Doc's note: Today, I'm sharing an essay from tech guru Jeff Brown, editor of The Near Future Report. Jeff explains why a new type of crime is setting one industry up for huge growth in the coming years...
In recent years, political protests turned violent have plastered the nightly news.
Riots in the nation's capital, Baltimore, Chicago, and even on university campuses have caught the attention of the average American.
But behind all this, a new crime wave is sweeping across the country... Unlike crimes of the past, this one can't be stopped with more locks, security cameras, or guards.
And these new criminals aren't desperate amateurs.
They're fully funded, sophisticated criminal organizations that function like normal corporations. Some even have human resource, accounting, and engineering departments.
I'm talking about the rising threat of cybercrime in the United States... This new criminal element is quickly becoming an epidemic as numerous companies and individuals fall victim.
Markets don't understand how severe this threat is yet, but they will. And that presents a unique opportunity for investors. Let me explain...
$3 Trillion Stolen by 2020
I attended seven conferences and several other tech-related events during the first three months of this year, including the RSA Conference. It's the major annual cryptography and cybersecurity conference of the tech industry. It has become massive, with 43,000 visitors attending.
The company that put on the conference, RSA Security, created and successfully deployed public key cryptography – the underlying technology that allows people to send encrypted messages back and forth.
The conference was a great place for industry meetings, but many of the presentations are highly "scrubbed." Companies aren't as open and forward-looking as they used to be.
The big boys like Microsoft (MSFT) and HP (HPQ) had almost nothing interesting to say. Their presentations were so generic and fluffy that I almost fell asleep.
But one aspect of Microsoft's presentation caught my attention...
Last year, businesses lost $1 trillion to cybercrime. And that's expected to grow to $3 trillion by 2020. That's right... In the next three years, the financial damage from cybercrime is expected to triple.
Cyberattacks on major companies have made news in recent years...
Cybercriminals attacked health insurance-company Anthem (ANTM) in 2015. The hack compromised tens of millions of customer accounts.
Search-engine giant Yahoo also suffered from numerous cyberattacks in 2016. The incidents forced Yahoo to renegotiate its merger with telecom titan Verizon Communications (VZ) as a result, losing $350 million in the process.
The Cybersecurity Industry Is Unprepared
These types of cyberattacks will continue.
Large cybersecurity firms can't keep up with the surge in cybercrime. Their product development is just too slow. And even if a firm could put in place all the safeguards necessary to keep networks and data safe, the defenses would be so burdensome that the organization wouldn't be able to function.
You can see the scale of cyberattacks for yourself through this interactive map.
That's why President Trump's administration's attention has turned toward the need to drastically upgrade its cybersecurity infrastructure. Under discussion is the need to have a dramatically stronger, more secure, and centralized information-technology architecture.
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, the current secretary of defense, said during his confirmation hearing in January...
I realize [cybersecurity] is a new domain, but that does not give us an excuse not to address it on an urgent basis.
Even the president is on record recognizing the need to expand cybersecurity measures. As a presidential candidate last year, Trump said...
We have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is – it is a huge problem...
A Watershed Moment
As these attacks become more pervasive, companies capable of defending against these new criminals will surge in value. According to data from Zion Market Research, the global cybersecurity market is expected to reach more than $181 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% for the next five years.
But despite this, the cybersecurity market is undervalued right now. Enterprises are too complacent. I believe we will see more large, public, expensive, and painful cyberattacks this year that will reignite this sector.
The bottom line is that 2017 is a watershed moment for the cybersecurity industry. The number of cyberattacks will grow exponentially in the next few years.
Companies capable of defending against these attacks stand to profit immensely. Investors could consider a "one click" way to gain exposure to the sector... like the First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity Fund (CIBR).
Doc's P.S. Jeff believes that the cybersecurity market is set to boom over the coming years... And he's identified another emerging technology that he thinks could change the game forever. He believes early investors could make as much as 10 times their money as this technology reaches mass adoption. Get the details here.