AT&T: Huge Business Opportunity in Cybersecurity

Over the past several months, an emerging trend in cyber attacks, both more frequent and more difficult to detect, has heightened the threat of compromised security for businesses of all kinds. Reuters reports today that AT&T has seen a doubling of attacks on its own networks over the past four months, with threats specifically targeted to evade detection.

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"We see them on a daily basis and they are now getting smaller instead of coming in huge waves, which were easier for us to detect," said Frank Jules, President of AT&T's global enterprise unit. 

The comments came at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference in Barcelona, where Jules highlighted the future strategy of AT&T's global business solutions unit. The company will pair with big multinationals as they expand overseas, providing them connectivity and newly developed services in security and machine-to-machine technology. 

"Every chief information officer at major corporations that I meet wants to talk about security. I think this will be a $40 billion market one day," Jules continued. 

Along with Verizon, AT&T currently enjoys a dominant share of the US mobile market, but the situation has become more competitive as a result of consolidation with multinationals. In October, Japan's Softbank acquired nearly 70% of Sprint, making the combined carrier third largest in the world. Similarly, Deutsche Telekom is currently seeking to merge its T-Mobile USA unit with rival MetroPCS, after AT&T's thwarted efforts to purchase T-Mobile last year. 

With competition on the rise, AT&T plans to raise capital spending on its US wireless and wireline networks to $22 billion a year over the next three years, an increase of about 16%. The report also indicates that the company will further develop services and expertise that can be offered to businesses worldwide for protection against evolving cyber threats.