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BAE rebrands cyber security unit to court commercial clients

LONDON (Reuters) - BAE Systems is changing the name of its cyber security unit from Detica to BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, in a rebranding move to court more commercial customers alongside its traditional government client base.

Europe's largest defense contractor said in an employee newsletter the rebranding would take effect as of January 31, and the unit would target customers such as financial sector firms and utilities that need to protect confidential customer information.

"The stakes are changing in the market and threats are coming from the rise of technology and mobile devices," the unit's Chief Marketing Officer Morag Lucey said in the message.

BAE, which bought Detica for $1 billion in 2008, has been building up its cyber business in anticipation of rising demand from governments and firms at a time when defense budget cuts are affecting military equipment demand.

In February, BAE and mobile phone operator Vodafone unveiled a five-year deal to work together on cyber security solutions.

BAE said on August 1 that first-half sales in its cyber and intelligence unit, made up of its U.S.-based Intelligence & Security business as well as Detica, fell 10 percent to 657 million pounds ($1.1 billion), accounting for just under 8 percent of the group total. The fall was mainly due to lower sales at the U.S. business, while Detica sales grew 9 percent.

At the time, it forecast continued growth for Detica from selling information intelligence solutions in the UK and abroad, with demand from government and commercial customers.

($1 = 0.6116 British pounds)

(The story adds dropped word in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Mark Potter)