President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, John Bolton, is a big believer in launching “disproportionate” cyber attacks against countries that have hit America and American companies with cyber attacks, according to Politico.
Given that the national security adviser is, in many ways, the most influential foreign policy aide to the president (since, unlike the secretary of state and secretary of defense, the national security adviser works in the White House, side-by-side with the president), there is a very good chance that President Trump will heed Bolton’s advice and respond to any cyber attacks against America with massive counterattacks.
Of course, as a number of experts quoted by Politico pointed out, massive, retaliatory cyber attacks by the U.S. government could very well trigger additional cyber attacks by our enemies. Given that backdrop, American enterprises in general, and the U.S. government in particular, will look to strengthen their cyber defenses. Although many cybersecurity companies will benefit from this trend, Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) stock, BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) stock, and FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) stock look best-positioned to rally from this development. Investors should buy shares of these companies.
New Trump Adviser Likely to Boost Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW) Stock
The Trump administration has worked “to get federal agencies to embrace cloud computing,” and Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) notes that it “serves federal governments” by “securing public, private, and hybrid cloud.”
Moreover, as I noted in a previous column, Palo Alto works closely with customers of Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Services cloud offering, and two of its “key products appear to be geared toward providing cloud security.”
Furthermore, the company provides many services to government agencies and it should also benefit as large, private companies ramp up their cyber defenses to prepare for possible attacks by America’s enemies.
New Trump Adviser Likely to Boost BlackBerry Ltd (BB) Stock
Believe it or not, BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) has become a powerhouse in the U.S. federal IT security market. Reporting on the company’s U.S. federal business during BlackBerry’s recent second-quarter results conference call in September, CEO John Chen said that BB “had 23 transactions over $100,000, of which 7 of them were larger than 500K and 5 deals were over $1 million,” according to Seeking Alpha’s transcript.
Additionally, Chen indicated that BlackBerry had obtained significant IT security contract wins from U.S. state and local governments, as well as from foreign governments. Finally, the CEO noted that BlackBerry has “the only cloud services for crisis management certified by the United States government.”
As the threat of cyber attacks from other governments increases, more federal agencies will likely look to implement crisis management solutions.
New Trump Adviser Likely to Boost FireEye Inc (FEYE) Stock
If there are multiple, massive cyber attacks on U.S. governments and businesses, FireEye Inc’s (NASDAQ:FEYE) Mandiant unit looks poised to benefit significantly.
When Sony Corporation’s (NYSE: SNE) movie unit suffered a massive cyber attack (which has been blamed on North Korea), Mandiant was called in to deal with the situation. Mandiant was also called in after the cyber attack on Equifax, and in 2013 Bloomberg called it “the go-to responder for cyber-espionage attacks.”
Given the incoming national security adviser’s view on cyber warfare, there is a good chance that the U.S. and its companies will become targets for cyber attacks from other countries. In light of this situation, these entities will look to enhance their defenses, creating great opportunities for Palo Alto stock and BlackBerry stock. And, if cyber attacks do occur, FireEye and FEYE stock should benefit significantly.
As of this writing, Larry Ramer owned shares of BlackBerry stock.