CyberSecurity As A Competitive Differentiator

CyberSecurity As A Competitive Differentiator

Were I to go to market with an Enterprise Software product portfolio I would stress our CyberSecurity capability in all product marketing efforts. It doesn’t matter what the core product offering is – CRM, HRMS, POS, Payroll – CyberSecurity must be baked into the offering. To make CybeSecurity an afterthought is to risk losing revenue as CyberThreats will only increase with time.

Companies mentioned: Apple (AAPL), Interactive Brokers (IBKR), Square (SQ)

We recently published an article that highlighted the payments fraud and security issues Square (tkr: SQ), has with its Cash App. If Square starts to develop a reputation among users for not having a secure network, the company can kiss its premium valuation “good bye”. The company’s recent foray into Bitcoin trading is not without risk as hackers have been attacking Bitcoin platforms and Bitcoin funds, making off with hundreds of millions if not billons of dollars since I started tracking Bitcoin in 2013. Square is not alone. Now comes news that Apple’s iOS operating system was plagued with a security hole that would have enabled a hacker in close proximity to any Apple device to take full control of that device even if the hacker was not on the same WiFi network as the victim. 2FA and other security measures would not have been enough to prevent device penetration in this case. Apple (tkr: AAPL) plugged this hole in May but there are undoubtedly other points of exploitation.

The CyberSecurity threat is compounded by the proliferation of connected devices. Every new node on an Internet connected network represents a potential entry point for hackers. If one considers the global Internet to which humans add millions if not billions of new connected devices each year, it is only getting easier for hackers to commit identity fraud and similar cybercrimes. One company that stands out in a positive light as it relates to CyberSecurity is Fintech company Interactive Brokers (tkr: IBKR). The company forces clients to access its brokerage platform using a 2FA protocol. This may seem like a heavy-handed approach to some IBKR users, but even 2FA is not infallible. Just ask @jack who was the victim of a SIM swap in August 2019.

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