It is clear from the daily headlines that the U.S. is under attack but not by conventional military forces.
Shadowy cyberarmies are hacking into supposedly secure systems to steal secrets from corporations and intelligence agencies.
Perhaps even worse, the presidential election showed that foreign powers such as Russia have the wherewithal and the will to compromise and hack our electoral process. This war is being fought not with bullets but with bits and bytes.
As a global cyberwar rages, the following three companies and one exchange-traded fund are well positioned to reap outsize profits.
These plays aren't among the familiar technology names routinely covered on CNBC. Their valuations range from mid- to small-capitalization, and they tend to fly under the radar.
This is the time to scoop up these investments, as corporations and governments plow ever-greater sums into detecting and deterring cyberattacks. All four are poised for growth.
Booz Allen Hamilton is sometimes associated with the scandal over Edward Snowden, the contractor who briefly worked at the firm and then leaked U.S. government secrets. He is in Russia, which granted him asylum, and Booz Allen Hamilton has moved on from the incident.
The company's forte is to help clients sift through a torrent of data and to provide interpretive analysis for decisive action. The company's capabilities extend to cloud-based storage, and its clients operate in the niches of command, communications, control, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance.
Booz Allen Hamilton leverages these myriad capabilities into forging cybersecurity programs.
With a market cap of $5.2 billion, the company is based in McLean, Va., which is the heart of the military-intelligence complex that rings the Washington Beltway. As such, the firm benefits from its entrenched and loyal client roster in the Pentagon and U.S. spy agencies.
The average analyst expectation is that Booz Allen Hamilton's earnings growth for the fiscal year ending March 31 will reach 4.8%. For fiscal 2018, it is estimated to hit 8.7%.
Over the next five fiscal years, average earnings growth is projected at 8.39% on an annualized basis.
The stock's trailing 12-month price-earnings ratio is a reasonable 17.22, lower than the trailing P/E of 20.9 for the industry.