Arms dealers turn to cyber security

By Graeme Burton
18 Feb 2013 View Comments
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Arms vendors are moving into the cyber security sector in response to a decline in sales of their traditional weapons, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

It is the first time that annual arms sales have fallen since 1994. According to the Institute, the 100 largest arms-makers' revenues fell by five per cent in 2011 and, in response, many are moving into cyber security as this is an area of security spending that has not yet come under pressure from government austerity measures.

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"Companies such as Raytheon, BAE System and EADS Cassidian are seeking alternative revenue channels from the civilian sector while maintaining ties to military spending in this market. These companies' cyber security activities are focused on data and network protection software and services; testing and simulation services; training and consulting services; and operational support," claimed the Institute.

Furthermore, these cyber security services are also in-demand worldwide among governments of all types, with demand stimulated by recently uncovered threats. The Stuxnet and Flame attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities, especially, demonstrated how national infrastructure can be targeted by determined attackers even when the supporting computing infrastructure is not internet-connected.

More recently, the US National Intelligence Estimate has highlighted what it says are determined and widespread attacks against US government and corporate interests by Chinese state hackers - or hackers associated with ruling groups. The attacks from China, it adds, are far in excess of attacks sourced to Israeli, Russian and French interests.

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