The cybersecurity has had an outstanding year in 2020 and the outlook for 2021 looks even bigger.

There were several catalysts for growth unseen in previous years, including people working from home leading to a greater awareness of cybersecurity among businesses and government investment in the sector.

This growth has been seen in the ASX cybersecurity sector – the average stock has gained 97 per cent in the last year.

Three companies have more than tripled – Whitehawk (ASX:WHK), Archtis (ASX:AR9) and Tesserent (ASX:TNT).

Here’s a list of all ASX cybersecurity stocks and their performance in 2020…

Code Company Price %Yr MktCap
TNT Tesserent Limited 0.355 672 $306.9M
WHK Whitehawk Limited 0.315 221 $63.1M
AR9 Archtis Limited 0.395 204 $80.1M
FFT Future First Tech 0.046 172 $23.8M
FZO Family Zone Cyber 0.415 113 $153.4M
5GN 5G Networks Limited 1.44 85 $172.2M
PRO Prophecy Internation 0.66 31 $42.2M
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.135 25 $44.8M
ELS Elsight Ltd 0.51 16 $60.0M
VOR Vortiv Ltd 0.165 3 $23.2M
HWH Houston We Have Ltd 0.042 -16 $11.0M
SEN Senetas Corporation 0.053 -24 $59.5M
SPA Spacetalk Ltd 0.13 -59 $21.5M
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.041 -85 $5.5M

 

As 2020 draws to a close many sectors are wondering what 2021 holds for them and cybersecurity is no different.

Stockhead spoke with Michael Sentonas, chief technology officer at CrowdStrike about cybersecurity’s outlook for 2021.

He said the threat of cyber attacks would increase next year because two particular sources will provide increased vulnerability.

 

State-sponsored threats

The first source Sentonas named was state actors. Without explicitly stating China and Russia would attack Australia, he named them as nations whose relations have gone pear-shaped in the last couple of years.

“Nation-state adversaries remain active while taking advantage of global issues spilling into cyberspace,” he noted.

“To prepare for the worst-case scenario, this coming year the West will be making stronger decisions on where critical or widespread technology is imported from, even going as far as to ban certain consumer technologies.

“In 2021, we’ll likely see these decisions spread even further from government and enterprise technology to everyday consumer technology.

“Public-facing applications and services are increasingly at risk, as adversaries are eager to use any exterior gaps and weaknesses as initial footholds.”

 

Work from home has its downsides

The second catalyst likely to help cybersecurity’s outlook in 2021, from an industry perspective, is working from home.

Sentonas also noted that as firms forced to a remote working environment made decisions about whether or not stay that way, cybersecurity would have to be considered.

He cited a recent survey his firm conducted estimating it’d take 117 hours to detect a cybersecurity incursion – essentially the same as last year.

Sentonas warned companies wishing to stay safe would have to invest in the appropriate capabilities.

“In 2021, organisations must heavily consider the risks of non-compliance versus the agility needed for rapid expansion to a work-from-anywhere model,” he said.

“The coming year will bring an uptick in compliance violations with regulations such as GDPR, as businesses struggle to keep up.

“Devices, networks, data – and the management of all these is no longer a straightforward problem: In 2021, everything on both sides of the firewall will be the business’ responsibility.”

Industries Sentonas named as under particular threat included rerouted healthcare services and online banking platforms.