The Hidden Threat: Cyber Crime Costs to Hit $6 Trillion Yearly http://www.baystreet.ca/articles/stockstowatch/33833/The-Hidden-Threat-Cyber-Crime-Costs-to-Hit-6-Trillion-Yearly
Cybercrime attacks are expected to cost us $6 trillion a year by 2021. In a single year, cyber terrorism could cost us three times more than the entire U.S. housing and real estate industry is currently worth.
The Chairman of IBM calls it the “greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world”. Cisco cites a report saying it will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. ATT calls it the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.
The response? A desperate scramble to ramp up spending to protect their businesses, and another massive opportunity for investors.
With an estimated 4,000 cyber-attacks a day —and counting—the solution has to be serious. It has to be military-grade. And one little-known company has emerged with a unique military-grade cyber defense solution that even small- and medium-sized business can afford.
Hill Top Security Inc. is one of the world’s first cyber security companies that has met the U.S. Department of Defense’s rigorous FIPS-FIAR standard for financial transactions. Hill Top is currently in the process of being acquired by Big Wind Capital Inc. (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF).
And if they can reach a mass market with affordable solutions, they’ll be on track to become a market leader.
Right now, this is only on the radar of elite cyberdefense circles.
Soon, it will be on everyone’s. Not least because it is soon to be acquired by Big Wind Capital and it just partnered with Guardsight, a specialist in Managed Security Services and Tactical Cyber Security Operations for Fortune 1000 companies.
Here are 5 reasons to watch Hill Top/Big Wind Capital (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF) closely, at the climax of a security threat that is more materially damaging than any other form of terrorism the world has ever seen:
#1 Welcome to World War III
World War III has already been declared, and it’s going down in cyber space.
Cyber criminals are now running organized cartels on the dark web to launch highly sophisticated and coordinated attacks.
The WannaCry cyber-attack is now infamous. The virus managed to take over 300,000 personal computers and demand $90 million in ransom. But that could have been just a test run, and $90 million is just a drop in the bucket.
Most recently, the U.S. was shaken by the Equifax hack. The personal data of more than 145 million Americans was stolen from Equifax credit-reporting agency. Now almost half of the country’s population is at risk of identity theft, bank account theft and credit destruction.
It is the Equifax attack more than anything that brings the cybercrime picture into full view. Anyone who thought it was a futuristic threat will now think again. It’s already hit half the country, and it’s likely not over yet.
And that was one of only three major breaches in the past two months. Hackers even breached the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in late September, with stolen data likely used for illegal stock trading. Just days later, Deloitte disclosed a cyber-attack on its systems that breached its blue-chip clients’ non-public information.
- The average cost of each breach of data was $4 million in 2016, according to a global study by the Ponemon Institute. But in the U.S., as indicated in that study, the average cost has soared beyond that to $7 million.
- Right now, theft of trade secrets is costing nations between 1 percent and 3 percent of their entire GDP, or anywhere from $749 billion to $2.2 trillion every year, according to an IDG survey.
- There are roughly 4,000 cyber-attacks every day—and counting.
- In just four years, we’ll be looking at a global cost of $6 trillion every year in cybercrime damages. Just a year ago it was $3 trillion.
- 60 percent of small businesses close down within 6 months of a cyber-attack.
The bottom line? For criminals, this blows the illegal drug trade away. For investors in the crime-fighting side of things, it’s a $200-billion-plus opportunity over the next few years and Hill Top/Big Wind Capital (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF) is primly positioned to be an important player in the sector.
#2 Cyber Security Spending Soaring
The problem is epic, and it calls for an epic solution—and epic spending.
Cyber security spending is set to go over $1 trillion per year by 2021. Information security is only one tiny sub-set of the cyber security beast, and spending in this microcosm is expected to reach over $86 billion this year. Next year, spending in this tiny sub-sector is expected to hit $93 billion.
Basically, our digital networks can be breached in many ways. Each new tech trend, Forbes notes, creates new weaknesses, from cloud computing and big data to the Internet of Things (IoT) and beyond. The more we spend on new technology, the more we spend on cyber security, so this is only going in one direction— and fast.
And we’re not keeping up with the criminals. It’s prohibitively expensive, but cyber-attacks are even more expensive, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses.
JP Morgan spent upward of $500 million in 2016 on cyber security, according to Forbes. Only the biggest of the big can afford this, and even they are not thwarting attacks fast enough.
The government is spending, too. Major data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management and the IRS prompted Trump in May to sign an executive order for all federal agencies to review and update their old security systems.
#3 First Affordable Military-Grade Solution
Businesses across every industry, everywhere in the world, are under assault, and smart investors are finding profits in the companies that show the toughest line of defense.
Hill Top Security/ Big Wind Capital (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF) offers a unique, proven platform—and it is one of the first in the world to give small and medium businesses the ability to protect themselves and their clients in the cyber space using military-grade solutions.
And this is military-grade cyber security. In fact, the same people behind Hill Top were hired by the U.S. intelligence community to build the auditing platform to keep track and detect financial anomalies.
There’s nothing like it in the world, and now it’s being opened up to SMBs, giving them access to a unique platform that can get them back in business and fully operational and fully secured after a severe cyber-attack.
But it’s not just a reaction to cyber-attacks, it’s also preventative. Hill Top’s artificial intelligence (AI) predicts threats for you, and alerts you to any suspicious activity. And their platform is secure enough to have gained the trust of the U.S. Defense Department.
Hill Top’s Vauban DNA system was originally developed as a global logistics solution for massive parallel events (think UPS). But then it added an intelligence-gathering element with military-grade security for the U.S. government. Now it’s also the new breed of financial security, with cryptocurrency tech incorporated to support market trading and transactions.
It’s also made Hill Top a takeover target, catching the eye of Big Wind Capital (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF).In July, Big Wind announced it would acquire Hill Top, and just last week this deal was concluded for this premier military-grade cyber security company.
This is the company that’s planning on taking real cyber security mainstream.
And the competition is lacking.
#4 Cyber Security for Trillion-Dollar Cryptocurrency
Hill Top/Big Wind Capital (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF) is also becoming a player force in one of the hottest industries on the planet right now—cryptocurrency, because it is uniquely positioned to secure and track crypto coins.
With Bitcoin hitting $6,000 per coin on 21 October, and breaking new records as its adoption surges, cryptocurrency is no longer just a game for individual miners with fast computers. It’s now about industrial-scale mining and billionaire backing. It’s also about industrial-scale security.
Hackers necessarily love cryptocurrency. The top Ethereum exchange was hacked in July, and since 2011, there have been dozens of crypto coin heists. In just two recent cases, hackers stole $32.6 million and $40 million, respectively.
With governments also looking at cryptocurrency and ways to regulate the trade, security is beyond paramount, and Hill Top already has a proven background in auditing, tracking and managing cryptocurrencies without compromising owner anonymity.
Now it’s also taking the crypto world to the massive mining industry.
Hill Top’s MineCoin system is a new advanced-stage development. It’s an industry-specific cryptocurrency application developed with Blockchain technology and is designed to give mining industry traders a highly secure cryptocurrency platform where they can buy, sell and exchange precious metals across international borders. With MineCoin, users will be able to exchange their own currency for cryptocurrency and purchase or sell precious metals on the open market.
#5 Defense Sector’s Top Cyber Minds
Behind Hill Top, and now Big Wind (CSE: BWC; OTC:BGGWF), we’ve got some of the defense industry’s top cyber security minds with military and commercial experience in everything from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
These are mission-critical figures, and they’ve already proven they can deliver.
- Dave DiEugenio, on the Hill Top advisory board, is a Marine Corps Recruiting CIO and VP and Director of Imperatis Corp. cyber solutions group.
- Tom Gilmore, Hill Top’s COO, is a veteran information systems security officer, engineer and ethical hacker. He’s also a former U.S. Marine whose worked with the FBI, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Army and the U.S. National Guard.
- Hill Top CEO, Corby Marshall, is an entrepreneurial executive, West Point grad and former U.S. Army officer with extensive experience in distributed computing analytics and software development. He’s got a proven track record for delivering large-scale, mission critical applications. His genius has been tapped by the U.S. Army, Informatica and Headcase, among others.
- Hill Top CTO, Neil Wright, is yet another West Point grade and former U.S. Army officer, with NYSE experience, Treasury experience and an impressive track record with UPS Lead Architect and Rare Medium.
- Kim Pease, in charge of Hill Top’s SVP Product Management, is a senior architect with mission-critical deliverable experience working for Informatica, ESPN and JP Morgan.
This is where Wall Street and the Defense industry come together best.
The timing is key. Right on the edge of a breakout after being acquired by Big Winds, Hill Top’s route to market is that of a potential multi-million-dollar white label. Why? Because it’s already in advanced negotiations with two major U.S. firms for multi-million-dollar contracts. And it’s already got existing government and commercial customers which company guidance estimates will bring in $2.3 million-plus in revenue in three years.
That’s three distinct cyber security services that could corner this market:
Now it’s targeting SMBs, which number over 27 million in, and has revenue from its first public sector clients is coming online, which is expected to eclipse revenues from government contracts at a fast pace.
When you’ve got a trillion-dollar problem and a unique solution is offered up by a Who’s Who in military cyber defense, confidence runs at an all-time high. But news flow on this one is expected to be fast-paced. This elite set-up is about to hit the mainstream radar, so for early-in investors, it’s ‘mission-critical’.
For more information you can visit: www.hilltopcybersecurity.com
Other companies to watch in the tech and cyber security space:
Celestica Inc. (TSX:CLS.TO) (NYSE:CLS) is a heavyweight in the tech manufacturing sector. As manufacturer of electrical devices used in IT, telecommunications, healthcare, defense and aerospace industries, Celestica is well represented throughout the world’s most fastest growing industries. Because of that, the company has seen strong growth YoY which we expect to continue as the sales expectations are almost 3% better than last year’s.
While many investors thought the stock was overvalued after a stellar run in 2016, the recent correction and volatility in the stock has attracted new buyers and the stock has recovered since.
While telecommunications stocks have been volatile recently, defense, IT and aerospace industries have outperformed and while many see limited upside, these industries continue to surprise both investors and analysts.
Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (TSX:MOGO): This is a new spin on unsecured credit, which is a burgeoning sub-segment of FinTech. Providing loan management, the ability to track spending, stress-free mortgages, and even credit score tracking, Mogo is at the forefront of an online movement to assist users with their financial needs.
Mogo’s software analyzes borrowers instantly and greatly reduces the traditionally cumbersome underwriting process for loans. It’s online only, so there’s very low overhead and a ton of cash to spend on marketing. Labeled as “the Uber of finance” by CNBC, Mogo is definitely turning heads.
With increasing membership growth and revenue lines continuing to improve, and a platform which many banks have failed to offer, Mogo could well become an acquisition target in the near future.
Power Financial Corp (TSX:PWF): Montreal-based Power Financial Corp has been in the finance industry since 1984. The company operates in three segments: Lifeco, IGM and Pargesa Holding SA (Pargesa). And, with its holdings in a diversified portfolio spanning the United States and Europe, Power Financial is a leader in its field.
Focusing its investments in the emerging FinTech industry, Power Financial stands to benefit by riding this wave into the future. The company’s forward-thinking attitude and liberal approach to technology is sure to leave investors satisfied.
We like PWF because it owns 60 percent of Wealthsimple, a leading robo-advisor for investing in ETF portfolios.
EXFO Inc (TSX:EXF): EXFO isn’t new to the Canadian tech sector. The company was founded in 1985 in Quebec City, and its original products were portable testing products for optical networks. Since then, the company has acquired and build 3G, LTE, protocol, copper/xDSL, IMS, and VoIP test and service assurance products.
Recent developments from EXFO are promising for long term growth potential. The new baseband unit emulation technology which is sure to be adopted on a large scale, as the tech offers operators a reduction of costs and a faster revenue stream.
EXFO Inc is a model in the telecommunications industry. With a market cap of $273-million, EXFO is strong, but still growing.
The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX: DSG) (commonly referred to as Descartes) is a Canadian multinational technology company specializing in logistics software, supply chain management software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses. The company is making waves in the tech industry with its futuristic products and visionary leadership.
As a key stock in Canada’s tech boom, Descartes Systems is a smart choice for investors. The company has a huge market cap of $2.6-billion and the stock has grown by nearly 20% YTD.