Cyber crimewave

Playing defense with data

Good morning, data defenders. This is your Stock Market Rundown for April 3rd, 2024. Thanks for tuning in. Let’s get it started:

TODAY’S TOP STORY: STOPPING HACK ATTACKS

From casinos to libraries to hospitals, ransomware attacks are devastating organizations worldwide. If hackers crack your critical systems, you might have to pony up millions to regain access—or your data could be gone forever.

In cowboy-movie terms, if cyber attackers are the black hats, data security providers like Palo Alto-based Rubrik are the white hats. Rubrik just filed to go public and raise up to $700 million to support its mission of defending businesses against the hacker hordes.

Rubrik founder Bipul Sinha wasn’t a top student—in fact, it took him two tries to get into engineering school in India. But when he came to the US, degree in hand, he rose through the ranks in the tech industry. In 2013, Sinha and a few co-founders launched Rubric, and overnight it became one of the fastest-growing companies in tech.

Rubrik’s business is based on the “software as a service” model: customers pay a recurring subscription fee for cyber security. It’s like paying protection money to the mob, except Rubric protects against cyber incursions—and won’t break your legs if you cancel.

Today, Rubrik serves blue-chip customers like Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, and PepsiCo. But while the business may soon be public, it isn’t yet profitable. In fact, it lost more than $350 million in the past fiscal year.

Despite the losses, Rubrik’s investors will score a nice payday with the IPO, given the desperate need for better cybersecurity. As Rubrik says, “cybercriminals never sleep.” And the fact that cybercrime costs the world $10 trillion per year is enough to give any IT guy nightmares.

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SO WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
  • Adam Neumann, the founder of Wework, has reportedly bid half a million dollars to buy back the firm out of bankruptcy. Given that Neumann walked away with hundreds of millions despite WeWork’s epic faceplant, he might be better off skipping the reputation repair project.

  • Canada Goose parkas have gone from trendy to frumpy, and the company is laying off workers to rein in costs. The only ones happy about this are… well, probably the geese.

  • After years of litigation on fees, Visa and Mastercard reached a $30 billion settlement with US merchants. Even if the fees suck, Visa and Mastercard have retailers and consumers in a chokehold… when’s the last time you paid cash for anything? 

  • The SEC is gunning for crypto operators, accusing them of selling unregistered securities. Let’s be real: the typical crypto asset is less like a blue-chip stock, and more like a Beanie Baby that ends up gathering dust in a closet.

Bidding you adieu for today, folks. Tomorrow morning promises more laughter and learning. Yours in capitalism, The Axe

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