The University of Calgary has unveiled its new Cyber Assessment, Training, and Experimentation (CATE) Centre, a cutting-edge facility dedicated to the study of and defence against cybercrimes. This state-of-the-art center is capable of simulating various digital environments, possible threats, and defence strategies. It serves as Alberta’s inaugural hub for cyber safety and research, uniting industry experts and law enforcement.
CATE Centre, established through a private-public partnership, involves major players like U.S. defence contractor Raytheon and local cyber range provider Enfocom, as well as funding from the Alberta government.
This facility is at the forefront of innovative research and development efforts, essential for equipping the next generation of cybersecurity and privacy experts. The CATE Centre’s mission is to advance cyber resilience and cybersecurity expertise through collaboration and simulation, setting a significant precedent in the field.1
Company Specific Updates
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc
CrowdStrike has once again been named a global leader in Frost & Sullivan’s 2023 report on Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms. This marks the second consecutive time CrowdStrike has achieved this distinction.
Frost & Sullivan lauded CrowdStrike for its cloud security leadership, emphasizing CrowdStrike’s unified platform; robust, agentless CNAPP solution and seamless integration with major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), facilitating scalability in response to evolving cloud environments; and the remarkable growth of CrowdStrike’s cloud security public cloud modules, which reached $296 million, a 70% YoY increase as of July 31, beating almost all competitors.3
Notably, this recognition coincides with the announcement that CrowdStrike surpassed a total of $1 billion in software sales through AWS Marketplace. This milestone underscores the strong partnership between CrowdStrike and Amazon Web Services (AWS), solidified in under six years. Since its debut on AWS Marketplace in 2017, CrowdStrike has experienced rapid growth (3,000%+ CAGR in sales), customer success, and larger average transactions than through other market channels, indicating its commitment to providing comprehensive protection for businesses navigating the cloud via CrowdStrike’s more than 20 integrations with AWS services.4
In October, Okta reported a security breach in its support case management system, allowing unidentified threat actors to utilize stolen credentials from certain Okta clients. Importantly, this system is distinct from Okta’s main operational service, which remains unaffected. Okta promptly notified impacted customers and revoked session tokens to prevent misuse.
While Okta did not disclose the attack’s scale or timing, it’s worth noting that as of March 2023, they serve over 17,000 customers, managing around 50 billion users. The attack, characterized as sophisticated, involved the compromise of two Cloudflare employee accounts within the Okta platform, but it didn’t result in unauthorized access to customer data or systems.5
This breach reemphasized the company’s appeal to hackers, as it provides single sign-on (SSO) services for major global firms like GrubHub, Hewlett Packard, Lululemon, T-Mobile, and Zoom. In the wake of the breach, Okta’s stock price dropped by 8.1%, resulting in a market cap loss of over $2 billion.6
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.
Canada’s first cybersecurity ETF, Evolve Cyber Security Index Fund (TSX Ticker: CYBR), invests in global companies involved in the cybersecurity industry. For more information, visit the fund page here: https://evolveetfs.com/cybr/.
Portfolio Strategy and Activity
For the month, Booz Allen Hamilton made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by CrowdStrike Holdings Inc and Varonis Systems Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Okta Inc, followed by Blackberry Ltd and Darktrace Plc.
- Toy, A., “Cybersecurity training, research centre opens at University of Calgary,” MSN.com, Octover 11, 2023; https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/technology/cybersecurity-training-research-centre-opens-at-university-of-calgary/ar-AA1i08ox
- Poireault, K., “Half of Small Businesses Hit by Cyber-Attack Over the Past Year,” Infosecurity Magazine, October 12, 2023; https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/half-sme-hit-cyberattack-past-year/
- “CrowdStrike Named Cloud Security Leader in Frost & Sullivan’s 2023 Frost Radar™: Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform,” CrowdStrike, October 30, 2023; https://ir.crowdstrike.com/news-releases/news-release-details/crowdstrike-named-cloud-security-leader-frost-sullivans-2023-0
- “CrowdStrike is the First Cybersecurity ISV Founded for the Cloud to Exceed $1 Billion in AWS Marketplace Sales,” CrowdStrike, October 23, 2023; https://ir.crowdstrike.com/news-releases/news-release-details/crowdstrike-first-cybersecurity-isv-founded-cloud-exceed-1
- “Okta’s Support System Breach Exposes Customer Data to Unidentified Threat Actors,” The Hacker News, October 21, 2023; https://thehackernews.com/2023/10/oktas-support-system-breach-exposes.html
- Goswami, R., “Okta cybersecurity breach wipes out more than $2 billion in market cap,” CNBC, October 23, 2023; https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/23/okta-hack-wipes-out-more-than-2-billion-in-market-cap.html