In 2021, two thirds of the world population owned a mobile phone (5.2 billion people out of a total of 7.8 billion), 60% of humanity (4.7 billion people) had access to the internet and more than half were active on social media (4.2 billion people). It is not too bold a claim to assume that, in 2022, almost 100% of businesses around the world will be working with computer systems. For these businesses, “digitalisation of processes” for producing goods and services, for distribution, and necessary processes for relationships with customers and suppliers or supply chains is an essential requirement and a key factor of competitiveness. In two years’ time, e-commerce is expected to account for a market worth more than $800 billion, propelled by the arrival of the “Metaverse” and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). For governments, the challenges of “digitalisation” also include the need to modernise how public services operate and to improve their efficiency, from job-seeking services to healthcare, education and tax payments.
In this regard, the challenges of cybersecurity are monumental. For something that, on the one hand, is necessary for modernisation and represents a competitive advantage or a feature of economic development, it also appears to be an extraordinary source of vulnerability if systems and data are not well protected. We can therefore conclude that cybersecurity risks, alongside issues of public health and climate change, likely feature amongst those that affect the highest number of human beings on the planet. This is probably why in April 2021, the Chair of the US Federal Reserve cited cyber attacks as the greatest risk to the stability of the global economic system. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, cyber risk was the threat that increased more than any other during the COVID-19 crisis 2. From a European perspective, the expected inclusion of cybersecurity in the European social taxonomy is proof that this sector is central to building more resilient ecosystems.
We are therefore focussing on this topic in our letter. Not only because this subject is of paramount importance for the companies we invest in, as well as for our partners, suppliers, investors and shareholders, but also because, since we have identified this trend as one of the most significant investment opportunities for the next few decades, we have unparalleled expertise in Europe. We provide this unique knowledge through an experienced investment team managing the largest private equity fund dedicated to cybersecurity in Europe. It is together with said team that we are writing this letter, to share our approach to such a key topic with our readers.