Business is booming… for internet crime. 🦹♂️ From romance scams and hacks, to phishing, vishing and smishing (seriously!), losses reported across the US from internet crime jumped 64% in 2021 to a record US$6.9 billion, according to the FBI. That’s not just a crime wave, that’s a tsunami. 🌊
Over one third of that US$6.9 billion came from lucrative attacks on companies. As the Covid pandemic forced us to swap our work boots for our work-from-homes slippers, scammers have engineered a range of new schemes to take full advantage of our remote access. That risk has helped to boost demand for services that independently verify identity, like Okta (OTKA), which last week reported quarterly revenue growth of 65% year-over-year.
As if to prove that no one’s safe, Okta had to navigate their own awkward hack-attack earlier this year when they were breached by an alleged 16 year old criminal mastermind. 🧠 The teenager was part of a group known as Lapsus$, which also hacked Microsoft (MSFT) and Nvidia (NVDA), and was able to sneak in through one of Okta’s third party engineers’ computers, who, ironically, wasn’t using Okta’s own multi-factor authentication. #Awks
The cybercrime wave has left companies scrambling to top up their cyber insurance. According to Fitch Ratings, spending on stand-alone cyber insurance coverage almost doubled in 2021. But it’s also been a boom for the cybersecurity companies hired to put protections in place against online foes. CrowdStrike (CRWD) is to big companies what Batman is to Gotham City, and despite their share price falling 18% so far this year, the company last week reported first quarter revenue growth of 61% year-on-year while also increasing their guidance for the rest of the financial year. Holy smokes, CrowdStrike. 🦇