May 01, 2015
In late 2013, cybercriminals hacked into the point-of-sale systems of Target stores nationwide, installing malware that helped them steal personal information from as many as 110 million people. The incident was a wake-up call to consumers and companies alike: Cybercrime is a menace that impacts everyone.
“Target was actually only a very small fraction of the overall data that was stolen around customer identities in 2013,” says Jason Witty, Chief Information Security Officer for U.S. Bancorp, who adds, “Target represented slightly less than a fifth of the total IDs stolen in 2013.”
That 2013 total was about 552 million identities breached. According to the Washington Post, White House officials stated that U.S. law enforcement agencies notified 3,000 U.S. companies they had data breaches in 2013. That number is so staggering that consumers, companies and even the federal government are taking additional steps to address the issue and protect victims of identity theft.
As the risk and frequency of data breaches increase, so too does the need for education, policies and protection — demand which could catalyze the growth of cybersecurity companies, industries and adjacencies. That could create potential opportunities for investors who wish to support efforts in fighting cybercrime.
If you’re interested in investing in cybersecurity companies, consider the following as you evaluate the landscape: