Cybersecurity Companies Gear Up for Huge Role in 2013

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Cyber threats from hacktivists, criminal enterprises, and others will only grow worse in 2013 and beyond - increasing the importance of cybersecurity companies.

This has led the Obama administration to continually warn about cyber threats that are capable of causing widespread damage.

In a recent speech, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said computer assaults from rogue countries or terrorists could be as destructive as the Sept. 11 attacks. At the Pentagon, plans have been in place since 2010 to combat this threat.

But it's not just the nation's security that is at risk. Most global corporations are also vulnerable to cyberattacks.

An August cyberattack on Saudi Arabia's state oil company, Saudi Aramco, incapacitated about 30,000 computers. It was probably the most destructive attack ever launched against a non-government entity.

The risk of an attack is particularly high in the corporate sector because of the complacency of its executives. According to a recent study by the consultancy firm PwC, entitled PwC's 2013 Global State of Information Security Survey, most executives are too optimistic about their companies' ability to handle cyberattacks.

The study warned that the rise in the number and sophistication of security incidents globally, along with scrimped corporate budgets, are leaving many firms open to attack. The survey found that, in reality, only 8% of companies truly qualify as information security leaders, with many faults detected.

For example, one of the most common faults found was the lack of a security strategy (protection against malware, etc.) to address personal devices used for work purposes in the workplace.

Mark Lobel, a principal in PwC's Advisory practice, told the Financial Times, "Security models of the past decade are no longer effective. Companies...should prepare to play a new game - one that requires advanced skills and strategy to win against emerging threats."

Growing Importance of Cybersecurity Companies

The lack of security among both corporations and governments presents a great opportunity for companies that deliver cybersecurity services. It is believed by most in the industry that companies will double or triple spending on cybersecurity over the next several years.

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