Friday, July 21, 2023
The continued pell-mell release of Artificial Intelligence ("AI") applications is stirring up some fond memories.
No, it's not because I was considered a "techie" kid. In fact, as a boomer of a certain age, I didn't even grow up with tech gadgets (unless you count transistor radios, of course).
My childhood was spent reading comic books. And one of my favorite series was called "Spy vs. Spy." This was an unusual comic strip — there were no words, just picture-based stories of two agents continuously trying to get the better of the other.
The thing is, this type of antic is happening with the emergence of AI, specifically in a field on its way to being worth $425 billion.
Let me explain what's going on, then reveal how we can position ourselves to profit from it.
I don't mean to alarm you, but I think it's worth mentioning: My wife recently got hit with a pretty darn convincing cyber scam.
The hacker pretended to be our daughter and asked for money to be sent through a financial app. Most scams like this are easy to spot. You'll often find poor spelling or grammatical errors.
Not this one, though. It was nearly flawless, and it almost duped my wife. What made it so convincing? While I can't prove it, I'm convinced AI played a big role.
You see, in addition to all the good it's done, AI is being used for malicious purposes, too...
And not just to create more persuasive cyber threats...
AI also plays a huge role in data tracking, a huge problem considering the digital world is all about data.
Just take a look at your own data collection — e-mails, documents, pictures. How often do you secure that content? If a company like Google or Apple tells you that you need to beef up security, do you listen?
While you're busy uploading all that data, AI is busy scouring that information, often with specific marching orders.
It's easy to forget that AI's primary intention was to make coding easier and programs more accessible. By helping write code — a lengthy, repetitive process — AI enabled coders to stick to developing more sophisticated programs while it handled the more tedious tasks.
But for cyber criminals, AI enables them to launch more complex cyber threats. Even now, there are several websites where you can download AI-built hacking tools that can be easily put to use.
In a recent Forbes article, a cyber-security expert noted that, by 2025, devices connected to the internet will generate 79 zettabytes (one zettabyte equals one billion terabytes) of data.
That's an almost incomprehensible amount. For reference, with a single terabyte, you can watch about 400 hours of high-definition video.
AI will be essential in sifting through these zettabytes of data to help identify and expel bad actors. And that makes AI-driven cyber security an intriguing, fast-growing market...
Blackberry (BB), a company known for its cell phones, is also a leading cybersecurity firm. According to a recent forecast, it projects that 82% of IT decision-makers plan to invest in AI cyber security in the next two years. Nearly half plan to invest in it before the end of 2023.
The civilian market is just the beginning of a massive global effort to thwart malevolent AI-driven opportunists.
Earlier this year, NATO held a "hack-a-thon" in Estonia where 30 countries' top cyber warriors played out AI-driven cyber threats. There's also talk about including AI cyber-attacks as a violation in the NATO charter. (Specifically, an attack against one member would constitute an attack against all members.)
The good news is that, in the trend to use AI for cyber-attacks, there are just as many focused on defending these attacks...
Including a company that's one of the leaders in AI-focused cyber-attack prevention.
This company's client list reads like a who's who of Fortune 500 companies. It also boasts partnerships with Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon Web Services, and Google (GOOGL), three of the world's largest cloud-computing companies.
Founded in Israel in the late 90s, this company has more than 5,000 customers. Its growth has been mostly organic, though it made several buyouts between 2015 and 2019 to expand its reach.
Years ago, the company gained a reputation for its "Zero Trust" platforms, which operate like they sound. Even senior executives at a software company, for instance, need to prove their identities in order to gain access.
Now the Zero Trust operations are being powered by AI. And the company's first AI-driven product is focused on making sure "cloud" access is isolated from bad actors.
As I mentioned, the global cybersecurity market will soon be worth $425 billion, giving the company I'm recommending plenty of room to run.
While earnings have been soft in recent years, that's set to change. Per-share profits are estimated to soar 163%.
Even trimming that figure back by 75%, we'd still see this company's earnings double in less than two years. And when earnings double, stock prices often do, too.
Bottom line: This is a great way to target AI's use in preventing cyber-attacks and potentially double your money.
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Cheers and Good Investing,
Chief Investment Officer
Trend Trader Daily