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Exclusive: Keeping the lights on, water flowing and gas lit

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With more than 40 years’ experience in the physical security industry, having spent nearly 10 of those with leading security manufacturer Gallagher, Strategic Business Development Manager, Kevin Godfrey, discusses why a robust perimeter solution is essential for maintaining business continuity across critical national infrastructure sites.

The British public relies on national infrastructure for services and products that are essential for daily life. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) explains, while national infrastructure mainly consists of facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes – necessary for the UK to function – it also includes some sites that are not critical to the maintenance of essential services. These sites still require protection due to the inherent potential danger to the public (civil nuclear and chemical sites, for example).

Across the UK, there are thousands of critical infrastructure sites that deliver essential services in very different ways. They belong to one of 13 sectors that the UK Government has decided are so crucial that disruption would seriously impact the nation’s security, its people, economy, or public health. One aspect that unifies them is the critical importance of protecting their most important and sensitive assets.

Great solutions require investment

Gallagher has a proven history and reputation in the delivery of high security solutions around the globe, meeting some of the world’s most stringent physical and cybersecurity government standards. They are widely recognised as one of the most trusted providers for high security solutions and have developed innovative perimeter, access control and intruder alarm solutions which are used to protect some of the world’s most significant assets and locations.

Gallagher has delivered systems to meet government compliance standards, particularly across the Five Eyes nations, for more than 15 years. “As a responsible manufacturer, we are committed to attaining the correct approvals and standards across all the markets we operate in – it’s one of the things we do extremely well,” explains Godfrey.

“Achieving approvals and meeting national standards is recognised and valued by our customers, and it’s Gallagher’s investment in both these things that has given us the longevity and continuity of our business in the UK from a perimeter perspective for the past 25 to 30 years,” says Godfrey.

Gallagher’s Electronic Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (E-PIDS) is CPNI approved and listed in the Catalogue for Security Equipment (CSE) within the Detection and Tracking Systems section. The CSE is designed to help organisations choose appropriate physical security equipment to protect the assets for which they are responsible. Gallagher is also listed in the Access Control Equipment and Cyber Assurance of Physical Security Systems (CAPSS) approved categories too.

“Four variations of Gallagher’s Monitored Pulse Fence were tested, and all passed the CPNI’s stringent alarm threshold and full attack testing in external environments over an eight-month period. Using Gallagher perimeter detection products as part of your responsive high security solution is a people-friendly and responsible way to manage site security, without compromising on safety.

“It’s known within industry that PIDS can be prone to false alarms, and while they have a lower false alarm rate to other systems, they are still vulnerable to nuisance alarms. So, the first thing a customer looks for is a PIDS system with the appropriate approvals, so they are assured it is tried and tested.

“Gallagher’s E-PIDS has high detection rates, and low false alarm rates. This is proven by the standards our system has achieved, and is exactly what our customers look for,” says Godfrey.

Assessing the risk

Godfrey explains within the highly regulated industries that Gallagher protects; national infrastructure customers must conduct a security risk assessment before choosing a security solution. The security risk assessment indicates the criticality of the site, and the appropriate security solution for the site is driven by the Site-Specific Operational Requirement (SSOR).

“SSORs are an essential tool that help organisations produce a clear, considered, high-level statement about their security needs based on the risks they face. A well-defined SSOR often leads to the delivery of a more successful security project and reduces the risk of additional commissioning costs,” he says.

CPNI recommends completing both a risk assessment and the SSOR process as an essential part of any security project.

“Once a risk assessment and SSOR process is complete, customers often choose Gallagher as the most appropriate security solution for their operational requirements – as Gallagher solutions score highly in this regard. We are always addressing the SSOR.”

Maintaining business continuity

While high security solutions are designed to protect assets, they are also designed to protect people from the asset. “Protecting company assets while ensuring the safety of the public is central to ensuring business continuity,” says Godfrey.

“National infrastructure, or any site for that matter, needs to mitigate against Occupier’s Liability – they have a duty of care to protect the asset, and protect a visitor/the public from the dangers of that asset. A visitor may be an individual who has express permission, implied permission, or a lawful right of entry. But the site also has a duty of care to unlawful visitors too.

“High security solutions that protect people, property, and assets reduce the likelihood of business interruptions, property damage, financial impact, and even loss of life following an emergency. Business continuity is the fundamental business problem that an effective perimeter solution supports. Gallagher is proud to help keep the lights on, water flowing, and gas lit. We are proud to help keep our national infrastructure running.”

The power of integration

To maintain business continuity, you need an integrated security solution, and the biggest trend in perimeter protection right now is the demand for integrated technologies, explains Godfrey.

“A secure perimeter consists of a four-tier approach – Deter, Detect, Delay and Visual Verification – integrated into a Security Management System (SMS). This integrated approach provides the control room operator with all the information associated with an attempted attack in the right format, at the right time, ultimately assisting with faster response times.

“While perimeter security is an organisation’s first and best line of defence, with energised fence systems offering powerful deterrence and detection, integration with other security technologies is key to any intelligent perimeter. You want a single SMS to bring everything together, providing you with an intelligent multi-layered solution.

“Through utilising an SMS, sites can have full integration between perimeter, intruder alarms, access control, and video management systems. Offering powerful reporting on detail such as fence voltage levels, operator use statistics, or specific zone alarm data.

Godfrey adds: “When you look at a typical infrastructure environment, an employee may drive up to the gate at night, wind down the vehicle window and badge at an access control reader, then as the gate automatically opens, the Monitored Pulse Fence turns off, the flood lights come on, and everyone at the Alarm Centre can see what is happening through CCTV.”

Gallagher’s perimeter solutions are configured and controlled using Gallagher Command Centre, the powerful software at the heart of an integrated system – a centralised platform that provides unparalleled control of every aspect of a site.

“If you have an integrated SMS, you can drive all the efficiencies at the command and control. Your security is easy to view and manage, plus it’s easy to understand what alarms are coming through. You’ve automatically streamlined everything and can drive natural business efficiencies through an integrated solution.

“One thing that underpins Gallagher’s integrated solution is cyber-resilience – providing a full end-to-end authenticated and encrypted security system to defend the most critical of sites. From the edge devices to the perimeter fence controller and the access control reader on the gate – you have a fully integrated, cyber-resilient, encrypted product set,” says Godfrey.

Relentlessly innovating for a better tomorrow 

Gallagher Group has a history of innovation that has delivered world leading animal management, security, and fuel systems solutions to customers around the world for over 80 years, explains Godfrey.

“Team Gallagher are relentless innovators. We strive for excellence through continuous improvement, and constantly explore ways to ensure our long-term competitive advantage. The one thing that drives everything we do is our continual investment in Research and Development (R&D). We know that great ideas don’t come without investment, so we put money into driving new solutions for our future success – 15% of group annual turnover to be exact.”

Investing 15% of revenue into R&D every year is one of the reasons Godfrey believes they get repeat business in the UK.  

“Our Channel Partners and customers have great faith in us, given we always strive to satisfy local approvals and standards, along with customer needs – that’s what drives our business. We work alongside our customers to deeply understand their challenges and operating environments, and these insights help guide our product development and the future of our security technology road map.”

Customer inspired solutions

Godfrey explains it’s in Gallagher’s DNA to discover, design and deliver customer inspired solutions to redefine what’s possible for customers around the world.

“Our customers are the focus of all our decisions and actions. They trust us because of the standards we achieve, our continued investment in R&D and the customer centric approach we take to deliver innovative solutions that solve real business problems and ensure business continuity. It’s our focus on these things that gives us a seat at the table and makes us the manufacturer of choice for a large number of national infrastructure sites across the UK.”

Kevin Godfrey, Strategic Business Development Manager at Gallagher

To find out more information about Gallagher, visit: https://www.gallagher.com/