US defence companies branch out into cyber protection

25 Nov 2010

It would seem that no matter how profitable the trade, not even the defence industry has been able to protect itself from the global recession and has had to look further afield to sustain itself.

In the US, defence contractors are under pressure to cut costs and generate better revenues and they have begun to investigate the cyber security market in an effort to tighten up as budgets become tighter.

According to a report on Reuters, US defence companies have begun to acquire small firms that specialise in cyber security and more deals are expected.

Due to tighter budgets and increased pressure, defence spending will focus on the cyber-security market as the evolving threat to homeland security takes shape in another form.

Cyber dangers

The US has been hard at work recently in its efforts to minimise the dangers posed by cyber attacks and has been conducting mock attacks in efforts to shore up its security measures.

Modern blended threats such as Aurora, Stuxnet, and Zeus have the ability to infiltrate organisations through a variety of co-ordinated tactics, usually a combination of two or more – most prevalent in the Stuxnet attack on the Teheran uranium enrichment plant in Iran this year – and legacy defences such as firewalls are no longer able to fend off the cyber threat.

Cyber command

The US military has itself rolled out its own Cyber Command, which is now responsible for directing activities to operate and defend Department of Defense (DoD) networks and co-ordinates the US’ cyber forces.

By branching out into the area of cyber-attack prevention, US defence contractors are tapping into a relatively new and evolving market of defence as they vie to weather economic and potential war on cyber terror – and somebody inevitably profits from war.