McAfee executive Mike Carpenter hasn't had much downtime at work since Jan. 12, when Web-search giant Google said its computers were hacked in China. "I've been in meetings from morning till night without breaks" since the news broke, says Carpenter, senior vice president for McAfee's public sector business. "There's been tremendous interest" in the company's software, designed to protect computers from malware and security breaches.
The cyberattack against Google isn't the only source of interest in security software and the vendors that sell it. Shares of McAfee, Symantec, and Checkpoint Systems are getting a general lift amid signs that spending on information technology is rebounding after last year's slump. Investors expect businesses and government agencies to boost buying of computers and software.
One area that could benefit most is security software designed to guard machines and networks against cyber intruders. "Security will be a very good sector for 2010," says Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. "Investors are viewing it as a positive investment theme for 2010 with Symantec, McAfee, and Checkpoint being front and center."
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