In December, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Patricia Kosseim, highlighted a concerning trend that emerged in 2023, as cyberattacks against Ontario’s municipalities, universities, school boards, and hospitals escalated, jeopardizing a growing number of individuals. Notable incidents affected institutions like SickKids Hospital, the Michener Institute of Education, the LCBO, and the Toronto Public Library, disrupting various services throughout the year.

Despite current concerns, experts, including Derek Manky from Fortinet (held by the Fund), anticipate a continued rise in cyberattacks in Canada and globally in 2024. Fortinet’s research indicates cybercriminals, having exhausted simpler methods like phishing, are now becoming more aggressive in their targets and tactics.

Looking ahead, Fortinet predicts a shift toward the use of artificial intelligence by criminals to refine their tactics. The forecast includes the recruitment of insiders from organizations to breach defences and taking advantage of significant geopolitical events such as the U.S. elections and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 1

And in a pivotal move towards enhanced data security, Microsoft unveiled details of its ground-breaking glass-based storage technology in December. Known as Project Silica, the research paper introduces the first cloud storage system leveraging quartz glass—an exceptionally durable medium enabling indefinite data retention. This innovation holds the promise of rendering ransomware attacks on cloud-stored data virtually impossible.

Okta Inc

Okta is enhancing its identity threat detection and security posture management capabilities byacquiring Israeli startup Spera Security. Spera’s platform specializes in proactively defending against identity-based attacks, including compromised credentials, social engineering, and phishing. Spera’s technology enables the creation of a real-time, continuously updated database of identities and access across both cloud and on-prem environments, providing security teams with detailed insights for preventing and remediating identity-driven attacks.

Source: Source: Guru

While the terms of the deal remain undisclosed, reports suggest a valuation between $100-130 million. This acquisition comes as Okta faces cybersecurity challenges of its own, with recent incidents involving sophisticated hacking groups targeting its infrastructure to access third-party organizations. Okta aims to strengthen its own security posture with Spera’s technology, as well as ensure that customers benefit from enhanced identity security management capabilities. 2


Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne Inc exceeded market expectations in Q3 of FY2024, with a 42% surge in revenue and a 43% increase in ARR year-over-year. The company’s strategic moves, including the launch of PinnacleOne, a strategic advisory practice, and the appointment of Michael Cremen as Chief Revenue Officer, along with cybersecurity experts Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos, underscored the company’s deliberate efforts to expand its offerings of expertise.3

Source: Source: SentinelOne

SentinelOne achieved a record-high gross margin of 79%, with a notable improvement in net income, signalling a path toward profitability. The company, focused on growth, reported a strong balance sheet boasting $1.1 billion in cash and no debt. Key financial indicators include a 40% year-over-year free cash flow margin increase.4

Looking ahead, SentinelOne raised its full-year revenue and margin forecasts, targeting ~$200 million in net new ARR. The company plans to enhance market share through strategic investments in data, AI, cloud security, and endpoint protection tech, with a goal of positive free cash flow in the latter half of the upcoming fiscal year.5

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:

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, Okta Inc made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by SentinelOne Incand Zscaler Inc. The largest detractors to performance for the month were GDS Holdings Limited, followed by BlackBerry Limited and Change Holdings Inc.


1. Balintec, V., “More people at risk as Ontario public bodies face growing wave of cyberattacks, experts say,” CBC News, December 23, 2023;

2. Afifi-Sabet, K., “Microsoft inches closer to glass storage breakthrough that could finally make ransomware attacks impossible in the data center and hyperscalers — but only Azure customers will benefit from it,” TechRadar, December 06, 2023;

3. “Okta to Acquire Israeli Startup Spera Security,” SecurityWeek News, December 20, 2023;

4. “Earnings call: SentinelOne surpasses Q3 FY 2024 expectations with strong growth,”, December 8, 2023;

5. “SentinelOne Announces Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Results,” SentinelOne, December 5, 2023;

6. “Earnings call: SentinelOne surpasses Q3 FY 2024 expectations with strong growth,”, December 8, 2023;

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