BAE looks to draw US government cyber work

Threats to sensitive computer networks lurk everywhere and with a few mouse clicks, organized criminals and hackers could shut down vital networks that run the US government, industry and military.

But a team of analysts at a new cyber center run by the North American unit of Britain's BAE Systems are using a wide range of tools to identify potential attacks, correlate data from around the world, and preempt future hits.



"Our adversaries will hide. They have every motivation not to be seen," said Harold Jones, technical director of cyber warfare and cybersecurity for BAE Information Solutions.



Growing concern about cyber attacks is fueling a market valued at around $30 billion (£20.8 billion) a year, prompting new investments by BAE and other defense companies that are keen to offset an expected flattening in spending on more traditional weapons.



BAE is the latest company to open a new cyber center, a $10 million (£6.9 million) facility in an industrial park about 30 miles north of Washington, D.C., where 20 analysts track intrusions to BAE computer networks around the world, eliminate threats, and try to anticipate potential vulnerabilities.



The center is part of BAE's investment of around $50 million (£34 million) in infrastructure and new tools the company hopes will help it win hundreds of millions of dollars of military and civilian government cyber contracts in coming years.



BAE, one of the Pentagon's top 10 contractors, is also on the lookout for acquisitions to boost its position in the emerging cyber market, said company spokeswoman Sue Cushing.



Cyber security is a growing concern across the government.



The Pentagon this week swore in Army General Keith Alexander as the first commander of U.S. Cyber Command, which was created to better defend the Pentagon's 15,000 computer networks at 4,000 military bases in 88 countries.



BAE hopes to help the military and other government agencies defend and avert attacks from a wide and growing range of enemies, including extremist groups, organized crime, other countries or even individual hackers.



The private sector is also potentially fertile ground. Concerns about cyber attacks escalated in March when Google shut its mainland Chinese-language portal, after suffering a sophisticated cyber attack that it said came from within China.



BAE, which gained important offensive and defense cyber operations when it bought AlphaTech Inc in 2004, has a core team of over 100 specialists who work closely with 1,000 intelligence analysts across the company. They work in what BAE calls its "home markets" in Britain, the United States, India, South Africa, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Australia.



Leigh Palmer, program director for the new center, said BAE's global reach, emphasis on strategic perspectives and ability to use actual operational data set it apart from more research-oriented cyber centers set up by other companies.



BAE's big presence overseas gave the company's cyber center access to tools from overseas and a huge operational network linking its 109,000 employees worldwide, she said.



She said BAE's customers were increasingly looking for security products tailored to address the highest-risk areas. "Cybersecurity is expensive. You can't harden everything," she said, adding that BAE was offering more "risk-based security."



The Obama administration and lawmakers are considering regulations that that would mandate cyber security safeguards for companies doing business with the Pentagon -- an initiative that could spark new business opportunities for BAE Systems.



Perry Luzwick, head of cyber warfare and cybersecurity for BAE, said BAE could help smaller companies meet those standards without having to set up their own specialized teams.



He said BAE was also bidding to be one of several suppliers for the Navy's next-generation on-shore information technology system, a multibillion contract due later this year, as well as various cyber contracts with the Air Force, the Department of Homeland Security and several intelligence agencies.



BAE is also exploring partnerships with companies outside the defense sector, and could announce a teaming agreement later this year, Luzwick said.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

    £40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

    Recruitment Genius: Partner Manager - EMEA

    £50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partner Manager is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - OTE £100,000

    £45000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Sales Manager is re...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?