Note from DTA: Michael’s article was originally published before FTNT’s November 4 earnings report. FTNT ended up beating both top and bottom line estimates.

For savvy tech investors looking to ride the boom in cyber security brought on by the pandemic, it’ll pay off big to be a little bit “sassy.”

Please don’t think I’m being flip here. See, that’s how you pronounce an important new platform in the field.

It’s known as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). And it’s exactly the kind of cybersecurity innovation that we need right now.

Consider that none other than the FBI says instances of cybercrime climbed some 300% last year. Citing the dramatic shift of employees working from home Computer Weekly said in a recent report that ransomware hacks had grown some 90% so far this year.

Clearly this is a target rich environment for a sector that Fortune Business Insights says was worth more than 153 billion.

And the company pioneering SASE is bound to clean up. Let me show you why it’s on pace to double earnings, with stock price posed to follow, in just 3.5 years…

The New Cybersecurity Arena
Now then, cybersecurity has become a bigger concern than ever before for one main reason. Before 2020, about 5% of working Americans did so remotely.

That was about 8 million people.

Today, that number stands at 13.4% or over 21 million remote workers. At the height of the pandemic last year, the number was even higher, with 55 million Americans working from home.

As you can imagine, this entirely new working paradigm has led to massive opportunities to be found in investing in the technology necessary to keep it running.

But in the meantime, literally tens of millions more workers connecting to their workplaces through unsecured Internet connections using their own, not their companies’, computers, is a security nightmare.

So, it’s no wonder analysts say that shift has had a dramatic effect on the cyber security landscape. Millions more people working from home means hackers now have millions more targets for attack, and ways to get into secure networks.

That may be just scratching the surface.

One particularly audacious band of thieves even formed a company as a front for hiring IT professionals. The idea is that these professionals would think they were working on improving cybersecurity, but would actually be helping these hackers circumvent it.

This is the same hacker group that only months before had forced a shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline system that supplies most of the East Coast’s gasoline.

The hackers had also stolen some 20 million customer records. And according to Microsoft Corp. and the intelligence company Recorded Future, the hacker group created a fake website for Bastion Secure, a fake cybersecurity company.

With hackers getting this bold, clearly a new kind of cybersecurity solution is needed. That’s what SASE, along with our investment, Fortinet Inc. (FTNT), provides.

Better Than VPNs
The technology behind SASE replaces the old Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that were not only a hassle to use for remote workers but also weren’t all that secure.

See, using a VPN, a remote worker would connect to their company’s network over an encrypted connection going over the Internet. That part was secure.

However, that was the only thing the VPN secured. If the remote worker’s computer was hacked, the VPN gave the hackers complete access to the company’s internal network.

SASE technology replaces this with a “zero trust” model. The connection between the computer and the company network is still secured, but the SASE platform treats the remote computer as a potential threat, too.

So instead of giving it full access to the company’s network, the worker instead is only given access to the specific apps and data they need.

The same goes for every computer connecting to the company, whether internally or over the Internet.

In other words, no computer is trusted completely – because today, anything may turn out to have been hacked.

Accessing SASE
This sounds simple enough in theory, but in practice, implementing this zero-trust policy on a SASE platform can be a headache. Every user’s app and data needs have to be identified, and be able to be updated on the fly.

That’s where Fortinet Inc. comes in. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Fortinet is a cybersecurity company that’s made a fortune from working with sectors that traditionally spend a lot on securing their networks.

We’re talking about telecom companies, government agencies, and the like.

And now, with every other kind of company waking up to the importance of cybersecurity, Fortinet is making a huge push into utilities, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries too.

Fortinet’s SASE solution is proving to be a huge hit. By helping companies segment their networks and users by the level of access they need, companies can quickly help limit the damage a successful ransomware attack can do – and help prevent it from ever happening.

It helps that Fortinet sells its SASE platform through its Internet service provider partners. Businesses tend to trust the companies that provide them with Internet access.

Disrupting And Unifying
Fortinet also sells a software-defined, wide-area network or SD-WAN platform. This is a cybersecurity solution that uses hardware to link the networks of satellite offices with the main corporate network in a company’s headquarters.

Traditionally, this was made using expensive, dedicated networks sold by telecom companies. But with Fortinet’s SD-WAN equipment, a firm only has to buy some networking hardware and can unify their corporate network over the Internet.

Now, the company is set to report its latest earnings on November 4th. I’m expecting big things, as the company’s average earnings growth has been 39% over the last three years.

Then again, the comparison to the previous quarter and last year may be tough, because Fortinet had a truly stellar year in 2020.

For example, the firm’s SD-WAN revenues jumped by 99% in 2020, while last quarter’s adjusted earnings were up 43%.

Either way, this is a company that’s on pace to double earnings in just 3.5 years, putting you squarely on the road to wealth.

Cheers and good investing,

Michael A. Robinson

Source: Strategic Tech Investor