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Libyan Newswire

Growing cybersecurity threats offer opportunities for cybersecurity businesses

Cybersecurity businessGrowing cybersecurity threats offer opportunities for cybersecurity businesses

Published 9 December 2014

A 2013 report from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team(USCERT) noted that the number of cyberattacks reported by federal agencies had skyrocketed 782 percent since 2006, to nearly 49,000, in 2012. Today, the figure is much higher. The increasing threat of cyberattacks from domestic and foreign actors has opened up opportunities for cybersecurity professionals, many of whom held positions with the U.S. military or intelligence agencies. For the private sector, cybersecurity spending is expected to reach $71.1 billion this year, and expected to grow about 9 percent annually through 2016.

A 2013 report from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (USCERT) noted that the number of cyberattacks reported by federal agencies had skyrocketed 782 percent since 2006, to nearly 49,000, in 2012. Today, the figure is much higher.

The increasing threat of cyberattacks from domestic and foreign actors has opened up opportunities for cybersecurity professionals, many of whom held positions with the U.S. military or intelligence agencies. Noah Leask, head of South Carolina-based ISHPI, operates his technology service company with thirteen employees at his corporate headquarters, and roughly 250 working mostly at federal sites and ISHPI offices in Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. The company, led by Leask and his wife Lisa, began as a start-up in the couple’s home eight years ago. Now the firm brings in an annual revenue of more than $35 million.

ThePost and Courier reports that ISHPI works entirely on federal government contracts, and competes for most bids as a small business whose owner is an American Indian and service-disabled veteran. “We’re winning small business bids, but we’re also winning open bids against companies such as Lockheed Martin,” said Leask, a Navy veteran who received back injuries and broken bones while deployed and who is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

For the private sector, cybersecurity spending is expected to reach $71.1 billion this year, and expected to grow about 9 percent annually through 2016, according to Gartner. Hewlett-Packard is looking to cybersecurity-related services to help turn around the company currently struggling with slow PC sales. “This is the issue of the day,” CEO Meg Whitman said of the growing threat. “I contrast it back to when I started at eBay. I was worried about a teenager in Red Deer, Montana, hacking into our systems. This is now organized crime.” As a result, “we are really making a big push in security.”

While ISHPI and Hewlett-Packard focus on cybersecurity solutions, cyber insurance is becoming more mainstream due to recent attacks on major U.S. retailers and banks, including Chase Bank, Target, and Home Depot. “For the last year the product has practically advertised itself,” said Bob Hartwig, the president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. “There is no business, no government institution that is immune to cyberattack. And so what we are seeing is an enormous amount of dollars being spent on cybersecurity in 2014.” For insurance broker Marsh & McLennan, cyber insurance sales increased 21 percent from 2012 to 2013, and for the first half of 2014, was twice what is was during the same period in 2013.

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