Tuesday, November 29, 2022
According to a recent report, the banking sector lost $1.2 trillion last year because of cybercrimes.
That’s up from $416 billion in 2020 — a jump of nearly 3x.
The thing is, even that trillion-dollar figure doesn’t tell the whole story. It only represents the cost of ransomware in the financial-services sector.
A report from the FBI revealed that, in 2021, the direct cost of cyber-related crimes added up to nearly seven-trillion dollars.
Cyber security is a big problem. But it’s also a big opportunity.
So today, I’ll reveal a way to cash-in on it.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2025, damage from cybercrimes will cost the world ten-and-a-half trillion dollars.
Essentially, cybercrimes are criminal activities that take place on the internet.
For example, with the “tech-support scam,” hackers pretend to help users or businesses solve computer problems. But what they’re really doing is stealing data or installing malicious malware.
But the most damaging tactic is what’s called “business e-mail compromise.” This is when hackers gain access to a company’s e-mail system, pose as an executive, and then extract information or money.
In a world where remote work is common, hackers will routinely set up video meetings, pretend their camera doesn’t work, and under the guise of being an executive, ask attendees to transfer money.
There’s no shortage of headlines about such hacks.
At Uber (UBER), an eighteen-year-old stole a company contractor’s log-in information by posing as an Uber IT worker. The hacker used that log-in to access Uber’s internal-chat systems, then gained access to customer data, as well as the company’s security systems.
Even worse, the attacker wasn’t detected until he publicly announced what he’d done! Similar hacks happened Twilio, Mailchimp, and elsewhere.
The Uber hacker appears to be part of a ransomware gang called “Lapsus$,” which recently attacked Nvidia, Samsung, and Ubisoft.
The group’s standard tactic is to gain access to a company’s systems, often by impersonating someone, and then encrypting the company’s data, which makes it unusable. This grinds the company to a halt until it pays Lapsus$ a ransom.
Ransomware attacks are rising rapidly. Per the U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. banks flagged $1.2 billion worth of transactions as likely ransomware payments in 2021. Chances are, many more went undetected.
However, there’s a silver lining here:
As cybercrimes soar, so do efforts to thwart these attacks.
So now let me introduce you to a cyber-security leader that’s helping companies cope with this onslaught of attacks.
Zscaler Inc. (ZS) is a cloud-security company founded in San Jose, California in 2008.
Its focus is on helping companies that are cloud-based. Its solutions are designed to prevent hackers from causing damage even if they do gain access to a remote worker’s credentials. (After all, we’re long past the days when a strong password will keep hackers away.)
Lapsus$ and similar groups take advantage of people being able to log-in remotely to their work e-mail, payroll, and other systems.
The main way Zscaler prevents this is through software solutions that enforce a “Zero Trust Architecture.”
Rather than the traditional IT-security divide between internal company networks (which are assumed to be safe) and hostile external networks, Zscaler’s Zero Trust Architecture focuses on limiting everyone’s access and permissions — regardless of where they connect from.
That means even gaining access to an employee’s log-in wouldn’t be catastrophic, as no one employee would have access to all of a company’s systems and data.
One solution Zscaler offers is its Private Access system, which allows a company to upload its internal systems to the cloud. Even if a company’s internal systems are hacked, all data is still accessible and usable on the cloud, allowing business to keep running.
This is how Zscaler ends up blocking some seven-billion security threats every day, and how its 150+ data centers worldwide monitor more than 150 billion transactions a day — ten times Google’s scale.
This company is an earnings giant. It’s coming off two consecutive beat-and-raise quarters.
In the most recent quarter, Zscaler reported adjusted earnings of twenty-five cents per share, seventy-eight percent higher than the year before, and higher than the expected twenty-one cents.
Meanwhile, billings hit $520.4 million, up fifty-seven percent, and also beat expectations of around $467 million.
Moving forward, Zscaler expects to continue surpassing Wall Street’s expectations. While analysts were expecting it to forecast 2023 earnings at $1.04 per share, the company said it’s aiming for $1.17.
Revenue and billing forecasts are also higher than expected. That’s particularly impressive as the economy, both in the U.S. and abroad, appears to be slowing down.
Add it all up, and you can see why this could be a great opportunity to bolster your net worth.
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