Opportunities grow for cyber contractors

Monday - 5/17/2010, 11:30am EDT

Tom Billington, CEO, CyberSecurity Seminars

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

As cybersecurity grows across the federal government, new spending and R&D needs are emerging. Last week, thought leaders, federal executives and firms vying for government business gathered in Tysons Corner, Virginia at the Cybersecurity Contracting and R&D Opportunities Summit.

CyberSecurity Seminars CEO Tom Billington, who hosted the conference, told Federal News Radio topics included how to make money, how to spend it, and how much is really needed.

Billington said that products and services are both needed, but speaker after speaker recommended that industry not come in pitching anything like "cybersecurity in a box."

"Lead with the business need," said Billington, "and the need of the agency and of the CIO or the program manager that you approach." While it might be tempting to lead with the cybersecurity product, buyers emphasize over and over "lead with what the need is and fit the product and solution towards that."

On the purchasing side, Robert Carey's keynote address struck a chord. Billington said the Chief Information Officer of the Navy said what he would really like to see is "a cyber investment model which is a model that helps him decide how to best spend his cyber dollars."

While billions of dollars are predicted to be spent on cybersecurity in the next year, some wonder if buying static solutions to address fluid problems isn't a waste of money.

Billington assured the Federal Drive that not spending on cybersecurity won't make it go away either.

It IS though a major issue that's going to be us throughout our lifetime. Over a hundred cyber attacks currently occur per second, over a trillion dollars has been reportedly lost, the vulnerability of the critical cyber-infrastucture can't be overstated.

Billington said a follow-up session is planned for June 24th focusing on the smart grid.