We're Not As Safe As You Think We Are...

Genia Turanova's picture

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 12:00am

by Genia Turanova

If you stop to think about it, it's fairly clear that many of us take our internet access for granted: We shop online... play online... listen to music online... and even date online. And these days, our refrigerators and toasters, not to mention smart TVs and entire staffs of virtual assistants (like Amazon's Alexa), are connected to the internet as well.


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No wonder the need -- as well as urgency -- to secure our personal data and protect our privacy has grown more and more important in recent years.

But the business of internet security extends beyond the need to protect our data. As an example of what I'm talking about, let's go back in time to October 21, 2016.

On what seemed like just another fine October Friday, many of us suddenly realized that our favorite websites weren't working. Whether you were trying to access CNN, Netflix, or even Amazon, major mainstays of the internet were fully offline for most of the day in what remains one of the largest attacks on internet-connected devices to date.

The type of attack we observed two years ago belongs to a class called distributed denial of service (DDoS).

It works like this: A large number of internet-connected devices (such as security cameras or home routers) are hijacked (via specially-designed malicious code) with the purpose of turning these unsuspecting devices into internet weapons. They do this by having all these devices attack the Domain Name System, which is the core of the internet designed to send information requests to the correct internet addresses. Because these devices were instructed to connect to the targeted websites all at the same time (as if millions of users were trying to connect simultaneously), the traffic became too big to handle. It was as if the targeted websites were drowned by the traffic.

What makes DDoS attacks especially dangerous is the fact that they use a large number of unsuspecting "bystanders" -- it is as if those internet-connected devices suddenly obtain a mind of their own.

The October 2016 DDoS attack made use of the fact that many home users neglect to change factory passwords on their home devices. Experienced users always make sure that their internet-connected devices are password protected -- but many of us fail to follow this important rule. The group responsible for launching this attack purposefully exploited this basic mistake, unleashing malicious code specifically designed to crawl the internet in search of such unprotected devices.

This Is A Huge Opportunity
Because the number of devices connected to the internet is growing, security specifically designed to protect all these devices (and your own personal safety) is becoming a daily necessity.

By 2020, the world is expected to have some 28 billion devices connected to the internet. The overwhelming majority of these (about 20 billion) will be Internet of Things (IoT) devices -- ones that are designed to transmit data -- and, therefore, especially prone to malicious attacks. The business of securing all these devices has all the hallmarks of a fast-growing business, which means one of my Game-Changing Stocks recommendations, thanks to its innovative approach, has nothing short of a huge opportunity on its hands.

That company is ForeScout Technologies (Nasdaq: FSCT), and it has a goal of becoming the leader in these efforts -- and it has the technology to do so. By providing a unique approach on the ability to see all devices on a particular network, controlling the access these devices have and making sure the defense is there if and when an attack happens, it has a clear leg up on other competitors.

Its expected growth is somewhat slower than what we are used to here at Game-Changing Stocks: While the company has been increasing its quarterly revenue by 30%-plus every quarter since going public last year, it is "only" expected to deliver about 24% revenue growth this year and 20% growth next year. Its valuations, however, reflect this somewhat slower growth, as the stock only trades at less than five times next year's sales -- an attractive value for such an important aspect of the technology industry.

There's a lot more to say about this pick, but I'll have more news and updates on this top-performing stock in upcoming issues. For now, you should know that I have it rated as a "buy" for my readers, so it's certainly worth looking into further on your own. The opportunity in this area is simply too good to pass up.

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Genia Turanova does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.