NEW YORK ( TheStreet) – With chronic complaints from corporate America that cyber thieves are winning the battle to keep customers' personal and financial information under lock and key, as well as company information secure, three security software vendors are poised to outperform their rivals in 2015.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Get Report) , Fortinet (FTNT - Get Report) and Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP - Get Report) are poised to experience growth in 2015 like these vendors have never seen before. In 2014, Check Point rose 21.8% and Fortinet climbed 60.3%. But Palo Alto Networks grew a whopping 113%.
With the new year now upon us, investors want to know how secure their gains are. And according to research firm IDC, which recently released its global market predictions for 2015, not only are these gains safe but investors will regret taking profits now given the growth these companies are expected to capture.
In what IDC calls 3rd Platform technologies, the research firm predicts that demand for information security will reach a level that creates new approaches to how devices and the data they carry are protected. For 2015, IDC says 15% of mobile devices will be accessed by biometrics -- such as the fingerprint scanning feature on recent models of Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhones. And IDC expects that figure to grow to over 50% by 2020.
This bodes well for companies like Palo Alto, Fortinet and Check Point that specializes in intrusion detection, threat prevention and firewall -- all of the things that keep the bad guys out of our computers and protect corporation that hold sensitive data about their customers.
And in the most recent quarter, Fortinet delivered a 29% year-over-year jump in billings, suggesting that its fourth-quarter revenue is going to be equally impressive. Fortinet, which ranks third in the world in security appliance sales, has technologies designed to defend against denial of service attacks and other methods hackers deploy in trying to access users' computers.
For similar reasons, Check Point, which was recently named among 2015's top security picks by analyst Karl Keirstead of Deutsche Bank, is a company to keep an eye on. Like Palo Alto and Fortinet, Check Point continues to grow, given the demand spurred by security breaches affecting retailers like Target (TGT - Get Report) and Home Depot (HD - Get Report) .
Check Point's advantage is that its enterprise security appliances can be customized to suit the needs of its customers. And in the most recent quarter, Check Point said that it has gained market share in the firewall category, prompting Deutsche Bank to upgrade the stock to a "buy" with a $90 price target. This suggests gains of more than 15% in the near future.For Palo Alto Networks, with its 113% gain last year, it dominated the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJI) and the S&P 500 ( SPX) , which advanced 7.5% and 11.4%, respectively. Take a look at the chart.
Palo Alto specializes in network security and cyber threat detection. It is growing revenue 50% year over year, which suggests that customers are responding to its approach towards threat prevention. The company is also poised to deliver share price gains of 15% or more. With its shares trading around $121, the stock has analysts pointing to a 12-month price target of $140, according to CNN Money.
Sony's (SNE - Get Report) recent security breach and those of other companies are heightening the importance of cyber security. IDC expects corporations to begin making significant long-term investments to protect customers' privacy and avoid potential fallout in the form of lawsuits and damaged reputations.
And as long as cyber criminals exist, there will be a market for security software vendors that can protect corporate networks and consumers. Investors can't go wrong betting on either Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet or Check Point Software.