Cybersecurity a new investment opportunity

September 15th, 2016 by Mark Daly in Industry News No Comments »

Spending on cybersecurity measures is expected to soon hit US$100 billion and soaring demand for online security has created a new growth industry that investors can tap into.

With almost 3.5 billion internet users worldwide, the increasingly digital world has become a hunting ground for cyber criminals.

Richard Byfield, managing director of cybersecurity company Datacom TSS, says five out of six large companies have been targeted by online attackers.

“I think the increase in the threat is largely due to the rapidly expanding digital world,” he told reporters at a meeting in Sydney on Thursday.

“It has a lot of benefits and convenience but also provides the bad guys with a lot of opportunity and a larger attack surface to try and find weaknesses to exploit.”

Mr Byfield said more than one million new pieces of malware are created each day and there has been a 110 per cent increase each year in the number of denial-of-service attacks like the one on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website on census night in August.

Not surprisingly, there’s been an increase in demand for cybersecurity, with global spending on online security set to reach US$100 billion by 2019, according to Gartner research cited by fund manager BetaShares.

BetaShares managing director Alex Vynokur said cybersecurity is going to be one of the few significant growth industries in the future.

“Cybersecurity is front of mind for governments, businesses and individuals across the world, with events like the recent census disruption highlighting the extent to which we are all susceptible to cybercrime and thus dependent on cybersecurity as a risk mitigation tool,” he said.

He said the Nasdaq CTA Cybersecurity Index, which tracks the performance of leading listed cybersecurity companies such as FireEye, Symantec and Cisco, has had an annualised revenue growth of around 60 per cent per year in the three years to June.

That’s almost double that of companies in the S&P 500 information technology sector.

BetaShares has now created a Global Cybersecurity exchange traded fund (ETF), which tracks 34 companies on the Nasdaq CTA Cybersecurity Index and provides a new avenue for Australian investors to gain exposure to the sector.


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