While digital connectivity has revolutionized society and sparked opportunities through the introduction of new industries, it also yields nefarious activities, thus warranting a closer look at the best cybersecurity stocks to buy now. Given the proliferation of digital crimes, targeting security solutions almost represents a no-brainer.
First, investors must realize just how bad the situation has become. Worryingly, experts in the field reported that the global cost of cybercrime came out to more than $8 trillion last year. By the end of this year, the figure could exceed $11 trillion. That’s a massive wake-up call that utterly incentivizes the consideration of the top cybersecurity stocks.
Second, we’re seeing the devastation of the digital crime wave accelerate to unprecedented levels. Perhaps most notably, Clorox (NYSE:CLX) recently revealed the extent of the damage it suffered from a digital breach earlier this year. Conspicuously, the damage inflicted by ransomware clocks in at 57X more destructive in 2021 than in 2015.
On that note, below are the best cybersecurity stocks to buy in October 2023.
Specializing in providing global content delivery network (CDN) services, Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) also specializes in cybersecurity and cloud-based solutions. It’s a major player among the best cybersecurity stocks to buy thanks to its influence on web traffic visibility. Given Akamai’s CDN footprint, it handles a large portion of the world’s web traffic. Thus, it’s able to identify and mitigate new threats quickly.
In addition, Akamai provides distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack protection, which can overwhelm websites and online services. As well, the company offers a web application firewall (WAF) that protects web applications from common attacks by monitoring and filtering traffic and blocking malicious incoming traffic.
Thanks to its vitality, investors have poured into AKAM, sending it up nearly 27% on a year-to-date basis. However, AKAM still trades at 16.8x forward earnings, lower than the sector median of 22x. Analysts peg AKAM as a consensus moderate buy with a $111.54 target, implying about 4% upside. Still, that could be on the low side given the vast importance of the underlying business.
An identity and access management firm, Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) ranks among the top cybersecurity stocks thanks to its authentication protocols. Through Okta, enterprise-level clients can manage and secure user authentication into various applications. Also, developers can build these controls for their platforms, web services, and devices. All this occurs under a unified, cloud-based umbrella that effectively allows companies to connect the right folks to the right technologies.
In addition, Okta represents a leader in multi-factor authentication (MFA). Under this protocol, users must provide multiple forms of identification before gaining access to protected functions. Therefore, this security measure helps impede unauthorized entities from gaining access to sensitive information, even if these nefarious agents manage to crack passwords.
Now, nothing in life is free and with that, it must be said that OKTA trades at a forward multiple of nearly 52X. That ranks worse than 81% of its peers, per investment data aggregator Gurufocus. However, for that premium, investors enjoy an impressive three-year revenue growth rate of 33%.
Analysts rate OKTA a consensus moderate buy with a $93.17 target, implying 8% growth potential.
CyberArk Software (CYBR)
An information security specialist, CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) also focuses on identity management. Per its public profile, CyberArk mainly serves the financial services, energy, retail, healthcare, and government markets. It also features an international footprint, with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific/Japan. Since the start of the year, CYBR stormed to a 35% return.
Fundamentally, CyberArk symbolizes one of the best cybersecurity stocks to buy now thanks to its acumen in privileged access management (PAM). This protocol provides control and monitoring solutions for use access within an organization. Further, CyberArk ensures that sensitive credentials (for example, administrator accounts) are properly secured, monitored, and managed. Any anomalies can be dealt with immediately, mitigating digital breaches.
Like other top cybersecurity stocks, CYBR comes at a hefty valuation of 122x forward earnings. Further, its longer-term revenue growth isn’t that impressive compared to its peers. However, it’s been expanding the top line robustly in recent quarters, making it worth a look. Finally, analysts believe in CYBR, pegging it a strong buy with a $189.30 target, implying 11% growth.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.