Federal officials are now alleging – and they are almost certainly correct – that a team of Russian hackers penetrated as many as 250 corporate and government networks.
Known as SolarWinds, the hack is named after an Austin TX networking software firm.
Ironically, the victims include some elite Silicon Valley leaders. We’re talking Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Intel Corp. (INTC), and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA).
Now you know why the global cybersecurity market is set to grow by 151.5% over the next seven years to $281.7 billion.
Today, I will reveal a cyber firm whose privileged access tools are tailor-made for these kinds of events.
Let me show you why the firm is set to double earnings in as little as two years…
A Market for the Moment
Make no mistake, this breach was very widespread.
The hackers gained access to government agencies including the Departments of Treasury, Energy, Commerce, and Defense. They also breached computer networks for one global accounting firm, a university, and even a hospital.
They started by hacking SolarWinds. They then inserted malicious code into the company’s SolarWinds Orion security software.
Unknowingly, organizations across the country were then infected when they updated their SolarWinds software. Once the hackers gained access through the malicious update, what they did and who else they hacked from there is unclear.
Officially, no classified information was accessed in breached U.S. agencies. But unofficially, sources tell the New York Times that they don’t really know what information was taken.
Similarly, Intel and Cisco, for example, say they’ve found no evidence of any hacking done to them.
Both companies are so central to the workings of U.S. business, not to mention the Internet. If the hackers had done something there, the harm would have been enormous.
But Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) at first also thought it wasn’t breached, only to announce on December 17 that they and the resellers they use were in fact compromised.
What we do know is that this attack was very widespread. As you can imagine, it has garnered a lot of media attention and will push cybersecurity squarely into the limelight.
Even before this hack, Fortune Business Insights was forecasting the world’s cybersecurity market to grow from $112.01 billion in 2019 to $281.74 billion by 2027.
That’s an average annual growth rate of 12.6%
As the SolarWinds hack has shown, a key component of cybersecurity going forward will be securing privileged access accounts.
These are the accounts that IT workers use to access critical computer systems.
They are also the accounts that hackers need to breach in order to accomplish their crimes. That’s the only way to really cause damage – to access the most sensitive data or to destroy it. That’s also the only way to insert backdoors and malware into the foundations of the network or to hide one’s tracks.
It takes firms an average of 200 days to discover a privileged account breach like this one. That’s why privileged access protection is so crucial.
CyberArk Software Ltd. (CYBR) is the firm that makes the industry’s most comprehensive, easiest-to-deploy privileged access protection software platform.
For example, the firm’s Cloud Entitlements Manager uses AI to detect and prevent hidden, mistaken, or unused user accounts from being misused for nefarious means. All its findings are displayed in a single, easy-to-grasp dashboard that allows IT security to monitor, add, or remove user accounts and privileges.
Meanwhile, the firm’s Endpoint Privilege Manager helps companies deal with its remote workers. Using it, IT departments can easily make sure people working from home have the least privileged accounts they can while still doing their jobs.
It also allows them to control applications and stop credentials from being stolen from remote computers.
On Top of Things
And as evidence of how big a deal the SolarWinds hack is, but also of how fast-moving CyberArk is, the firm has devoted much of its homepage to the hack.
This kind of outreach strengthens client bonds and repeat sales, not to mention new ones. It ‘s just another move for this advanced cyber-security firm to build more robust revenue streams as clients sign up for more subscriptions.
So, it’s no surprise that CyberArk has an impressive client lineup. It includes:
- Pharmaceutical giants such as AstraZeneca plc (AZN), Novartis AG (NVS), and Pfizer Inc. (PFE).
- Tech companies such as Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Braun, Duracell, Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI), and BT Group plc (BTGOF).
- Food and restaurant companies such as Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), ConAgra Brands Inc. (CAG), and Hershey Co. (HY).
- And many, many others.
As you can see, this is a stock with a lot of upside ahead. To be sure, earnings were off sharply in the most recent quarter.
But much of that had to do with accounting for employee stock compensation, not operating issues.
CyberArk has been growing per-share earnings at 38% a year. At that rate, they will double earnings in less than two years.
With so much cybercrime on the rise, you can count on CyberArk to protect its clients – and its investors – for years to come.
Cheers and good investing,
— Michael A. Robinson