Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

Cyber conflict drawing companies like a magnet

The entry of companies into the cyber conflict market seems to have accelerated. Multiple factors have created this draw. In a big picture standpoint, this is welcome news for the economy and the businesses that are successful in this domain.

The first factor that explains the big attraction is the overall need. Multiple military and government officials have warned of the growing threat of cyberattack, as well as the national security implications of cyber espionage. Add to that the substantial distributed denial of service attacks that befell the financial services sector in fall 2012 and the continuous bombardment of breach reports, and you can see the reason for the attraction. U.S.-based companies are stepping up to the challenge of defending the nation’s critical infrastructure and general technology assets.

The second significant factor is market size. Recent estimates suggest the dollars to be spent on this problem set is growing. Sector analysts have released their market forecast reports that project in 2013 this global market will be about $17 billion, and other suggest a 12 percent compound annual growth rate for the next few years. In the sluggish economy these figures are attractive.

Nevertheless, there are some negative consequences of this growing market. Companies are force-fitting their products, knowledge and services into this market segment. Given all that is at stake, this is concerning. A recent research project required an analysis of available offerings. After a number of phone calls, e-mails and product literature review of a specific product set, I walked away amazed at the vendors lack of understanding of the problem space. One was not even aware of publicly reported and confirmed events that have a great influence on their products and services.

There is little doubt that we have seen better times when it comes to business. Contributing to these challenges is the recent sequestration enactment. It is a risk and there are so many unknowns that have government contractors uneasy. However, the force-fitting of products and services into this environment is dangerous given what is at stake. I guess the age old saying let the buyer beware applies here.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Mar 14, 2013 at 9:26 PM

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