Russian Programmers Look to Control-Alt-Delete U.S. Energy

There are fresh reports that Russian hackers are targeting Western oil and gas companies through a highly sophisticated cyber operation called "Energetic Bear." The latest cyberwars coming out of Russia's should prompt the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to strengthen and enforce security standards surrounding critical energy assets. This presents new momentum opportunities for investors. 

Companies I believe are carving out a really nice piece of the cybersecurity market vary from large behemoths like Northrop GrummanLockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton to up and coming players such as White Hat Security, Blue Coat Systems, and FireEye  (NASDAQ: FEYE  ) , a virtual security technology stock still off 60% from its 52-week high despite bottoming out at $25.58 in May. According to information security company Mandiant, the energy industry trails only the aerospace/defense sector as the industry most likely to witness a cyber attack. This means resources need to be allocated toward energy cybersecurity to secure our power sources like never before. That also means that investing opportunities in the space should not be ignored.

With more and more spending on next-generation firewalls, it may not be so far-fetched to assume that despite increased competition in a hot sector, Palo Alto may look to further deepen its relationship with Gigamon to make a more formidable threat prevention player in physical and virtual IT worlds in order to compete with heavyweights like Cisco Systems  (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) and leading defense players mentioned above.Another name to watch in the cybersecurity energy space is KEYW Holding  (NASDAQ: KEYW  ) . The company has already secured contracts with major government agencies such as the National Security Administration (NSA), the Department of Defense (DOD) and a slew of federal/state law enforcement agencies. I'm also intrigued by CACI International  (NYSE: CACI  ) , a company with a client list that reads like a who's who list of Corporate America and therefore brings credibility that many energy companies would like to build relationships on. Palo Alto Networks  (NYSE: PANW  ) may attract attention from energy companies and investors alike because of the company's ability to analyze files on an offloaded cloud-based network. 

As more energy companies look to allocate more capital to securing IT networks from cyber attacks, I believe investors may be able to benefit from an increased amount of upcoming joint ventures and perhaps even from outright M&A of cybersecurity energy solutions. Therefore, the potential for cybersecurity technology to be integrated within the energy sector could be massive. 

One's thing is for sure, with Russian hackers apparently looking to cripple U.S. energy assets, companies in the cybersecurity space may be more vital to our nation's national defense than ever before. The U.S. can't remain a superpower if the lights aren't on, so cybersecuring your portfolio appears to be  a solid long-term investment strategy. 

Take advantage of this little-known tax "loophole"
Recent tax increases have affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3020198, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/30/2015 11:04:18 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

John Licata

John Licata is the Founder & Chief Energy Strategist of Blue Phoenix Inc. You can follow John on Twitter @bluephoenixinc

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:02 PM
CACI $78.47 Up +0.24 +0.31%
CACI International… CAPS Rating: ***
CSCO $26.00 Down -0.17 -0.65%
Cisco Systems CAPS Rating: ****
FEYE $39.19 Up +0.10 +0.26%
FireEye CAPS Rating: ****
KEYW $8.28 Up +0.35 +4.41%
The KEYW Holding C… CAPS Rating: **
PANW $168.00 Up +0.22 +0.13%
Palo Alto Networks CAPS Rating: ***