The secretive world of cyber war might never capture young boys' imagination in the way that playing soldiers has over the generations, but it looks like it has caught the attention of IT chiefs.
Usually, cyberwar is a cloak-and-daggers operation, where every detail is a closely-guarded secret. But there are inklings of what's going on in this emerging sector in the financial results of military contractor BAE Systems. And it appears, businesses are now militarising their cyber defences.
On the face of it, BAE's latest results show a desperately disappointing year, with revenues dropping alarmingly. The one bright spot, however, is in BAE's cyber war units.
Sales in its 'cyber & intelligence' division were up 16 per cent year on year, thanks to the willingness of the US government to pay for cyber security products and services.
It's not just governments beefing up their cyber defences. According to BAE, its sales to the UK government dipped last year, as the defence sector was gripped by the same austerity measures as others. But the shortfall in UK spending was compensated for by growth in its commercial activities.
Systems such as its Detica Treidan cyber defence service may have been designed with national security in mind, but its ability to combat cyber espionage and theft of intellectual property seems to appeal to businesses as well.
BAE is also developing its own bunker for businesses, with a new delivery centre, which will provide customers from the financial services, retail, energy and telecommunications sectors with a high security facility to host business services.
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