Just as the frequency and intensity of shootings in America seems to be picking up with every passing year, the size and scope of data breaches appears to be keeping pace. Target’s data breach in 2013 that put 70 million customer accounts at risk seems lame when compared to Equifax’s breach earlier this year of 143 million user accounts, and down right insignificant compared to Yahoo’s recent revelation that its entire 3 billion user accounts were likely compromised.
The Yahoo breach cost investors dearly when Verizon knocked off $350 million of its $4.8 billion acquisition price late last year. LinkedIn’s breach of 117 million customer accounts put a dent in its acquisition price by Microsoft in late 2016. Acquisition or not, each of the companies that been hacked, have not just cost investors with drop in their stock price but has likely jeopardized their personal information forever.
With a plethora of highly capable companies from IBM, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks to Cisco, Intel and FireEye offering everything from network security to end point protection to data loss prevention, it is puzzling how week after week, we hear another one of these companies getting hacked.
Future Wealth’s View
Much like e-commerce – made popular by Amazon, mobile payments – touted by Paypal, and electric cars – going mainstream due to Tesla, cybersecurity is likely the next big area that is waiting for a leader to step in secure not just customer’s user accounts and email but provide total security from hackers to individuals’ and enterprises’ laptops, servers, mobile devices, automobiles, homes and buildings.
Given the viciousness and frequency of cyber attacks, it is hard not to think when the next attack will expose bank accounts and investment accounts of individuals and enterprises. Last year, hackers stole over $80 million from Bangladesh’s central bank from its Federal Reserve bank account. Hacks on ATMs in Europe, Taiwan and Thailand were widely reported this summer. And, it does not help that Russia reportedly stole NSA secrets with help of Kaspersky – one of the leading providers of cybersecurity software.
At Future Wealth, we will be closely following this market for the emergence of a dominant player who could transform the landscape of cybersecurity and present investors, who missed buying Apple at $20 or Google at $90 with an opportunity of a lifetime. In the meantime, be safe.