Should Investors Be Watching These Top Cybersecurity Stocks Right Now?
With investors on the lookout for inflation data this week, most tech stocks in the stock market today would be in focus. Namely, one sector to possibly watch now would be cybersecurity stocks. This would be the case given the rapid rise in ransomware and digital attacks on systems across the globe. Now, cybersecurity services are in demand more than ever as most organizations across industries go digital. Because of this, cybersecurity stocks could continue to ride their pandemic-fueled tailwinds.
For one thing, there are no shortages of new attacks to refer to. Earlier today, there was an update on the recent JBS (OTCMKTS: JBSAY) ransomware attack. According to JBS, an $11 million ransom was paid to the hackers. Notably, this is more than double of what the Colonial Pipeline company paid in ransom last month. As more critical infrastructure appears to be in cybercriminals’ sights now, most would be turning to cybersecurity companies now. Likewise, I could see investors looking for the top cybersecurity stocks in the stock market now as well.
Even now, institutional investors remain optimistic about the industry. Just this morning, investment banking firm Credit Suisse provided a rosy update on F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV). The firm hit FFIV stock with an Outperform rating and a price target of $235. Elsewhere, CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) CEO George Kurtz set the current stage for cybersecurity services today. In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Kurtz said, “When we think about all the small businesses, all the large enterprises, there isn’t anyone in this world who doesn’t need cybersecurity.” With all this in mind, here are three cybersecurity stocks to consider now.
Cybersecurity Stocks To Watch This Week
Palantir Technologies Inc.
To begin with, Palantir is a cybersecurity company that specializes in big data analytics and security. In short, the company helps institutions to utilize their data to make the best decisions for safety, stability, and prosperity. Palantir will allow organizations to integrate their data, decisions, and their operations into one platform. It also plays a vital role in preserving the fundamental principles of privacy and civil liberties when using company data.
On Tuesday, the company announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) renewed its partnership with Palantir. The $7.4 million one-year contract will have Palantir continue to provide an outbreak response and disease surveillance solution for the Data Collation and Integration for Public Health Event Response (DCIPHER) Program. DCIPHER is designed to assist public health experts in routine disease surveillance and outbreak management for real-time events. In retrospect, Palantir’s software is versatile and has a wide array of applications.
Late in May, the company was awarded $111 million in contracts to provide a mission control platform for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as well. Palantir’s platform has been used by USSOCOM in real-time mission operations to interoperate with other components of the global situational awareness architecture since 2016. The company says that the partnership with USSOCOM is one of the first in the U.S. military and the company is honored to continue providing technology that gets the job done. Given all of this, will you consider adding PLTR stock to your watchlist?
Okta is a cybersecurity company that provides cloud software to companies to help manage and secure user authentication into applications. It boasts more than 10,000 organizations that trust Okta’s software and APIs to sign in, authorize, and manage users. Its software also has scale and flexibility for the world’s largest organizations. In late May, the company announced strong first-quarter financials.
In detail, the company’s revenue grew by 37% year-over-year to $251 million. Subscription revenue made the bulk of the revenue at $240 million, increasing by 38% year-over-year. The company’s subscription backlog at the end of the quarter was an impressive $1.89 billion, an increase of 52% year-over-year. Okta also ended the quarter with $2.69 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. Given the strong start to the year. In its financial outlook for its second quarter, the company expects total revenue of $295 million to $297 million, representing a growth rate of 47% to 48% year-over-year.
On May 3, 2021, the company also announced that it had completed the acquisition of Auth0, a leading identity platform for application teams. Together, both companies will address a broad set of digital identity use cases, providing secure access, and enabling everyone to safely use the technology. The stock transaction, valued at approximately $6.5 billion, will accelerate Okta’s growth in the $80 billion identity market. All things considered, will you watch OKTA stock?
Palo Alto Networks Inc.
Following that, we will be looking at Palo Alto Networks Inc. In brief, the California-based cybersecurity titan primarily operates via its advanced cloud firewall offerings. The likes of which protect customers from evolving cyber threats across environments, including the remotest parts of the cloud. It does so via cutting-edge tech in the fields of artificial intelligence, analytics, automation, and orchestration. All of this is neatly integrated into Palo Alto’s core platform which protects tens of thousands of organizations globally. Could now be the time to invest?
If anything, the company appears to be keeping up with the times now. Earlier this week, Palo Alto revealed new additions to its core Prisma Cloud service. According to the company, it can now minimize false network alerts, detect data exfiltration, and provide more comprehensive coverage to clients. Simply put, these updates will, ideally, help cover cloud blind spots while decreasing false alarms, freeing up customer security teams. No doubt, Palo Alto appears to be gearing up for busy times ahead as the world of cybercrime evolves.
On the financial front, the company also wowed investors in its recent quarter fiscal posted last month. In it, Palo Alto posted earnings per share of $1.38 on revenue of $1.07 billion, beating estimates across the board. According to CEO Nikesh Arora, the current rise in cybersecurity anxiety could result in more customers turning to Palo Alto’s premium services. Having read all of this, would you consider PANW stock worth watching now?nasdaq stocks pandemic cdc disease control
COVID-19 may never go away, but practical herd immunity is within reach
It is unlikely that we will reach full herd immunity for COVID-19. However, we are likely to reach a practical kind of herd immunity through vaccination.
When people say that we won’t reach “herd immunity” to COVID-19, they are usually referring to an ideal of “full” population immunity: when so many people are immune that, most of the time, there is no community transmission.
With full herd immunity, most people will never be exposed to the virus. Even those who are not vaccinated are protected, because an introduction is so unlikely to reach them: it will sputter out, because so many others are immune — as is the case now with diseases like polio and mumps.
The fraction of the population that needs to be immune in order for the population to have “full” herd immunity depends on the transmissibility of the virus in the population, and on the control measures in place.
It is unlikely we’ll reach full herd immunity for COVID-19.
For one thing, it appears that immunity to COVID-19 acquired either by vaccination or infection wanes over time. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 will continue to evolve. Over time, variants that can infect people with immunity (even if this only results in mild disease) will have a selective advantage, just as until now selection has mainly favoured variants with higher transmission potential.
Also, our population is a composition of different communities, workplaces and environments. In some of these, transmission risk might be high enough and/or immunity low enough to allow larger outbreaks to occur, even if overall in the population we have high vaccination and low transmission.
Finally, SARS-CoV-2 can infect other animals. This means that other animal populations may act as a “reservoir,” allowing the virus to be reintroduced to the human population.
Practical herd immunity
Nonetheless, we are likely to reach a practical kind of herd immunity through vaccination. In practical herd immunity, we can reopen to near-normal levels of activity without needing widespread distancing or lockdowns. This would be a profound change from the situation we have been in for the past 18 months.
Practical herd immunity does not mean that we never see any COVID-19. It will likely be with us, just at low enough levels that we will not need to have widespread distancing measures in place to protect the health-care system.
What level of immunity (either through vaccination or infection) we need for practical herd immunity is uncertain, but it may be quite high. The original strain of SARS-CoV-2 was highly transmissible and transmission is thought to be higher still for some variants of concern.
The amount of immunity we need will also depend on what level of controls we are willing to maintain indefinitely. Continued masking, contact tracing, symptomatic and asymptomatic testing and outbreak control measures will mean we will require less immunity than we would without these in place.
Some estimates suggest that we may need two thirds of the population to be protected either by successful vaccination or natural infection. If 90 per cent of the population is eligible for vaccination, and vaccines are 85 per cent effective against infection, we can obtain this two thirds with about 90 per cent of the eligible population being vaccinated or infected naturally.
The United Kingdom has already exceeded these rates in some age groups. Higher rates are even better, because there is still uncertainty about the level of transmissibility and vaccine efficacy against infection (although research shows they are very good against severe disease). We don’t want to discover that we do not have enough immunity through vaccination and have another serious wave of infection.
Higher vaccine uptake will mean there are fewer infections before we reach practical herd immunity. The remaining unvaccinated individuals will be safer, protected indirectly by the immunity of those around them. Outbreaks will be smaller and rarer, and there will be fewer opportunities for vaccine escape variants to arise and spread.
That said, variants of SARS-CoV-2 will continue to emerge, and selection will favour variants that escape our immunity. Vaccine developers will continue to broaden the spectrum of the vaccines that are available, and boosters will hopefully allow us to maintain long-term practical herd immunity.
It’s possible that an immune escape variant will emerge that is severe enough, and transmissible enough, that it will cause a new pandemic for which we do not have even practical herd immunity. But barring that, while we may not be free of COVID-19, we can be confident that in the not-too-distant future it will be manageable when we return to near-normal life.
Caroline Colijn's research group receives funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Genome British Columbia, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada 150 Research Chair program of the Federal Government of Canada.
Paul Tupper's research group receives funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.vaccine testing genome pandemic covid-19 spread herd immunity transmission africa brazil canada
Citadel Settles Suit Alleging Former Senior Trader Shared Its Algorithmic “Secret Sauce”
Citadel Settles Suit Alleging Former Senior Trader Shared Its Algorithmic "Secret Sauce"
Citadel has reached a settlement with the British hedge fund it accused of trying to plunder one of its senior traders in an effort to get to its algorit
Citadel has reached a settlement with the British hedge fund it accused of trying to plunder one of its senior traders in an effort to get to its algorithmic "secret sauce".
GSA Capital Partners LLC and Citadel announced the settlement late last week after Citadel accused the fund of obtaining "closely guarded" trading strategies when it hired the employee in question, Vedat Cologlu, according to Bloomberg.
GSA said of the settlement that the two firms “recognize and respect the importance and value of the other’s rights over their confidential information and intellectual property.”
We first documented that Citadel was suing British hedge fund GSA Capital in January of 2020, after GSA attempted to hire Cologlu, allegedly in hopes of accessing the quant secrets at the core of Citadel's "ABC" automated trading strategy.
Recall, we wrote back in November of 2020 that Citadel was seeking around $40 million over claims that GSA was able to obtain information on the strategy via texts and WhatsApp.
Citadel argued late last year that GSA "can't unsee" and can't forget the information that was taken from Citadel's secret algorithm. Citadel is also moving to try and block GSA from using their trading model. GSA has argued that they found no "secret sauce" from a high-level description of the structure of a trading algorithm.
David Craig, a lawyer for Citadel Securities, said in late 2020: “GSA’s most senior managers now know where and how Citadel makes hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues. They cannot forget that information, or put it out of their minds.”
He noted that only 15 of Citadel's 3,000 employees ever had access to the "strategic logic" of the strategy. One of those employees was Cologlu, a 2007 Wharton grad and self-described "stat arb trader", who helped operate and administer the models whose "returns were notably high given the low level of risk it took on."
Citadel has claimed its "ABC" quant strategy cost more than $100 million to develop. In its lawsuit, Citadel alleged that the UK fund wanted Cologlu to hand over confidential information about the strategy:
GSA asked for sensitive information on his equity-trading including his profits and the speed of the trades. And then Cologlu handed over a plan that Citadel argues was based on its own confidential model, including the way the algorithm made predictions.
And there's good reason for the information to be coveted. Citadel Securities has been wildly profitable: the company posted a record $6.7 billion in revenue in 2020. This was almost double the previous high in 2018. The blockbuster result came after some of its traders moved from Chicago and New York to set up shop in a Palm Beach hotel in late March 2020 as the pandemic upended lives and markets across the globe. The results of the privately-held company were released in presentation to investors as part of a $2.5 billion loan Citadel Securities was seeking.
The Citadel securities trading arm started as a high-frequency market-maker in options before pushing into equities. Today, the firm dominates that realm and has had a very close relationship with the likes of the millennials' favorite trading platform, Robinhood. We documented back in September 2020 that Citadel now controls 41% of all retail trading.
GSA was spun out of Deutsche Bank AG in 2005 and manages around $7.5 billion. Citadel’s legal filing names GSA founder and majority owner Jonathan Hiscox as a defendant, alongside other officials including the chief technology officer.
Back in January 2020, we noted the full details of Citadel's lawsuit.
UK Government Adviser Says Mask Mandates Should Continue “Forever”
UK Government Adviser Says Mask Mandates Should Continue "Forever"
Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,
A UK government adviser and former Communist Party member Susan Michie says that mask mandates and social distancing should…
A UK government adviser and former Communist Party member Susan Michie says that mask mandates and social distancing should continue “forever” and that people should adopt such behaviour just as they did with wearing seatbelts.
Michie, who is a Professor of Health Psychology at UCL and a leading member of SAGE, said such control measures should become part of people’s “normal” routine behaviour.
"Vaccines are a really important part of pandemic control but it is only one part. [A] test, trace and isolate system, [as well as] border controls, are really essential. And the third thing is people’s behaviour. That is, the behaviour of social distancing, of… making sure there’s good ventilation [when you’re indoors], or if there’s not, wearing face masks, and [keeping up] hand and surface hygiene."
"We will need to keep these going in the long term, and that will be good not only for Covid but also to reduce other [diseases] at a time when the NHS is [struggling]… I think forever, to some extent…"
"I think there’s lots of different behaviours that we have changed in our lives. We now routinely wear seatbelts – we didn’t use to. We now routinely pick up dog poo in the parks – we didn’t use to. When people see that there is a threat and there is something they can do to reduce that [to protect] themselves, their loved ones and their communities, what we have seen over this last year is that people do that."
Michie’s comments once again emphasize how many scientific advisers have become drunk on COVID-19 power and never want to relinquish it.
David Nabarro, a special envoy from the WHO, said that vaccines won't be enough to end the pandemic, and that we'll need to adapt our lifestyles too.— Channel 5 News (@5_News) June 9, 2021
Professor @SusanMichie, a behavioural scientist advising the government, and epidemiologist Dr @shikta_das join @ClaudiaLizaTV. pic.twitter.com/NzSjnbSgve
“Unsurprisingly, Channel 5 News made absolutely no effort to scrutinise these claims. The programme’s presenter raised no objection to the idea that mask-wearing and social distancing could continue “forever”, resorting only to friendly laughter,” writes Michael Curzon.
“Professor Michie’s co-panellist, a fellow scientist at UCL, Dr Shikta Das, said:
“I think Susan has made a very good point here,” adding that the vaccine roll-out has created a “false sense of security”.
“I don’t think we are yet ready to unlock.”
How’s all that for balance!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Michie is known to be a long-time Communist hardliner and was so zealous in her beliefs she garnered the nickname “Stalin’s nanny.”
Her sentiment echoes that of fellow government adviser Professor Neil Ferguson, who once acknowledged that he was surprised authorities were able to “get away with” the same draconian measures that Communist China imposed at the start of the pandemic.
“[China] is a communist one-party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with [lockdown] in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realised we could,” said Ferguson.
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