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What's Next on Hackers' Hit Lists -- The Disruptors

Stocks in this article: SYMC FFIV

Stocks to Gain on Security Pain

Notre Dame's D'Arcy notes that the major consumer security players will also see upside in additional attacks. "Research indicates that there are broader industry impacts, in that security vendors actually benefit from large scale breaches, so I expect this to continue, with the likes of Symantec (SYMC), McAfee and others benefiting from the increased perceived need for security," he said.

Symantec CFO James Beer recently told TheStreet that his company has avoided the slowdown in consumer spending that has blighted other tech firms, citing the volatile cyber-security environment.

Experts have repeatedly warned that that there is no such thing as a 100% hack-proof network, as the recent breach at authentication specialist RSA proved.

RSA recently confirmed that the breach of its SecurID remote access technology that took place in March was part of a broader attempt to hack Lockheed Martin and extended an offer to "virtually" all of its customers to replace their tokens.

The problems at RSA, which is a unit of storage giant EMC (EMC), should serve as a wake-up call for corporate America, according to Gartner analyst Avivah Litan.

"I think that it's making people wake up and move beyond just user authentication," she said, adding that firms should be monitoring their users and carefully controlling their Web site access.

Symantec and Oracle (ORCL), for example, both offer user monitoring technology, according to Litan, who sees additional opportunities for Web monitoring firm Silver Tail Systems and fraud detection specialist EnTrust.

RSA's recent problems have also stirred up its competitors, said Litan, nodding to VeriSign, which is part of Symantec, and privately-held Phone Factor, which touts phone-based authentication.

The analyst, however, does not foresee a mass exodus away from RSA anytime soon. "That's not what I am hearing," she told TheStreet. "People don't want to get rid of the incumbent vendor."

Rich Mogull, CEO of research and advisory firm Securosis, agreed that corporate America is unlikely to ditch RSA en masse. "Customers are upset, but I haven't heard anything disparaging from them," he said. "I have had some conversations with people, and gut feeling is that, at this point, it's too early to tell."

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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