Cybersecurity has become an increasingly important issue that companies have to address as they continue to develop new platforms and mobile apps. Looking back in years past, hackers were able to steal credit card and personal information from major retailers like Home Depot and Target. As a result, cybersecurity has become more necessary, and instead of developing a dedicated department within a company, most would opt to hire a third-party cybersecurity firm.
These breaches ultimately gave rise to cybersecurity companies such as FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE), CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) and Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT). However a recent softness in the market in the second half of 2015 may have created a buying opportunity for these stocks, considering this outlook.
Coalfire is a leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services, and this firm has provided a few predictions about how 2016 will affect the cybersecurity landscape.
Larry Jones, chairman and CEO of Coalfire, commented on 2015 and the transition to 2016 for cybersecurity:
The lessons learned from this past year teach us that no one is immune to cyber threats. The sooner corporate boards and executives come to the understanding that cybersecurity breaches are a very real and pervasive threat; then the hard work can begin to take preemptive measures as well as prepare an appropriate response and recovery strategy. In 2016, businesses will continue leveraging transformative digital tools to better communicate and serve customers in more efficient, yet impactful ways. While these tools are transformative, they need to be deployed in a thoughtful and considered manner so as not to possibly put sensitive information at risk. Trust and credibility brand traits are able to withstand hacks only if businesses invest in response and recovery efforts as diligently as their investment in cyber protection.
Perhaps the main prediction for 2016 is that more CEOs and other executives will step down or be fired post-breach. As mentioned, cybersecurity is no longer seen as an issue for IT departments to manage. This will come down to hiring and staffing, which falls on the shoulders of these executives.
As we continue into 2016, mobile will come more into focus. Mobile will become further integrated into the corporate structure of many companies as they progress, and as a consequence companies will have to have someone watching the wall to protect from threats on this new front.
Cyber insurance offerings will become ready for prime time. There will be a larger uptake in cyber insurance as better and more comprehensive products become available. This will give executives more ability to control and balance the cost of a breach.
Shares of FireEye were trading at $21.59 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $32.43 and a 52-week trading range of $19.76 to $55.33.
CyberArk shares were trading at $40.03, with a consensus price target of $59.33 and a 52-week range of $33.00 to $76.35.
Shares of Palo Alto Networks were down 1% to $191.66, within a 52-week trading range of $114.96 to $200.55. The consensus price target is $207.44.
Fortinet shares were trading at $34.55. The consensus price target is $47.88, and the 52-week range is $27.62 to $50.31.
Check out this cybersecurity ETF for a broad take on the industry, PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEMKT: HACK) was last seen trading down 0.3% at $26.65, within a 52-week range of $18.29 to $33.91.