Huawei hires British government IT czar

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Huawei hires British government IT czar

New face to tackle security assurance.

Chinese networking giant Huawei has appointed Britain's former Government CIO John Suffolk as its global head of cyber security. 

Suffolk will be “in charge of developing Huawei's cyber security assurance strategy and system, managing and supervising its implementation,” Huawei announced Monday

Suffolk announced his departure from the public service last November after five years as its top CIO.

In February he made a request to the UK government to clear his acceptance of the role offered by Huawei's CEO, Ren Zhengfei.

Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron cleared Suffolk to begin the new role with Huawei on 1 October, Suffolk wrote in a blog post Monday.

He will be based at the company’s massive campus-style headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzen, where he will oversee the security of the company's "whole IT supply chain" and report directly to Zhengfei. 

“My role will be to ensure that our cyber security assurance system integrates end-to-end cyber security into solutions covering our cloud computing solutions, pipes/ telecommunications and all devices from mobile broadband to PDA's where appropriate, the customer-oriented business processes and the whole ICT supply chain," he said. 

Despite its growing acceptance as a telecoms supplier, Huawei has faced setbacks in its attempt to expand operations into the US and has several times denied allegations made in US, UK and Australia that Zhengfei’s past as a Chinese military officer was a security threat. 

This February Huawei abandoned its US$2 million buyout of US IT company 3Leaf after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US disproved of the sale.

Suffolk would improve Huawei's reputation amongst customers, said Ken Hu, Huawei's deputy chairman of the board and chairman of Huawei's Global Cyber Security Committee.

"Mr. Suffolk has a wealth of experience and expertise in dealing with cyber security issues with deep insights into emerging global cyber security trends.

"This will enhance Huawei's capabilities in addressing security challenges, and further support our proven track record and reputation among customers in an increasingly complex environment."

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