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After New York Times Hacking, Check Point Is Up

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Cybersecurity firms are likely to see increased interest from investors.

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On January 30, it was reported that the New York Times had been attacked by Chinese hackers for the previous four months. That day, the price of Israeli company Check Point Software Technologies' (NASDAQ:CHKP) stock closed at $48.54. Today's high is $51.91, an increase of 6.9% since Wednesday's close.

One of Check Point's competitors in the cybersecurity field, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), used reporting of the hacking as a moment for publicity, releasing this statement:

Advanced attacks like the ones the New York Times described...underscore how important it is for companies, countries, and consumers to make sure they are using the full capability of security solutions. The advanced capabilities in our endpoint offerings, including our unique reputation-based technology and behavior-based blocking, specifically target sophisticated attacks. Turning on only the signature-based anti-virus components of endpoint solutions alone are not enough in a world that is changing daily from attacks and threats. We encourage customers to be very aggressive in deploying solutions that offer a combined approach to security. Anti-virus software alone is not enough.

Symantec is right in that anti-virus software is surely not enough to protect against hacking, particularly for large companies that work with sensitive information. The company promotes its capabilities for defending against sophisticated attacks using various systems at once. But those attacks are liable to become even more sophisticated, and so too is the defense. It should be noted, however, that Symantec was the company that failed to notice the hacking at the New York Times for a whole four months. That being said, Symantec's stock is still up since the news broke, just not as high as Check Point's.

Aside from other competitors like F-Secure (HEL:FSC1V) and Trend Micro (TYO:4704), most computer security companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries or are privately owned, like Avira, BullGuard, Frisk, Kaspersky, and the Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) owned McAfee. Moreover, larger companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also have holdings devoted to providing computer security.

With the New York Times story, in addition to rumors of hacking surrounding the crash of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) homepage, the viability of computer security seems to be a good bet.

For more on this topic, see Cybersecurity Stocks: The 9 Names to Consider Now.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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