Bloomberg reports that, while other businesses find sales plummeting, cybersecurity is booming.
Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the worldâ€™s biggest defense companies, are deploying forces and resources to a new battlefield: cyberspace.
The military contractors, eager to capture a share of a market that may reach $11 billion in 2013, have formed new business units to tap increased spending to protect U.S. government computers from attack.
Chicago-based Boeing set up its Cyber Solutions division in August â€œbecause of a realization by the company that itâ€™s a very serious threat,â€ Barbara Fast, vice president of the unit, said in an interview. â€œItâ€™s not a question of if weâ€™ll be attacked but when and so how will we be prepared.â€ Lockheed launched its cyber-defense operation in October.
President George W. Bush announced a national cybersecurity plan in January to be supervised by the Department of Homeland Security, after an increasing number of attacks on U.S. government and private sector networks by groups linked to foreign governments, organized crime gangs and hackers. In a Dec. 8 report, a panel of experts said President-elect Barack Obama should create a White House office to oversee the effort.
â€œThe whole area of cyber is probably one of the faster-growing areasâ€ of the U.S. budget, Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheedâ€™s Information Systems & Global Services unit, said in an interview. â€œItâ€™s something that weâ€™re very focused on. I expect there will be a significant focusâ€ under Obama.
The number of security breaches of U.S. and private-computer networks reported to the Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the Homeland Security Department almost doubled to 72,000 in the fiscal year ended in October from about 37,000 the previous year, agency spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said in an interview.
U.S. government spending to secure military, intelligence and other agency computer networks is forecast to rise 44 percent to $10.7 billion in 2013 from $7.4 billion this year, according to a report by market forecaster Input.
Security-system spending will grow 7 percent to 8 percent annually, â€œsignificantly fasterâ€ than information-technology, which has increased about 4 percent a year in the past five years, said John Slye, an analyst at the Reston, Virginia, company.