallagher Security appoints new general manager with remit to combat cyber threat

Richard Huison

Richard Huison

The growing cyber threat is the target for the new man at the helm of Gallagher Security (Europe), whose vision is to equip companies and authorities to combat this ongoing and growing problem area. Richard Huison has stepped up to the role of general manager for the UK and Europe a year after joining Gallagher from Vanderbilt Industries’ access control-centric brand ACT.

Huison believes Gallagher is perfectly placed to counter the cyber threat as a long-term CPNI-approved supplier to the Home Office and Critical National Infrastructure clients such as the National Grid. “The cost of a power outage on the grid is £1 million per minute so clients have to be absolutely sure of their cyber resilience and that everything they plug on to their network is secure,” asserted Huison. “That’s a real challenge in an era where kettles and other household appliances are becoming increasingly Wi-Fi-connected. A hacker switching them all on at the same time could bring down the grid.”

He cites the recent decision to limit Chinese giant Huawei’s involvement in 5G in the UK as evidence of how seriously Government takes the threat and wonders if mass network failures at mobile providers Vodafone and O2 Telefonica have a more sinister cause. “Given the cost to businesses and nation states of falling prey, we have to be sure that security is increasingly baked into everything we put on our networks,” stressed Huison.

In his new role, Huison now fills the shoes of career-long Gallagher stalwart Dave Bentley, who has left the business after 24 years for an entirely new challenge – to run a holiday camp in France. Bentley was the first on site in the UK at customers like Severn Trent Water, EDF, United Utilities and the aformentioned National Grid, which has evolved to be Gallagher’s largest UK client and its biggest worldwide for perimeters, covering a total of 700 sites through different channel partners via the Gallagher Command Centre in two Alarm Receiving Centres.

Strong and natural leader

Gallagher currently employs 1,100 individuals across a global network in ten countries. R&D alone makes up 135 of the workforce, 75 of whom are software developers. Global security boss Kahl Betham confirmed: “Richard is a strong natural authentic leader with great drive and ambition for the future. We’re delighted to have him take on this general manager’s role.”

Huison spent 14 years at Dublin-based ACT, expanding the brand, increasing its market presence and boosting growth by 25% in the UK. That followed on from three years with French security solutions manufacturer CDVi.

His career in the security industry started with a Government contractor making voice and data cryptos and scramblers for the military and Government Departments. The technology was also adopted by banks and utilities concerns to make secure financial transactions over a non-secure infrastructure.

One of Huison’s last projects in this role was the development of the Rapier 2000 fire command system where optical cryptos initiated the launch.

Huison is a Civil Aviation Authority-approved drone operator.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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