Former BAE Exec to Promote UK Cybersecurity ‎Exports

Sky News understands that the international trade secretary will announce the appointment of Dr. Henry Pearson as the UK’s new cyber security ambassador on Friday.

‎Dr. Pearson’s arrival will fill a position that was left vacant well over a year when Conrad Prince stepped down.

‎The role, which pays a senior civil servant’s salary, is designed to promote the cyber capabilities of British companies in international markets.

A Department for International Trade (DIT) insider said that Dr. Pearson would focus on countries in the Gulf ‎and south-east Asia, and seek to help UK-based businesses win contracts with governments and central banks.

UK cybersecurity experts are forecast to be worth £2.6bn annually by 2021.

Dr. Pearson has worked at the National Cyber Security Centre‎, the Ministry of Defence and Detica, the cyberdefence subsidiary of BAE Systems.

His appointment comes amid a raging debate about the role of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer, in building Britain’s 5G communications network.

Huawei has vigorously dismissed long-standing suggestions that it is funded by Beijing, but doubts about its engineering competence have fuelled concerns about the wisdom of allowing the company to play a role in critical national infrastructure.

A DIT spokeswoman declined to comment on Dr. Pearson’s appointment ahead of a formal announcement.

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Author: Mark Kleinman