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The Red Cell Story

The foundations for what created Red Cell Security started in the mid-90s. I grew up in poor and dangerous urban and rural areas along the South and Northeast of the United States. For most of my childhood and young adult life, I lived in a constant state of fight or flight. For the early part of my life, it leaned more towards the flight. I was the poster child for the tall, skinny, poor, unpopular and bullied kid.

In some of the more underprivileged areas, our mobile home or apartment was broken into and the few personal stolen or destroyed. All this of course happened with no recourse. The landlords offering no support to addresses the security issues and the neighbors being too scared to offer help in identifying or working together to stop the criminal activity. Local law enforcement offered us nothing. No proof or evidence, nothing they could do.

I grew tired of being the punching bag. I grew tired of our home being a target. The problem was, I didn’t know what to do about any of it. I just knew I wanted it all to change and that I wanted to help others who were having the same problems as me.

While I was living in a small rural town in Florida, I was befriended a martial arts instructor who began me down the path of Japanese karate and jujutsu; it was a life changing experience. It was the first time I felt empowered. A few months into my training, and several “off the beaten path” fights, the bullies stopped. Even with that, I still felt something was missing. If it helped me to not be the victim, I wanted to do more to help others not be the victim.

At 16 years old my life came to a juncture, for the positive when I landed in Rochester, NY. Two positive things happened. The first being that I fully involved myself in my martial arts training. The second was an invitation to sit on the Ad-hoc Violence Prevention Committee.

And everything changed – I began teaching people how to protect themselves. In parallel, I began working with law enforcement and security companies to develop solutions to be implemented in the city school districts and in private city held establishments, enhancing their security to protect the “customers”.

As with most of us, college came next where I of course majored in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. Out of that, I had a short stint training as part of a high-risk warrant service and narcotics entry teams with a sheriff’s department – I realized quickly that it wasn’t my thing, though it provided me with some good foundational concepts and structure I continue to use to this day.

Flash forward several years, and many chance encounters -- I found myself where I thought I needed to be finally, building information security, physical security and privacy programs for private sector companies and a short stint in DC working government agencies doing classified things.

I then transitioned into what I saw as my future. I grew tired of the spreadsheet assessments, checking the box to complete an objective to meet compliance. It was all bullshit -- companies and agencies worked through these documents creating false security. I wanted to bring the fight to the customers --literally, demonstrate the actual flaws through multiple attacks vectors – using this to address actual gaps while meeting regulatory requirements, or simply meeting an organizations risk management requirement.

A few years later, and several security consulting companies under my belt, a friend hired me into a newly formed service wing of a large well established security company. We built an active assault testing service. At the time, we were but a handful performing this service internationally. The service took off – we found ourselves booked out non-stop attacking customers globally.

In parallel, I began speaking on the subject at security conferences every chance I had. I preach the active attack approach to identifying true risks to work towards actual security.

About this time, I took a parallel step into dignitary protection and executive security. To be clear, I never wanted to be a bodyguard. It was the concepts on protective and all the intricacies that went into it that I was interested in. While I continued working to build out the security practice, I began training with a NYC company – learning about the advanced concepts of physical security, VIP protection and dignitary protection. From that, I took an even greater interest in physical security and intelligence.

In 2018 a friend approached me asking for help. The request was by standards abnormal to most companies, but right in line with my approach. An organization wide readiness assessment with the target assessment as the basis for gaps and remediation efforts. And Red Cell Security Consulting was born. Afterwards, I worked with several small companies, offering our very specialized services, far cheaper than the larger security consulting companies, which kept us busy.

In 2021, things changed when a friend approached me from Apple looking for help with a new project they were starting on. He pitched me the idea – they wanted to have a cellphone communicate with a low earth orbit satellite in the event of an emergency. I of course jumped at the opportunity. “I” finally turned into “we” as I brought a few key consultants on board as well as a partner to help operate on a day-to-day basis. We worked between Apple and their service provider Globalstar; working with the vendor to enhance their information security, privacy and physical security on an international scale.

Our goal now, to continue to expand internationally with our unique approach to the design, implementation and management of the physical security and information security programs for our future clients.

Keith Pachulski

Founder and Managing Partner.

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