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Robert Garigue was industry visionary

Robert Garigue, the Vice-President of Information Integrity and Chief Security Executive of Bell Canada, passed away suddenly in Montreal Jan. 10. He was 55 years old.



January 29, 2007
By Jennifer Brown

Garigue, who held a PhD in knowledge engineering, was well respected in the security industry and held some of the top security positions in the country including CISO of BMO Financial for five years. Prior to joining BMO, he was assistant deputy minister in the Office of Information Technology for the Province of Manitoba and worked at the Department of National Defence, serving as program co-ordinator for joint and strategic information systems. He was the first director of the Canadian Forces Strategic Network Vulnerability Analysis Centre.

Those who knew Garigue praised his vision and ability to bring together groups of people to address critical issues around cyber-security and identity management.

“I’ve know Robert since 1999 when I was recruited into the DND Information Protection Centre to take on a management role with the DND CIRT,” recalls Peter Hillier, senior security consultant with CGI Information Systems in Ottawa. “Since then we have crossed paths professionally numerous times and he always made time, regardless how busy his schedule, to sit and talk. For myself, and many others, he was a mentor and friend who will be sorely missed; who will we call now for expert advice, of the calibre he provided?”

That sentiment was shared by many who found Garigue to be a visionary anxious to cross the borders of business lines to solve critical security issues.

“I’m going to really miss him,” says Gene McLean, CSO and vice-president at Telus Communications. “He had just become part of the Telecommunications Security Association I am chairman of and he provided such a great contribution to that.”

McLean, who was director of security with the Canadian Bankers Association prior to joining Telus, says he really got to know Garigue when in 2001 the two brought together a group of bank CISOs to talk about the rising problem of hackers attacking the banks.

“He had a way with people, of changing the culture. Although he was security conscious, he had the attitude that we had to come together on an issue. That’s the kind of influence he had.

“You could approach Robert with an idea and he would be gung-ho to be involved. He was a positive thinker and always had the best interest of security in mind. He went beyond the parameters of competition. Everyone in security has lost a good friend, ally and professional.” 

An online book of remembrance can be viewed here.