Lightning in the dark sky

Most people tend to over-estimate the chances of really bad things happening to them. Consider that the odds of being struck by lightning are only 1 in 700,000, while the likelihood of being involved in a plane accident are less than 1 in 5 million (data respectively from National Geographic and The Economist). Nonetheless, one statistic to be wary of is that there is a 1-in-4 chance (or 25.6% likelihood, to be precise) of your home PC encountering a cyber threat.

This cheery data point comes courtesy of Avast, a leading cybersecurity business, in its Global PC Risk Report, an annual publication. The threat could be anything from ransomware to spyware via worms and Trojans (details on all of these and more can be found here). The bad news is that the probability of seeing your PC compromised is higher than the year prior (when the figure stood at 20.1%). This is perhaps not surprising given that lockdown has seen an increasing amount of domestic PC use both for business and personal purposes. The (relative) good news is that very few of our readers are likely to live in China, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran or Algeria which are – per the report – the countries where there is the highest risk of digital compromise.

What to do? Some of the solution is common sense. Most data (~70%, per IDC) is breached at the weakest link, namely the endpoint; in other words, your desktop, laptop or mobile device. Avoid repeatedly inputting personal data and use multiple passwords. At the same time, it is reassuring to see that almost all cybersecurity businesses are clearly continuing to spend on product innovation  to counter the growing threat landscape (as evidenced by higher year-on-year R&D spend). Meanwhile many payments companies are increasingly deploying encryption and/or tokenisation software as a way of countering possible threats – since it is in unsecured digital transactions where a large number of breaches occur. More broadly, almost 50% of corporates say they plan to increase cybersecurity spending in 2020, by an average of 29% (per a recent Capgemini study). Such investment makes sense; attacks to PCs constitute a virus that is not going away any time soon.

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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