Special Report: MST Access says a perfect storm is brewing in the cybersecurity industry that could soon see explosive growth for secure information sharing specialist archTIS.

The broker research firm released a report valuing archTIS (ASX:AR9) at 70c per share, 70 per cent higher than its current price of 40.5c.

Due in part to the advent of COVID-19, a confluence of events has made the protection of sensitive information more important than ever, particularly for sectors like defence and education.

MST senior research analyst Glenn Wellham noted in his report that archTIS was well-placed to benefit as these are its two primary target markets in addition to its focus on government agencies.

“Over the last 12 months there has been a significant increase in cybercrime activity as criminals seek to exploit organisational vulnerability as a result of the overnight shift to near full-online operations as a result of COVID-19,” Wellham wrote in his report.

“Never more than before has information sharing security and control been more required, an ideal fit for archTIS’ experience, capability, and pedigree.”

MST says archTIS’ unique information sharing platform Kojensi has received plenty of traction since it was commercialised.

So far this year the company has signed its first commercial contract in the defence industry, formed a partnership with Curtin University, as well as secured a global defence contract with Northrup Grumman and another $4.2m contract with Australia’s Department of Defence.

“archTIS Limited pedigree of over 14 years in working with the Department of Defence in developing secure information sharing capabilities has earned its place as a trusted partner in the most demanding of industries,” MST stated in its report.


COVID-19 creating more opportunities in cyber

 According to MST, these accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg for what archTIS is capable of over the next decade.

Australia has seen a sharp uptick in cybercriminal activity over the past 12 months as more businesses have been forced to convert to online operations as a result of COVID-19. More online workers means more information sharing, leading to more errors, creating a breeding ground for attackers to swoop in and collect potentially sensitive data.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported that the annual economic loss for the 12-month period to June 2020 was $328m. A concentrated four-week attack could cost in excess of $30bn, and affect more than 163,000 jobs, according to ACSC’s report.

In response, the federal government is tackling the influx of attacks by increasingly allocating significant investment towards bolstering its cyber capabilities.


Cybersecurity and the $270bn question

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August committed $1.67bn to improving Australia’s cybersecurity posture over the next decade.

That was just a drop in the bucket compared to the government’s next funding announcement: $270bn over the next decade to the Department of Defence to pay for physical defence and cybersecurity capabilities.

MST believes archTIS is in a prime position to nab a sizable portion of that spend, having already established itself as a key supplier to the Department of Defence.

The broker notes that while archTIS won’t be the only bidder after a slice of that investment, the Canberra-based company’s history of working directly with the Department Defence to develop its platform will be a serious leg-up when trying to win new work.

“Both these initiatives [by the Morrison government] have a substantial element of information sharing requirements,” the report states.

“archTIS can leverage its trusted capability of its Kojensi platform to service these needs, either directly or indirectly by offering its platform to a vast number of small to enterprise business who would like to tender to provide their product and services to government agencies.”


The road ahead

As COVID-19 continues to shape the business climate and demand for cyber solutions to come, having a commercially viable and proven offering with expansive distribution networks and partnership is key.

Wellham notes that archTIS is also certified to host ‘Protected’ level data that is in the national interest. Being allowed to host Protected data requires stringent protocols for storage, and only a handful of Australian companies are certified at this level.

archTIS has also identified state and local governments, financial technology, telecommunications and utilities as prime sectors for it to expand into next.

This article was developed in collaboration with archTIS, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.