Despite protests from competitors, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reaffirmed a $1 billion contract awarded to Raytheon Co. to protect federal agency networks from cyber threats. This led to a slight spike in the company’s shares which rose by 0.56% to $134.54 as of late Tuesday afternoon.
DHS chose Raytheon to be the prime contractor and system integrator for its Network Security Deployment division, in September 2015. Raytheon will also protect more than 100 federal civilian agencies from cyber-attacks, based on the terms of the contract.
In January, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised concerns about Raytheon’s system’s ability to monitor network traffic and address security threats.
The Waltham, Mass.-based company completed “corrective actions” following questions from GAO, after which DHS reaffirmed the company as its pick for the security contract. The company says it has invested $3.5 billion in building up its cybersecurity services.
Strengthening online security has become a top priority for government agencies and companies following repeated cyber-attacks. Last year, the Office of Personnel Management experienced a breach traced to hackers in China that compromised data on 21.5 million people.
“If you think about the federal agencies, many of them have been under served because of budgets. When you think about even OPM their mission is not cyber-security, their mission is getting people cleared. This whole cyber-security thing is a new element, and a hard element for a lot of these agencies who have budgets for many, many years that didn’t include IT security,” Raytheon’s Jack Harrington, VP of cyber-security and special missions, told Bloomberg, as to why this is an important issue.