Cybersecurity Software More Critical Than Ever: 4 Top Stocks to Buy

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If the 2016 election didn’t bring cybersecurity and protection for enterprise systems into view, nothing probably will. The fact of the matter is that even as cybersecurity products have grown in sophistication and capability, so do the talents and abilities of wily hackers who have learned to exploit the tiniest of errors in a system.

In a new report, the analysts at Stifel go right to the source, and once again they interview value-added-resellers to get an idea on what corporations are buying, and where the biggest cybersecurity issues and concerns are.

The report noted this:

Endpoint once again the most highly prioritized area of investment for enterprise security buyers in the second quarter of 2018; Firewall Remains a Close Second: In what has been a fairly consistent theme over the last four VAR Surveys that we have published, enterprise buyers appear to be most concerned with enhancing their security posture at the endpoint and the firewall, as 58.1% of survey respondents specified that the most highly prioritized area of security investment was endpoint while 38.7% of respondents indicated that firewall investments were especially prioritized during the period.

Four top companies are rated Buy, with one seemingly a clear leader of the pack.

Palo Alto Networks

This was perhaps the most discussed company, and a clear sector leader. Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW) is helping to lead a new era in cybersecurity by protecting thousands of enterprise, government and service provider networks from cyber threats. Unlike fragmented legacy products, its security platform safely enables business operations and delivers protection based on what matters most in today’s dynamic computing environments: applications, users and content.

Palo Alto Networks security platform has new features that were introduced to help security professionals overcome the distractions and time spent on problems caused by the overwhelming volume of alerts and manual processes associated with operating many discrete security products and, instead, expand breach prevention capabilities and boost operational efficiency.

In June Palo Alto preannounced numbers that exceeded even the highest of expectations. And many analysts are coming away with a higher level of confidence in the longevity of the company’s product revenue growth profile. The company recently changed chief executives, with Nikesh Arora (former chief operating officer of SoftBank and chief business officer at Google) taking the reins.

The Stifel price target for the shares is $240, and the Wall Street consensus price objective was last seen at $229.28. The stock closed Monday’s trading at $214.36 apiece.

CyberArk Software

This company has less than a $3 billion market cap, which makes it a prime takeover target. CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR) claims to be the only security company focused on eliminating the most advanced cyber threats, those that use insider privileges to attack the heart of the enterprise. The company proactively secures against cyber threats before attacks can escalate and do irreparable damage. It is estimated that at least 35% of the Fortune 100 and 17 of the world’s top 20 banks use the software to protect high-value information assets, infrastructure and applications.

CyberArk pioneered a new layer of IT security solutions that protect organizations from cyberattackers that have evaded the network perimeter. CyberArk solutions secure an organization’s critical assets, dubbed privileged accounts, which are the keys to databases, industrial control systems, servers and applications, all which house sensitive data. CyberArk software is focused on protecting these accounts, which are highly targeted in cyberattacks to disrupt networks or steal sensitive info.

Stifel has a price objective of $68 for the stock, and the posted consensus target price is $65.33. The shares closed at $65.84 on Monday.