"Never before have so much data been collected," our own lead tech analyst Ray Blanco declares.
"In 2017, it’s estimated to be about 15,000 exabytes worth (an exabyte is a billion gigabytes. By comparison, your computer might only be capable of storing about 500 gigabytes on its drive)."
Ray's talking about your personal info. It's insanely valuable (I don't have to tell you that, do I?). Unfortunately, hackers and thieves are lurking around every corner of the digital world.
Last month, we told you the story of the ransomware cryptoworm WannaCry. WannaCry takes over files and demands $300 to restore access. According to multiple media reports, more than 200,000 computers in at least 150 countries initially fell prey to the hack.
The WannaCry debacle is a grim reminder of just how vulnerable our information is in the digital age. Cyber criminals are everywhere. And they're becoming more savvy by the day. Individuals and corporations are scrambling to protect their most sensitive information. But they're way behind the curve.
Finally, the market's waking up this powerful trend.
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Just one month ago as the WannaCry story started to break, we showed you how the cybersecurity industry was coming back to life.
The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE:HACK) shook off recent weakness and started moving higher. This group of cyber security stocks is now starting to perk up after taking some serious lumps in early 2016.
After more than a year of underperformance, HACK is looking to dominate Wall Street once again. These stocks are up a collective 17% so far this year, compared to a gain of less than 9% for the S&P 500. HACK is now pushing to prices not seen since summer 2015.
We’re not surprised that these cybersecurity stocks are starting to shine again. Even before the WannaCry news broke, price was telling us that a change in trend was starting. Remember, many of the most recognizable names in the industry were trapped in nasty bear markets for the past 18 months.
One of the latest comeback stories in the industry is none other than Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW). Palo Alto shot off its lows in early May after reporting revenue jumped 25%, while income surged by 35%.
"Not only did PANW beat and show strong growth, but it raised its estimates for next quarter -- another good sign," Ray notes. "The company is not only winning new customers, but existing customers keep making orders. The market for Palo Alto’s products keeps growing as data explode and as WannaCry shows, the company's technology has the sophistication to address the biggest threats on the network."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: cybersecurity is quickly turning into one of the most lucrative plays of the decade.
The cybersecurity sector is gearing up for additional gains as more attacks gain media attention. The fuse is lit. Look for these stocks to continue to outperform heading into the summer months.
This article originally appeard on Daily Reckoning.