The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 that, worried about the dangers of attacks launched against the nation’s computer systems, the federal government is likely to spend between $15 and $30 billion on cybersecurity in the next five years. The intelligence experts interviewed by the Journal estimate that U.S. losses from data breaches to be in the billions of dollars annually and that future attacks could cause physical harm or serious financial chaos.
While future spending levels will not be set until after the White House’s 60-day review of the nation’s information infrastructure is completed, the potential move has sent major defense contractors and consulting groups scrambling to capture a share of the potential spending. The Journal reports that defense contractors are adding, growing, and consolidating their cybersecurity capabilities and bumping up against already established consulting firms in the process. Foreign defense contractors are also apparently looking to become involved and are buying smaller firms and making strategic hires to position themselves.