Our first industry ranking

Who doesn’t love a list, especially if you’re included on it? With that in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to cap our final issue of 2012 with the Defense Systems Super 75, our ranking of the most innovative and agile companies operating in the net-centric battlespace.

As I mention in the introduction to the list beginning in our Special Report, it’s not an easy matter to rank companies operating in such a diverse space of C4ISR, military cyber and defense IT based purely on financial data. How do you compare a company that’s an industry leader in building million-dollar unmanned aerial vehicles with one that builds billion-dollar communications satellites, for example? That was our challenge—to combine straight financial data with a more subjective understanding of what makes a company an industry leader—and I think we’ve come up with some interesting results.

I’ll be curious to know what you think. Who maybe should have been included, but wasn’t? Who should be higher on the list, or lower? Feel free to link to the Defense Systems Super 75 story on our website and comment.

Our year-end issue is also where we typically offer a quick take on the year in cyber defense, though this year we take a look back at what was clearly the year in cyber war.

As we go to press, the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, announced publicly that not only were its networks under constant cyberattack, but also most of its key suppliers—many of which don’t have the sophisticated cyber defenses of a Lockheed Martin—were also under constant cyber bombardment.

At the same time, The U.S. Senate failed for a second time to pass a cybersecurity bill that would have put a slight amount of responsibility on the private sector to ensure its networks were secure. Because of that failure, America’s most vital defense secrets are incompletely defended.

Cybersecurity legislation is now dead for the remainder of the lame-duck congressional session. The only recourse is an executive order from the president. He should issue that order soon, not only to protect our defense secrets but also our power grids, our food and water supply, and our health care system.

About the Author

Barry Rosenberg is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryDefense.

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