As 2021 draws to a close, all kinds of records for data breaches will be broken, and through the third quarter, 40 million people have had their data compromised. So far, the total number of events experienced this year exceeds those in 2020 by 17%, the equivalent of 1,291 breaches vs. 1,108.
Heading into next year, more companies will be taking a cyber-aware approach. This will be driven by the advent of 5G networks as it will increase the number of devices accessing the Internet of Things as well as the breadth of cyberattacks occurring, pushing cybersecurity to the edge.
The introduction of smart devices, smart homes, smart cars, and even smart cities means this new generation will need new applications and security requirements to meet the additional risks. That makes cybersecurity stocks a prime investment opportunity for the next 10 years or more, and the following stocks are ones anyone can buy and hold for the duration.
No mention of cybersecurity can start without discussing CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ:CRWD), the industry leader. Its technology uses sophisticated artificial intelligence, behavioral analysis, and machine learning to detect and thwart cybersecurity risks, processing trillions of events every week through its Falcon platform. It protects businesses by ensuring that endpoints are secure, such as laptops or mobile devices.
Businesses are rapidly adopting CrowdStrike’s technology. Its subscriber base has expanded from 450 clients to over 13,000 in less than five years, and almost all renew their subscriptions each year.
Falcon, a cloud-based cybersecurity solution, is often a cheaper, more effective option to operate than on-premises security products. It becomes smarter as time progresses, allowing it to recognize and respond to potential threats more quickly, overseeing approximately 6 trillion events each week.
CrowdStrike has doubled revenue every year since its 2019 IPO, although some growth was through acquisitions. Wall Street sees it doubling again by 2023 and then doubling once more to $4 billion by 2025. Free cash flow is expected to grow fivefold in that time frame, reaching over $1.1 billion. The cybersecurity leader’s stock is not cheap by most traditional measures. But with it growing as fast as it is and with the need for its services so acute, it ought to grow into its 36 times sales valuation over the next decade.
SentinelOne (NYSE:S) only went public in June, but it has been in business for eight years, and its business is also growing rapidly. Fiscal 2021 revenue (ending Jan. 31) doubled year over year, and through the first nine months of the current fiscal year, it’s more than doubled again to $139 million. Analysts see revenue growing exponentially to over $1.2 billion by the middle of the decade.
Subscriptions to SentinelOne’s services are key to its expansion because they provide a recurring revenue stream that gives it a sense of stability. It views annualized recurring revenue (ARR) as the key operating metric by which investors should measure its business. ARR increased 131% in Q3 to $237 million, much faster than the 95% rate it experienced last year.
Growing as it has, SentinelOne’s net losses have also widened to $199 million over the first three quarters. CrowdStrike has displaced SentinelOne in certain contracts, replacing SentinelOne’s product with its Falcon technology.
Still, even though it is a much smaller business, it maintains that its proprietary Singularity platform is more accurate in detecting threats and is faster than either McAfee or CrowdStrike. With almost $1.7 billion in the bank and gross margins expected to end the year north of 60%, SentinelOne is an up-and-coming rival that should be able to flex its muscles over the next decade.
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