The world relies on computers and the Internet for everything from communication to commerce to transportation. But hackers can target those systems for financial gain, intellectual property theft or simply disruption. This is why cyber security is an important investment.
Cybersecurity refers to measures designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. Those tools range from bulletproof software that prevents glitches to encryption of data in transit and at rest, making it much harder for unauthorized parties to access it. Those protections are vital in industries such as utilities, banking and insurance where customers have high expectations of privacy.
A good cybersecurity strategy starts with a risk assessment to determine the most valuable digital assets and where the greatest vulnerabilities lie. This can help companies allocate resources effectively and put in place practices that address the most serious threats. It’s also important to keep in mind that attack methods are constantly evolving, so it’s essential for companies to review their strategies and practices regularly.
Some of the fastest-growing cybersecurity firms focus on endpoint protection, including laptops and mobile phones that connect to corporate networks. Examples include Palo Alto Networks (PANW), which offers a broad range of products from firewalls to threat protection. Other big players include SailPoint, which specializes in identity management, and Rapid7 (RPD), which offers penetration-testing tools and vulnerability management services.
Some of the biggest cybersecurity companies earn a significant percentage of revenue from government contracts. CyberArk (CYBR), for example, gets about 10% of its business from the public sector. Others, such as Savvion and IronNet, offer security solutions for critical infrastructure like power plants, water and wastewater systems, and hospitals. SOC