HP bolsters cybersecurity practice with Pentagon alums

Hewlett-Packard announced on Tuesday the addition of several former Pentagon officials to its enterprise services unit to bolster the firm's leadership on selling cybersecurity services to the federal government.

Providing end-to-end security services to large corporations or the federal government is an increasingly lucrative market for large information technology firms such as HP. Each of the officials brings extensive experience safeguarding military networks from attacks launched by hackers and enemy states.

“In support of our commitment to protect our government clients’ information and infrastructure, we are strengthening our cybersecurity practice and continuing to develop enhanced command and control capabilities,” said Dennis Stolkey, senior vice president for HP Enterprise Services. “HP’s cybersecurity practice provides the leadership expertise and in-depth understanding of our clients’ unique mission challenges and requirements.”

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) Betsy Hight will join HP as vice president of cybersecurity practice. She previously served as the vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Air Force Colonel (Ret.) Ed Keegan will become director of defense cybersecurity strategies, while former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program manager Dr. Tim Gibson will be director of cybersecurity capability development. Navy Commander Al Kinney (Ret.) will become director of defense cybersecurity capabilities.

HP has recently stepped up its efforts to expand into the market for enterprise services, most notable outbidding rival Dell for the high-end storage firm 3PAR. HP faces increasing pressure in its traditional computer manufacturing business thanks to competition from Asian firms such as Acer, as well as U.S. consumers' gradual shift toward mobile products such as tablets and smartphones.