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Cybersecurity Outlook for 2024

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As we enter the year 2024, the topic of cybersecurity is expected to take center stage. With the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, companies such as Palo Alto, Zscaler, and CrowdStrike are likely to thrive, according to analysts from Wedbush.

Apple, on the other hand, is proactively addressing a different kind of crime – iPhone thefts. While not as technologically advanced as cyber attacks, this issue still requires effective security measures. In response, Apple has introduced a new setting designed to protect users and their sensitive information.

Expected to be included in an upcoming software update, this new security feature will mandate the use of touch or face recognition for accessing and modifying saved passwords. Moreover, if the phone is not within a recognized setting, such as home or the workplace, two sets of biometrics will be required with an hour delay between them.

The motivation behind this development stems from recent incidents highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, where stolen phones provided thieves access to personal and financial data with only a passcode. The need for additional security measures has become evident in such cases.

An Apple spokesperson highlighted the company’s commitment to user safety and data protection. They shared, “As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data.” With their new feature, Stolen Device Protection, users are provided with an added layer of sophisticated security against potential thieves.

In the face of evolving threats, it is crucial for companies to remain adaptable and utilize technological advancements to safeguard their users and fend off cyber attacks. The proactive approach taken by Apple serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity in today’s digital landscape.

Federal Cybersecurity Budgets on the Rise

Apple’s recent in-house fix may not have a direct impact on the cybersecurity stocks, but there are exciting prospects in 2024 that could propel them forward. According to Wedbush analysts, federal cybersecurity budgets are expected to increase by up to 30% in 2024. This estimation follows a series of meetings in Washington, where chief information security officers (CISOs) discussed strategies to protect against artificial intelligence-powered attacks and more sophisticated cyber threats.

A Top Priority for Government Agencies

The growing adoption of cloud technologies across various U.S. government departments, from the Defense Department to civil agencies, has made the need for robust cybersecurity measures a top priority. Wedbush’s Dan Ives emphasizes this point, stating that the protection of government agencies is now a pressing concern within federal budgets.

New SEC Rules: A Game Changer for the Industry

In addition to increased budgets, new rules implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have the potential to revolutionize the cybersecurity industry. These rules now require companies to disclose any cybersecurity incidents that are considered material. This development is seen as a “major tailwind” for the industry, providing an opportunity for growth and innovation.

Stocks to Watch

With these favorable market conditions, Wedbush analysts have identified six stocks that they believe will benefit from the upcoming trends. These stocks include CrowdStrike, CyberArk Software, Palo Alto Networks, Qualys, Tenable, and Zscaler. Additionally, larger software players like Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco are also expected to reap the rewards of increased spending by the Department of Defense (DOD).

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