As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to work from home, cybersecurity has become increasingly important. Not to mention, with a major election coming this fall, even more emphasis will be put on cybersecurity.
Cyberattacks have become an almost routine problem for both large companies and governments. Hacks of systems like those of Equifax, JPMorgan and Target indicate the severity of the problem.
Attacks against businesses have practically doubled in five years, and incidents that would once have been considered extraordinary are becoming increasingly commonplace. At the same time, the financial impact of cybersecurity attacks is rising, and companies are facing some of the largest costs in recent years.
What to do about it is fairly obvious. Companies can manage cybersecurity in house, but this can be expensive for midsize and smaller companies. Or they can contract a third-party cybersecurity firm to manage the network and handle attacks. The latter is cheaper and more efficient, depending on the scale. As a result, cybersecurity companies look to be in an increasingly promising field going forward.
24/7 Wall St. has included some top picks in this industry with the most upside and opportunity.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) has been a Silicon Valley favorite for years. The company got its start in 2005, working with firewall products, but it has moved far past this in the past 15 years. The company offers a cloud security suite, Prisma, and an AI-powered threat detection product, Cortex. At the same time, the company sells its solutions using a software-as-a-service subscription model, which offers some sweet recurring revenue.
Palo Alto Networks stock recently rose above $245 for the first time since the panic selling in March. It has a 52-week range of $125.47 to $251.11, and the consensus price target is $257.16.
Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) has seen work-from-home policies boost its overall position as a cybersecurity firm, leading the company to raise its full-year guidance earlier this year. One thing to note about this company is that it has a premium valuation, despite still not being profitable. With this increased pandemic business, a push toward profitability could be huge for the stock. Zscaler offers a similar suite of cloud cybersecurity products to that of Palo Alto Networks and Cisco.
Zscaler stock just hit a 52-week high above $128. The 52-week low is $35.00, and the consensus price target is $100.09.
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD) was another company that raised its guidance for the full year as a result of this increased COVID-19 business. Analysts set the bar relatively high for its most recent earnings report, and CrowdStrike easily cleared this hurdle. Even though the stock is near an all-time high shy of $118 and has more than tripled since March, there is still more upside and potential for this up-and-coming cybersecurity firm.
CrowdStrike stock has a 52-week low $31.95. The consensus analyst price target was last seen at $106.43.
Ping Identity Holding Corp. (NYSE: PING) is a leader in identity defined security, which has become increasingly important as more people and companies are moving to the cloud and mobile. Ping differentiates itself from other names on this list as a cybersecurity/identify verification play. Another interesting attribute of this company is its solutions involving artificial intelligence and machine learning for securing enterprise clouds.
Ping stock has faced resistance at $34 since mid-June. The 52-week range is $12.02 to $35.35. It has a $30.96 consensus price target.