A lot was covered when the executive chairman of one of the most powerful companies in the world got on stage to talk to a group of hedge fund managers at the annual SALT conference in Las Vegas that kicked off today.
Chief among them was the recent ransomware attack that left more than 100 countries and swaths of corporate entities flailing in the face of a harmful virus. For Alphabet (GOOGL) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt he encouraged folks not to live in the past and to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade whenever possible.
"It is very important for everyone to take all their computers and update them," Schmidt said. "You say someone else is taking care of it, 'do me a favor and check.'" systems. "In many cases it is because the governments are so slow to upgrade as opposed to businesses," he said.
While the Ransomware attacks ravaged swaths of countries and corporate entities, the events has actually helped boost and already, burgeoning cyber security sector. Companies such as Mimecast (MIME) , Fortinet (FTNT) , FireEye (FEYE) , Symantec (SYMC) and Check Point (CHKP) are all up more than 30% so far this year, compared to a gain of about 7% for the S&P 500.
Mimecast is up more than 230% for the last 12 months, while Symantec is up 85%, Proofpoint (PFPT) has gained nearly 60% and Qualys has risen 56%.
In addition, Schmidt addressed the future of high-speed trading, stating that he thinks startup firms that can use machine learning for trading may be able to one day beat high-frequency trading quants.
Schmidt danced around at least one question in regard to Google's ongoing spat with Uber over in its driverless car division, Waymo. Schmidt simply said, "we love Uber as a shareholder," when asked about the dispute.