In an interview with CNBC’s “TechCheck”, George Kurtz, the CEO of CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. said that there are a lot of companies in the cybersecurity space, with big valuations and big expectations. However, the company is taking the wait-and-see approach when it comes to mergers and acquisitions. The CEO believes that given the landscape in the industry, public cybersecurity firms are in a relatively good position, but private companies could be worth watching as their funding rounds are ahead, but their valuations are constricted.1
Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a new system to prevent the microphones on smart devices from listening in on users. The system produces whisper-quiet sounds that users could play in any room or any situation to block smart devices from spying. The system is easy to implement on hardware like computers and smartphones. At its core, this system camouflages a person’s voice and hides it from listening devices.
Carl Vondrick, assistant professor of computer science at the university, said that the algorithm developed could block devices from hearing individuals 80% of the time, and works even when users don’t even know about rouge microphone listening.2
Updates on Leading Cybersecurity Companies
Cloud Security Company Zscaler’s Surging Revenue
Zscaler Inc. reported a 63% jump in revenue for its most recent quarter ended on January 31st, 2022. The company also reported robust cash flow, and solid increase in deferred revenue, as well as higher cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.
Explaining the financial performance and what’s ahead for Zscaler, the chairman and CEO of the company, Jay Chaudhry, said that revenue is the highest level in three years and surged past $1.0 billion in annualized revenue.
The CEO emphasized that Zscaler’s Zero Trust Exchange is proving many advantages beyond security to customers that are going through digital transformation. Through the Zero Trust Exchange, there are about 210 billion transactions being processed per day.3
For the entire fiscal year 2022, Zscaler expects total revenue to be between $1.045 billion and $1.05 billion and non-GAAP income from operations of $95.0 million to $98.0 million.
Three Factors Driving Okta’s Growth in Cyber
Okta Inc. is a cybersecurity company with the focus on providing identity solutions in the U.S. and globally. The company reported total revenue of $1.30 billion for its fiscal year 2022 ending on January 31st. Revenue for the year jumped 56% year-over-year.
Todd McKinnon, CEO and Co-founder of Okta, stressed that in the ever-evolving cybersecurity environment, identity management is at the forefront, and C-level executives and developers are turning to solutions provided by Okta.
McKinnon provided a robust outlook for the company and said that Okta exited fiscal year 2022 with growing operational metrics and robust demand for products across the board. The three big factors driving Okta’s growth are cloud and hybrid IT, digital transformation, and Zero Trust security.4
CYBR ETF: Diversified Investing in Cybersecurity
A cybersecurity ETF offers a great alternative to gaining exposure to this industry without being locked into any single security, and without the hassle of hand-picking individual stocks. ETFs allow you to diversify by investing in multiple companies in multiple markets, ensuring that a single market shock won’t tank your portfolio
If you’re interested in investing in a cybersecurity ETF, consider Canada’s first cybersecurity ETF, Evolve Cyber Security Index Fund (TSX Ticker: CYBR). CYBR ETF invests in global companies involved in the cyber security industry. For more information, visit the fund page here: https://evolveetfs.com/product/cybr/.
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- CNBC, “‘It’s kind of wait and see,’ for M&A in cybersecurity, says CrowdStrike CEO,” April 8, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/video/2022/04/08/its-kind-of-wait-and-see-for-ma-in-cybersecurity-says-crowdstrike-ceo.html.
- Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, “Stopping ‘them’ from spying on you: New AI can block rogue microphones,” TechXplore, April 18, 2022; https://techxplore.com/news/2022-04-spying-ai-block-rogue-microphones.html.
- “Zscaler Reports Second Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Results Zscaler Inc.,” February 28, 2022; https://ir.zscaler.com/static-files/f50149d3-3a1e-4ad0-b87d-f2c7bf00dfda.
- “Okta Announces Strong Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year 2022 Results,” Okta Inc., March 2, 2022; https://investor.okta.com/news-releases/news-release-details/okta-announces-strong-fourth-quarter-and-fiscal-year-2022.