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Booz Allen Hamilton Targets U.S. Cybersecurity Opportunities, Potential Acquisitions


As the Biden administration signals a renewed focus on cybersecurity, Booz Allen Hamilton views itself as "uniquely positioned to both help the nation and capture opportunities in this critical area," according to CEO Horacio Rozanski.

Moreover, Booz Allen Hamilton's strong balance sheet positions the company to pursue M&A opportunities, added CFO Lloyd Howell.

Those comments and more surfaced during Booz Allen Hamilton's earnings call on January 29, 2021. The company, which has a Top 250 MSSP practice, recently disclosed a  strategic investment in Tracepoint. And more deals could be on the way.

Booz Allen Hamilton: Cybersecurity Investment Areas

Lloyd Howell, CFO, Booz Allen Hamilton
Lloyd Howell, CFO, Booz Allen Hamilton
Horacio Rozanski, CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton

Key M&A focus areas could include software systems development, artificial intelligence, digital, data analytics and "a variety of opportunities and different ways to deploy that capital as we did with the Tracepoint investment," Howell said.

"The Tracepoint investment is directly related to our desire to be more involved in incident response," Rozanski added. "We do a good level of incident response but that is a business that has evolved towards needing to have channel with insurance companies."

In the meantime, Booz Allen's position in cyber is "in fact even stronger in the intelligence community than it is broadly across the government or the commercial sector," Rozanski said. "The work that we do in intelligence is in some ways the crown jewel. Our cyber programs, we are very bullish on the medium term and long-term outlook for our entire cyber business including commercial."

Indeed, Booz Allen is shifting more of its global commercial focus back to the U.S. and the cyber market because adversaries are getting more sophisticated -- so customers are getting more sophisticated in terms of the cyber services they consume, Rozanski noted.

Still, Booz Allen stopped short of describing how much cybersecurity revenue the company generates. The reason? Cyber intersects with cloud, AI, 5G, government intelligence and so much more.

Booz Allen Hamilton: Key Cybersecurity Moves Over Time

Booz Allen Hamilton has refined its cybersecurity focus in multiple ways over the years. Key moves include:

  • January 2021: Making a strategic investment in cybersecurity company Tracepoint;
  • December 2020: Hiring former Visa & Microsoft cybersecurity leader Andrew Turner as EVP of global commercial business.
  • October 2020: Introducing SnapAttack —a cloud-based software solution that brings together actionable threat intelligence and hacker detection. SnapAttack enables red and blue teams to work together, emulating attacks from intelligence data, sharing insights of malicious behavior, and developing vendor-agnostic behavioral detection analytics to stop advanced adversaries, Booz Allen Hamilton asserts.
  • August 2018: Winning s six year, $1.03 billion cybersecurity contract that spans six U.S. federal government agencies.
  • October 2017: Acquiring Morphick to converge the managed security services provider (MSSP) & managed detection and response (MDR) markets.

Meanwhile, multiple  cybersecurity rivals are making M&A moves of their own. Buyers in the market include such global IT consulting giants as Accenture, Atos and Deloitte, among many others.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.