A few months ago, an article was read about the number one concern which keeps CEOs up – cyber security. After reading that comment, an index fund of cyber security firms was purchased because those contracts will be renewed for a long time to come. Recently the book Exploding Data – Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age by Michael Chertoff published by Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2018. Mr. Chertoff brings his perspective of being Secretary of Homeland Security to the book which means there are examples of countries and people trying and succeeding in breaking into what we consider sensitive information data banks.
When Russia invaded the Ukraine, at the same time they had their cyber security people invade Ukrainian information data banks. They hacked the power grid shutting off control computers at 30 substations and then wiping control computers to make them useless. The attack caused control systems to go “suddenly blind” and to issue fake reports that made it seem power was flowing when it was not. A secondary phone disruption had prevented technicians from getting updates by telephone. This prevent customers from calling in and reporting power outage. And the President says nothing about Russian influence in the election process! One is tempted to wonder what is the big difference between the Ukraine system and the American system? could someone do the same thing or have they tried?
In Mr. Chertoff’s book there is lag between the existing laws and what can or has been tried with cyber security. Both to prevent crime and to go after those that can.
It is reasonable to ask at the AGM how is the company surviving and what resources do they put into cyber security attacks. Depends on the answer because if there is no hacking, someone is either not telling the truth or in denial.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, some of these companies are most vulnerable because they can pay the ransom, if and when hacked. Some organizations routinely pay ransom, what is the policy in the companies you invest in?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.