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Lockheed makes inroads in cyber security market

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(Reuters) — Lockheed Martin Corp., the No. 1 provider of information technology to the U.S. government, said it expected double-digit growth in its overall cyber security business over the next three to five years, and even bigger gains in the commercial sector.

Lockheed, also the Pentagon's biggest supplier, said it was making strong inroads in the commercial market by leveraging a dozen years of experience and intelligence gathered while guarding its own networks and those of government agencies.

CEO Marillyn Hewson said Lockheed was providing cyber security services for more than 200 customers around the world in critical infrastructure areas such as the energy, oil and gas, chemical, financial services and pharmaceuticals business.

Ms. Hewson told the company's annual media day that Lockheed had faced 50 “coordinated, sophisticated campaign” attacks by hackers in 2014 alone, and she expected those threats to continue growing.

Steve Field, a spokesman for the company, said cyber security accounted for about 10% percent of the company's Information Systems & Global Solutions business, which reported revenues of $7.8 billion in 2014.

He said Lockheed had seen significant gains in the commercial market in recent years, and now represented a large number of companies on the Fortune 500 list, including 79% of utilities, 35% of oil and gas companies, 46% of chemical firms, and 46% of financial firms.

Lockheed last year acquired Industrial Defender, a leading provider of cyber security for control systems in the oil and gas, utility and chemical industries for an undisclosed sum.

Gerard Fasano, vice president for IS&GS business development, told reporters the acquisition had helped bolster Lockheed's presence in the rapidly growing cyber security market.

Other weapons makers, including Boeing Co. and Harris Corp., have largely exited the cyber security business after finding it difficult to generate significant revenues.