Cybersecurity: A Threat and an Opportunity

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Cybersecurity: A Threat and an Opportunity

Cybersecurity has become a top concern of governments and businesses, and network protection resources are poised for significant growth. In 2016, nearly 32% of computers were attacked by cyber-crime (Kaspersky Labs). From the alleged hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s email server, to the massive Yahoo breach, cybersecurity is becoming an investment area to watch.

Cyber-attacks affect government, corporate, and personal networks. Every day cyberattacks happen on a small scale, and large-scale attacks are becoming more common. A study by Deloitte found that in a 12-month period, 40% of manufacturers suffered a cyber-attack with 38% of the attacks causing damages over $1 million.

Yahoo had over 500 million user accounts hacked in 2014. The stolen data included names, email addresses, and passwords of both US and Russian officials and employees. 2 Russian spies have now been indicted in this hack, further illustrating the massive scale and international scope of cybersecurity.

In an effort to combat cyber-attacks, President Trump recently drafted an executive order on cybersecurity aimed at increasing investment in preventative measures. His proposed budget will include $14 billion in cybersecurity resources, compared to just $938 million fifteen years ago.

Businesses around the world have cited cyber-attacks and data breaches as a critical issue (Business Continuity Institute), with 69% of business executives citing cyber-attacks as a threat to their growth. This reinforces the need for extensive preparations against this threat.

Both companies and government agencies will be investing heavily in strong IT defenses and information security over the next five years. From 2009-2014 detected attacks soared from 3.4 million to 42.8 million. Companies and government agencies were not prepared for this dramatic increase in cyber-attacks, therefore cybersecurity spending is set to grow exponentially, as those affected seek to catch up on preventative measures.

Cumulative worldwide spending on computer security will top $1 trillion in 2017. The cost of cybercrime damages is forecast to double to $6 trillion annually by 2021. 

This is an issues that affects the entire economy and cannot be ignored. The solutions are bound to be costly, and money will have to be invested. This may be a great time to invest, as companies will have to spend billions in order to safeguard their interests. Investments in cybersecurity could produce outsized returns in the coming years.

Samuel J. Sweitzer
Samuel J. Sweitzer
Founder and President of Anson Analytics, Inc. - an RIA firm specializing in Research Based Investment Management for Corporate Retirement Plans and Private Investors. Sam is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and currently serves as Anson's Chief Investment Officer. Sam resides in South Metro Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.

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