Things You Can Invest In: Cybersecurity Edition


These days, hacking attacks are the new norm, and everyone from your grandparents to the U.S. government are being targeted. From nationwide network intrusions to holding your data for ransom, hackers are using deceptive and advanced methods to make your digital life a living hell. In the coming years, these attacks will impact more users, to the point where a single attack could take down the internet as we know it.

That’s why cybersecurity companies exist. From protecting a company’s entire data stream to securing your home wi-fi network, these companies are making life much harder for hackers. Since technology changes by the day and hacking attacks get more sophisticated, cybersecurity companies adapt along with them with more complex software and hardware.

Best of all, you can invest in these companies as cybersecurity grows in importance. After all, more people are buying products to prevent their data from being stolen or their hardware from becoming expensive paperweights. But are these companies a good investment for your portfolio?

Cybersecurity companies stop hacks before they start…or deal with the fallout of hacks after they happen.

Some companies work solely on threat prevention, which can prevent intruders from breaking into a network. Others conduct investigations into networks, hard drives, and all forms of data to see how an attack happened, how it could be prevented in the future, and how to take action against the aggressor.

Palo Alto Networks, for instance, protects governments and companies with powerful firewalls.

The company ($PANW) uses proprietary technology to detect malware on systems, while creating custom firewalls to prevent intrusions. They even protect cloud-based applications, too. The company is down by 29% since the beginning of the year — a substantial loss — but investors are fairly positive about the stock’s future and analysts consider it a “strong buy.”

Symantec is one of the most popular consumer-focused cybersecurity companies in existence.

They make Norton Anti-Virus ($SYMC), which you’ve likely used if you’ve ever owned a Windows computer. The company generates millions in revenue, and as more people become concerned about their privacy and security in the future, they’ll likely generate millions more. The company’s stock is up by nearly 15% this year, and investors are overwhelmingly positive about its performance.

FireEye is a threat prevention company certified by Homeland Security.

They’re used by major corporations like HP and Visa. They also work on threat detection side of things, working with the government on identifying the cause of major hacking attempts. Though the company is down by over 41% for the year ($FEYE) and investors are mixed on their future, but the company is currently implementing cost-cutting measures to keep developing powerful cybersecurity software.

Cisco is a major technology company specializing in networking, but they’re expanding their security offerings.

The company offers everything from threat prevention (firewalls and intrusion prevention) to VPN clients and cloud security. They’re also one of the largest tech companies in the world and traded on most major indexes (like the S&P 500). They’re up 12% since the beginning of the year, so investors are pretty happy with their performance.

Should you invest in cybersecurity companies? Hacking attempts from national and international attackers are only going to increase as humans rely more on digital communications and transactions. Protecting your data, privacy, and security is of the utmost importance, especially when you’re carrying a tiny computer with you in your pocket at all times. Cybersecurity companies will only benefit from more people worrying about their own digital security.

If you feel that these and other stocks will perform well as more people adopt cybersecurity measures, then be sure to research each company before you invest. If you don’t feel comfortable investing in technology, you might want to consider sectors like energy or retail.

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