President-Elect Donald Trump is mocking the idea that Russian hackers interfered with the election on his behalf. Gary Steele, CEO of cybersecurity specialist Proofpoint (PFPT - Get Report) , said it's too early to tell, but it is quite clear that the threat state-sponsored hacking will continue to be a major issue in 2017.
"I don't think anyone will know until the investigation is completed. But the reality is that hacking and cyber security continues to run at the top of the news cycle," said Steele. "We do see more nation-state activity whether it be Russia or China and this is no surprise to me."
Proofpoint customers comprise more than 25% of the Fortune 100, including seven of the top 10 U.S. retailers, five of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies and five of the top 10 U.S. oil companies, according to the company.
Steele said Proofpoint detects and protects over 600 million emails per day. While individuals may be somewhat fatigued about even the thought of email hacking in the wake of the Hillary Clinton email and server scandals, Steele said companies and individuals must remain vigilant.
"Because of the high visibility of these events in 2016 I think you will see more of that," said Steele. "I don't think we are done with this. Hackers have lots of motivations and one is to embarrass people and so getting access to e-mails and exposing those e-mails publicly is something hackers have motivation to do."
Mobile hacking is also on the rise. Steeles said individuals need to protect their phones and themselves by performing due diligence before adding an app to a smartphone.
"Just because that app looks like it comes from your bank does not make it so. You need to make sure they are actually the publisher and individuals should be careful about the fact that a lot of mobile apps steal everything on your phone," said Steele.
As for Proofpoint's plan for 2017, Steele said the broad trends are in the company's favor. Proofpoint has enjoyed 53 consecutive quarters of growth and has been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for seven consecutive years. The company saw revenue growth of 44% in its third quarter.
"We saw an increase in cash flow and profitability in 2016 and that has clearly been our focus for the business," said Steele. "Interestingly, we see a lot of positive trends in our business today like the move to the cloud and the broad hacking threat continues to play in our favor. We think we have a very good set up heading into the new year."