NSA Back-Door Exploits Present Hurdles, Opportunities For U.S. Companies Selling Overseas


As for allegations that hard drives are tainted with NSA-installed malware, that becomes an issue for which there are few answers, DeRocker said.

"If malware is inserted in a drive before it leaves the manufacturer, or on route to the U.S., there's no way around it in the U.S. market," DeRocker said. "If a company like Seagate manufactures its disk drives overseas and ships to non-U.S. customers, I'm not sure how the malware could be inserted unless someone at the manufacturer helped."

Andrew Plato, president of Anitian Enterprise Security, an Oregon-based solution provider, said that, while his European customer base will likely be hesitant to use technology that's been linked to the NSA, his U.S. customers don't share that same mentality and aren't as quick to walk away from their existing technology investments because of an NSA report.

"If you think of a place that’s made a huge investment in Cisco for their infrastructure, they aren't going to throw it away because of an NSA spying [report]," Plato said.

Plato also noted that the uptick in NSA leaks and surveillance reports this year has actually been beneficial to his business, as more and more companies call on solution providers to perform what he called "security validation services."

"Companies are starting to hire us to come in and validate the integrity of their technology," Plato said.

Kristin Bent contributed to this article.

PUBLISHED DEC. 30, 2013