Cybersecurity stocks to benefit as big tech plans big spending
Biden is calling all the help he can get to deal with America’s most pressing issue – cybersecurity. Last Wednesday, top US business leaders met with President Joe Biden to discuss strengthening the nation’s networks – with tech companies committing billions to the issue.
“The issue of the decade”
Due to the high-profile attacks this past year, cybersecurity’s been a hot topic:
- Russian hackers infiltrated 18,000 businesses and government agencies via a software update from the company SolarWinds.
- Hackers shut down Colonial Pipeline’s infrastructure, forcing its CEO, Joseph Blount, to pay up a $4.4m ransom.
The attack on Colonial promptly led to President Biden signing an executive order to improve the nation’s cybersecurity. But the government can’t improve do it alone – so it turned to its friends:
- CISA, the government’s cybersecurity agency, unveiled the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative – an agreement between the government and the nation’s biggest tech companies to improve cybersecurity.
- The Collaborative aims to build new industry standards and provide skills training to fill the ~500,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the US.
Tech leaders, assemble
Wednesday’s meeting showed just how seriously big tech is taking cybersecurity threats, with huge commitments from…
- Google, which pledged $10b over five years to strengthen cybersecurity.
- Microsoft, which committed $20b over five years to deliver more advanced cybersecurity tools.
Other industry leaders like Apple, Amazon, and IBM also made commitments, either with training or improving infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the government promised CISA additional funding of $1b in the infrastructure bill passed by the chamber in mid-August.
Looking ahead: The bill will be taken up by the House after having passed the Senate.
Investors: Strengthen your portfolio security
With billions flowing into the sector and the backing of the government, cybersecurity is the industry to watch right now – and cybersecurity companies are reaping the benefits:
- Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is up 30% in 2021 after announcing strong earnings last week — expects record sales in 2021.
- Crowdstrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) is up 40% this year with strong momentum from its NASDAQ-100 addition last week and several analyst upgrades yesterday.
The ETF way: The First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR), which tracks the cybersecurity industry as a whole, is up over 18% on the year.
Between the massive government support and the growing fear of hacks, the cybersecurity sector has the wind at its back.