cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Upon arriving for work on March 19, 2019, employees of Norwegian aluminum producer Norsk Hydro found alarming signs posted throughout the office notifying staff that the company had been hacked and to not use any network devices. Locked out of all company computers, and unable to even use the office printers, desperate employees drove to local print shops to make the signs.

What happened at Norsk Hydro in early 2019 was a significant, and increasingly-common, type of cyberattack in which hackers gain entry to a company’s secure network, encrypt important data, and hold it hostage until the company agrees to pay a ransom. Norsk Hydro decided early-on that it would not pay the ransom and would instead endeavor to retrieve the data from back-up servers. While Norsk Hydro scrambled to address the attack, no company computers or devices could be used, which meant that the 35,000 employees across 40 countries were, temporarily, reliant on pen and paper to conduct business. 

Ultimately, the attack cost Norsk Hydro an estimated $71 million.

The threat of cyberattack is becoming more sinister as life moves increasingly online. Hackers continuously probe systems for vulnerability, and individuals, businesses, and even governments are learning (sometimes the hard way) that cybersecurity needs to be taken extremely seriously. 

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The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risks Report, which annually identifies the most pressing global challenges, ranked cyberattacks among the top 10 risks globally in terms of overall impact. Facing this looming threat, organizations around the world are investing heavily in cybersecurity solutions. 

For instance, federal funding for the newly-created Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency increased by $334 million between 2019 and 2020. In addition to building internal cybersecurity capability, businesses are under increasing pressure to comply with new data privacy laws, such as the recently implemented General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union. Implementing strong cybersecurity practices is increasingly seen as essential for organizations of all sizes, and businesses offering cybersecurity solutions are in high demand. 

For those interested in the investment potential of this booming market, there are a few important points to understand.

What is cybersecurity?

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (often referred to as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework), cybersecurity is defined as “the process of protecting information by preventing, detecting, and responding to attacks.” 

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A successful cybersecurity strategy involves multiple layers of protection integrated across an organization’s technology and workforce. This involves securing devices, the network, and cloud with advanced protection technologies that prevent outside intrusion and bolster internal security. Educating people on basic cybersecurity principles is equally as important as implementing advanced security tools; even the best security systems can fail if people are careless or unaware of potential threats. 

Organizations that implement a successful cybersecurity strategy often do so with the help of a cybersecurity framework, which helps inform decision-making when it comes to thinking critically about cybersecurity risks within an organization. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is one such framework, and it is increasingly implemented by private companies in the U.S. as cybersecurity concerns increase.

Still, cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated as technology becomes increasingly interconnected, and organizations of all shapes and sizes are scrambling to update their cybersecurity strategies. Unfortunately, hackers adapt, and the threats evolve just as fast as the defenses. There is a growing gap between the need for cybersecurity solutions and the ability for organizations to produce those solutions in-house. 

Increasingly, organizations are looking to third-party security providers to help cope with complex, evolving threats. Even a robust, well-trained staff of IT professionals may not be sufficient to protect an organization from these threats. As such, there is growing interest in companies like Splunk, which specializes in analytics-driven security solutions. Splunk is valued at more than $25 billion, and the company’s total revenues increased 36% over the past year. 

The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced that it is buying Splunk software as part of a 10-year, $820 million purchase agreement.

Why invest in cybersecurity? 

The global cybersecurity market is growing rapidly. According to market research by Mordor Intelligence, the global cybersecurity market was worth about $161 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to about $363 billion by 2025 at an annual growth rate of 14.5%. 

However, market research by International Data Corporation (IDC) paints a more conservative picture, valuing the 2019 cybersecurity market at $106 billion and growing at an annual rate of 9.4% to $151 billion by 2023. 

Regardless, the trend is undeniable: cybersecurity is a healthy and growing market. 

All the fundamentals are solid, and powerful global trends are pushing cybersecurity toward the forefront of all conversations surrounding technology for years to come (data privacy issues, the internet of things and increased connectivity, grid vulnerabilities, etc.). 

Mordor’s research notes that the cybersecurity market is somewhat fragmented, meaning that it is highly competitive and not completely dominated by a few powerful companies. For potential investors, this diverse market offers real opportunities for sustained and potentially rapid growth. 

Venture capital (VC) funding in cybersecurity companies has been increasing rapidly over the past several years. According to KPMG, VC funding of cybersecurity companies in 2018 reached a record $6.4 billion, and 2019 funding numbers are expected to exceed that figure. Given that technological innovation and adoption are accelerating globally, and that cyberattacks are occurring more frequently and with greater impact, investment in cybersecurity solutions will likely continue to grow for the foreseeable future. 

For the savvy investor with an eye on the future of technology, the cybersecurity market offers excellent growth potential. 

How to invest in cybersecurity

However, as an emerging and highly-technical industry, jumping right into cybersecurity by investing directly in one of the field’s leading firms can bring with it undo risk for investors. As with any tech investment, it’s important to understand the products and services that these companies are offering their customers, and how those offerings truly set them apart from the competition, in order to accurately gauge the potential growth as well as the potential risk in any cybersecurity investment.

A search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of mutual funds and ETFs available that offer exposure to the growing field of cybersecurity requiring investors to get a PhD in technology first. 

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.] 


internet of things iot

Internet of Things

If you were among the lucky attendees to the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, you likely would have noticed that “connectivity” was one of the show’s most prominently featured trends

CES bills itself as the “world’s largest and most influential tech event,” and many companies at the show chose to display “smart” products that feature internet connectivity as a means by which the product becomes more useful to the consumer. For instance, Weber, the company famous for its round, charcoal kettle grills, featured its new “Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub,” which promises to serve as a kind of “step-by-step grilling assistant that sends notifications directly to your smart phone on everything from a food readiness countdown, to when it’s time to flip and serve.” 

Kohler, the company primarily known for its plumbing fixtures, featured its new voice-controlled “Moxie” showerhead/wireless speaker, which “lets you stream your favorite music, news or talk radio right in the shower with you.” 

Smart devices like these are becoming increasingly popular as daily life becomes more connected to and shaped by the internet. The interconnection of our devices via the internet is often referred to as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT for short.

An entrepreneur named Kevin Aston first coined the term “Internet of Things” back in 1999 in an attempt to describe the connection between physical objects and the internet. At the time, Aston was working on linking Procter & Gamble’s supply chain to the internet through RFID tags. 

These days, IoT encompasses the vast, interconnected ecosystem of devices, sensors, computers, and networks that communicate with each other and with us. There are more than 20 billion devices with internet connectivity in use today, and there is enormous value in the data that these devices generate. 

This value extends well beyond the realm of consumer electronics. For instance, IoT is considered the driving force behind Industry 4.0, a term described by Deloitte as the “new industrial revolution—one that marries advanced manufacturing techniques with the Internet of Things to create manufacturing systems that are not only interconnected, but communicate, analyze, and use information to drive further intelligent action back in the physical world.”

For those interested in the investment potential of this innovative technology, there are a few important points to understand.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? 

According to research and advisory firm, Gartner, IoT is the “network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.” The overarching purpose of IoT is for physical objects to sense and report information in real-time so that a process can be made more efficient, convenient, or safe.

The practical applications of IoT are vast, and faster, more affordable technology is driving innovation across very different industries. 

Let’s start with the problem of traffic safety. The City of San Jose, California, is currently integrating IoT solutions in order to make intersections safer for pedestrians. For instance, IoT sensors communicate with traffic signals when someone crossing an intersection may require a bit more time before the signal turns green. 

Another problem IoT is helping to address is that of food waste. According to the UN, roughly one-third of the world’s food production is lost or wasted every year. The Danish supply company, Globe Tracker, is working to fix that by offering IoT solutions that keep a close eye on food as it moves around the world in shipping containers. Globe Tracker’s sensors continuously record and transmit data on the container’s location, temperature, humidity, etc. 

This kind of data is highly valuable in all supply chains, but it is especially valuable in perishable food supply chains. Innovators in business and government are going to increasingly adopt IoT solutions to address the complex problems of the 21st century, and providers of such solutions will increasingly innovate and drive IoT technology forward.

Why Invest in the Internet of Things (IoT)?

By all accounts, the IoT market is thriving, and there is good reason to think that even greater growth may be on the horizon.

According to a 2019 report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), global IoT spending in 2019 was forecast to reach $745 billion, a 15.4% increase over the $646 billion spent in 2018. IDC also projected that global IoT spending would surpass $1 trillion in 2022, with manufacturing, consumer, transportation, and utility industries accounting for a significant portion of the spending increase. 

Adoption of IoT is happening worldwide and across industries at a rapid pace. Mordor Intelligence projects that the compound annual growth rate of the IoT market is 21% between 2020 and 2025. Internet-connected devices are also getting cheaper to produce and are becoming more widely available. McKinsey & Company projects that the number of internet-connected devices will increase to 43 billion by 2023, a nearly 300% increase from 2018 numbers. 

Underlying all these positive numbers is an enormous potential boost that is somewhat difficult to quantify: 5G. Mobile carriers are currently in the process of deploying 5G (the fifth-generation wireless network) across the U.S. and around the globe. 5G provides considerably faster mobile connections and will, according to Qualcomm, “seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power and mobility to provide extremely lean/low-cost solutions.” 

The 5G rollout will take time, and as with current data coverage, not every location will get lightning-fast speed. Those locations that do benefit, however, are in for a potentially transformative period of IoT innovation.

How to Invest in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Despite all of this growth and potential, the Internet of Things remains a developing, high-volatility sector, meaning that it can make for a risky investment when bought directly. Rather, a search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of other ways to profit from IoT innovation via mutual funds and ETFs that cover this fast-growing sector.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today. 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]  


cancer treatment

Cancer Treatment

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s awful for the hundreds of thousands of patients and their families impacted by it. 

But, there is hope. 

A new 2020 American Cancer Society report shows the largest single-year drop, 2.2%, in the rate of people dying from cancer ever recorded in 2017, the most recent year tracked.  

Even more promising, the report indicates that the rate of people dying from cancer has dropped every year for 26 straight years. 

How did we get here? More effective early detection, treatment advances, and lifestyle changes, for starters. But there is a lot more innovation that’s happening in modern cancer care that’s improving the odds for cancer patients everywhere. These new technologies include: 

[The link between food and health is strong than ever. Learn more about investing in Organic Agriculture.]

Artificial Intelligence for Cancer Care

The modern healthcare system is today based on electronic health data. Now, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we are finally able to more efficiently analyze and categorize that data, allowing researchers to identify disease and treatment trends that are leading to a better understanding of the elements that affect cancer growth or decline. Moreover, researchers and clinicians alike are now able to more quickly access and compare information about patients with similar cancers.  

The startup company, Paige (Pathology AI Guidance Engine), for example, applies AI-based methods to better map the pathology of cancer. Paige raised $45 million in funding in late 2019. 

The Cancer Genomics Cloud (CGC), which houses a number of cancer data sets, including the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), makes a huge amount of data available to researchers quickly and securely.

These technological efforts are leading both to increasingly personalized cancer care and new treatment options in the fight for a cure. 

Genomics Testing for Better Cancer Treatment

Liquid biopsies investigate “any type of specimen other than tissue — including blood, urine, and cerebral spinal fluid — that can be interrogated regarding the functionality of a cancer tumor.” An important tool in early detection, liquid biopsies can detect cancer before it becomes visible or shows symptoms. And, in the case of blood or urine specimens, the biopsies are non-invasive.

Guardant Health, a provider of liquid biopsies, saw its stock grow 78% in 2019. And that’s just the beginning. The market for liquid biopsies is projected to reach $6.5 billion by 2026, but could grow to as much as a $100 billion market by some estimates. 

Immunotherapy and Cancer

Immunotherapy harnesses the power of the immune system to help patients fight a wide range of diseases, including cancer. In the spring of 2018, there were 753 cell-based therapies in development according to the Cancer Research Institute. 

And, some are working magic for patients. Keytruda, approved to treat a range of cancers, brought in approximately $11.1 billion in sales for the drug giant, Merck

Improving Patient Access 

Beyond housing mass data for researchers and clinicians, the internet is giving cancer patients themselves a place to connect with vetted expert information and with other patients. 

SurvivorNet is a community of cancer patients and survivors, as well as a forum for expert information. Its goal is to increase access to information about treatment options. SurvivorNet recently raised $10M in a Series B funding round. 

Why Invest in Cancer Treatment?

When it comes to cancer, traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are still commonly used and are generally effective. But, they are also aggressive and indiscriminate, and often come with debilitating side effects (although medical cannabis has been shown to help ease these symptoms). 

As medicine becomes more personal, so too are cancer treatments, with doctors and researchers moving towards increasingly patient-centric therapies.

Why now? Electronic health records, genetic testing, big data analytics, and supercomputing are the tools of precision care, and now, doctors and scientists have them. The results are both better targeted therapies available to patients sooner after diagnosis and cancer treatment options that are both in development and widely available multiplying fast. 

This leaves investors with lots of options. Not only are there new therapies and drugs on the market, there are new testing technologies, AI companies, and online platforms that have the potential to be the next big thing. 

How to Invest in the Future of Cancer Care

Cancer is something that we all want to beat. And, these days, our chances of actually accomplishing that goal are better than ever.

As new technologies become commercialized, millions will be diagnosed earlier and successfully connected with their cures. It won’t happen overnight, though. It will happen one breakthrough at a time.

Picking those winners ahead of time is difficult, however, and typically calls for advanced medical research knowledge and understanding that most investors simply don’t have. But, a search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of other ways to profit from cancer care innovation as a whole via mutual funds and ETFs.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]