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$20m a month: Investors are flocking to cyber security stocks

·3-min read
A woman working on her laptop and phone with a lock on the screen and US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden has ordered a full investigation after a recent malware attack shut down 600 supermarkets in Sweden (Source: Getty)

Cyber security has become a mega-trend particularly in the last 18 months as shifts to online work and education has put greater importance on the technology we use.

Not only that but the fragility of the system that we rely on so much has also come to the fore.

The most recent example was the massive ransomware attack on a US IT company over the weekend which targeted 1,000 businesses.

One of which was one of Sweden's biggest supermarket chains which was forced to temporarily close around 800 stores after losing access to its checkouts.

Russian-based hackers have been blamed for a string of ransomware attacks, and US President Joe Biden recently raised the threat in talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

But despite the growing concerns there is also an investment opportunity that is picking up steam.

Why Aussie investors are flocking to cybersecurity stocks

Aussie investors are recognising the growth opportunity in cybersecurity stocks, and have been allocating more to their portfolios over the as governments and companies bolster their defences.

BetaShares CEO Alex Vynokur told Yahoo Finance that its HACK Global Cybersecurity ETF is one of the vehicles Australian investors are using for exposure to this trend, and it has grown by around $20 million a month so far this year.

“Cybersecurity is a global mega-trend. Security of data has become an existential issue for businesses which transcends all industries,” Vynokur said.

“Whether you’re a leader in social media, an airline business, a supermarket giant or an autonomous vehicle startup, there will be no business if security and integrity of data is not maintained.”

Vynokur said cybersecurity is part of something called the ‘new world’ economy and will be critically important as more of our work and daily lives is stored online.

“The growth of the global cybersecurity industry remains strong with investors increasingly recognising the opportunity to be part of this story and seeking investment opportunities that provide access to this sector,” he said.

Cybersecurity investment opportunities

As mentioned, BetaShares HACK ETF (HACK.AX) is one way in which you can access the opportunity.

But you can also invest in individual ASX listed stocks. There are about 15 companies listed in Australia that work in the cybersecurity industry.

According to Stockhead there are three worth keeping an eye on after having positive results last year.

Tesserent (TNT.AX) gained 628 per cent in last year. The company grew through several acquisitions and reached its $100 million annualised gross revenue target four months earlier than planned.

WhiteHawk (WHK.AX) also had a successful 2020 on several fronts winning multiple US government contracts, and in Australia, advanced its industry-leading Cyber Risk Program.

Finally, Family Zone Cyber Safety (FZO.AX) focuses on measures aimed to restrict cyber bullying.

This company also grew in 2020, reaching 1.5 million contracted student licences towards the end of last year.

Around $4 million in contracts were sold in the United States – representing year on year growth of 120 per cent.

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