Defense firms see opportunity in cyber attacks

June 20, 2011
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via The Baltimore Sun

A spate of high-profile online break-ins has given defense firms at the Paris Air Show a new sales pitch: cyber security.

Targeted by hackers looking to steal source codes, R&D information and trade secrets, aerospace and defense firms are turning the tables on the pirates and are making security a key sales argument.

He added that cyber security was now an “arms race,” with defense firms battling to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

“Information is now used as a weapon and companies need to defend it at all costs or they themselves could lose out on contracts if they are seen as having weak defenses,” he said.

Earlier this month, some of U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin’s systems — home to sensitive U.S. defense technologies — were hacked, while the Pentagon said that cyber attacks perpetrated by foreign governments could now be considered acts of war.

Other recent prominent attacks have targeted entities such as the International Monetary Fund, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Senate, as well as multinationals Google and Sony.

“When you see an airplane coming at you firing missiles, you can see it. This other threat, you have no idea whether they are there or not. That’s why I don’t sleep at night,” Raytheon Chief Executive William Swanson told Reuters.

“Our opportunity is to make sure we protect ourselves, protect our products and protect those we offer services too.”

Continued here.