Security: A priority for both individuals and governments

  • 05 May 2022 (5 min read)

Security: A large-scale issue in modern society

Security in an investment context can mean many things, including the prevention of accidents at work or on the road, hygiene and preventing infection, or even the fight against fraud and organized crime.

We believe the need for security is important, especially with companies for which security is the primary objective – and which aiming to address a fundamental social issue in a potentially booming market.

Physical security: The fundamentals

The mobility of goods and people has become a significant part of our industrialized society – and is a need that should be met in complete safety. As such, we see the importance in automotive equipment manufacturers, which develop smart and connected solutions to improve road safety. Security is also a key focus for residential and commercial buildings. Johnson Controls International is a company specializing in this market. The group develops heating and ventilation control systems as well as security and fire protection systems. For example, it offers systems that can filter and disinfect the air and are able to capture up to 99.97% of airborne pathogens.1

When it comes to work safety, companies like MSA Safety operate to provide protective equipment for workers who face dangers while doing their job such as firefighters. The company provides self-contained breathing apparatuses, hard hats, fall protection equipment and gas detection systems. In addition, MSA Safety operates a platform to build connections between workers and their work sites.

Another example is Everbridge, a software publisher which was set up following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, and which works to ensure the safety of people in crisis situations. Everbridge offers applications that automate the sending of critical information to help keep people safe during major incidents and works with companies to develop a business continuity plan. In 2012, Everbridge’s system sent more than 10 million messages to U.S. East Coast residents during Hurricane Sandy and was also activated during the Boston Marathon attacks in April 20132 . It was also used during the coronavirus pandemic to disseminate information and alerts.

Food safety and health: Prevention is better than cure

COVID-19 has heightened public awareness of disease prevention in both developed and emerging economies - a concern that is not about to disappear. Companies like Eurofins Scientific are working to address these concerns. Eurofins operate laboratories specializing in analysis for the food industry, health and the environment. For example, the group offers its catering and retail customers a range of services from training in good food hygiene practices to food sampling and laboratory analysis, aiming to eliminate the risk of food poisoning.

In healthcare, Sartorius is a player in supporting the global effort to find cures and vaccines for infectious diseases. It develops and distributes equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, and its products are used from the earliest stage of a molecule's development to drug manufacturing. It provides some of the tools necessary for research, both for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sector and for universities. Indeed, food and health safety are becoming increasingly vital in our current environment.

Cybersecurity: Defense against cybercrime and ransomware attacks

Whether it is identity theft or hacking, the cost of cybersecurity continues to grow year after year – estimated$945 billion in 2020. Indeed, the severity and frequency of cyberattacks on businesses appears to have steadily increased as techniques evolve, new technologies widen the range of threats and remote working becomes more widespread. In addition to the considerable financial damage, companies risk seeing their reputation damaged and the trust of their customers undermined. Cybersecurity is, therefore, a major issue.

Example of companies working in this space include Rapid 7, a provider of software solutions for cybersecurity which help companies identify, assess and deal with vulnerability issues related to infrastructure and information technology applications. Meanwhile, GBG offers identity authentication and fraud detection services. Its model combines personal data, collected through a network of more than 200 partners around the world, allowing it to verify the identity of 4.4 billion individuals, or more than half the global population.3

Many opportunities meet a major social need

In all its forms, security is everyone's business and for everyone's benefit. We believe that security remains a social and societal issue on a global scale.

The companies are named as an illustration only and do not constitute investment advice or a recommendation from AXA IM.

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