Another Day, Another Huge Hack

A disaster for one company can quickly turn into a blessing for another.

Look no further than the Equifax (NYSE:EFX) hack for proof.

The company revealed late last week that hackers stole personal information from more than 140 million customers. That’s terrible news for the millions affected by the breach. But it’s great business for the companies that make their money protecting our identities.

You’ve probably heard of LifeLock. It used to be a publically traded company until it was acquired by Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) late last year. The buyout has already turned into a great deal for the security software giant. Turns out LifeLock is doing a heck of a business after the Equifax incident became public…

“Since news of the breach, LifeLock has seen six times its usual web traffic and the company is enrolling 10 times as many new customers every hour than before the attack was disclosed,” Bloomberg reports.

As a result, Symantec shares have broken out of their summer funk and raced to new highs this week. Meanwhile, skittish investors continue to abandon Equifax stock in droves.

See if you can spot the difference…

Your personal information is insanely valuable. Unfortunately, hackers and thieves are lurking around every corner of the digital world.

We’ve chronicled countless stories of cyber theft in these pages over the years. Remember when three hackers were charged with stealing the data of more than 100 million customers from JP Morgan and other financial institutions? Because of the sheer amount of data these hackers swiped, officials called the attack “securities fraud on cyber steroids”.

Of course, large-scale cybercrime didn’t stop with just one big heist. Now the cyber crooks have gone even bigger. Earlier this year, the ransomware cryptoworm WannaCry took over the files of unsuspecting victims and demanded $300 to restore access. More than 200,000 computers in at least 150 countries fell prey to the hack.

Now we have the Equifax breach, potentially exposing nearly half of Americans to the perils of identity theft.

These events are a grim reminder of just how vulnerable our information is in the digital age. Cyber criminals are everywhere. And they’re becoming more savvy by the day. Individuals and corporations are scrambling to protect their most sensitive information. But as we see almost every week, they’re way behind the curve.

The consequences are clear. Hundreds of millions of people are getting their personal data swiped. No information is as secure as it seems and most corporations are way behind the curve when it comes to protecting your data. That’s the reality of the digital world in which we now live.

But there are a few select companies trying to do something about it.

From the very beginning, I told you cybersecurity will become one of the most lucrative plays of the decade. Now, the market’s finally waking up this powerful trend.

The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE:HACK) is once again shaking off recent weakness and beginning to move higher. This group of cyber security stocks is starting to perk up after posting lackluster performance this summer.

We’re not surprised that these cybersecurity stocks are starting to shine again.  Even before the Equifax news broke, price was telling us that a change in trend was in its early stages. Remember, many of the most recognizable names in the industry were trapped in nasty downtrends when the market was weak in 2015 and early 2016.


Greg Guenthner
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning