From neutral to NATO; a security awakening

  • The historically neutral Sweden has become NATO’s 32nd member after applying almost two years ago
  • Hungary was the last NATO member to allow the vote to take place (which must be given unanimously by all members) after Sweden announced that it would provide four Gripen jets and the manufacturer, Saab, would open an AI research centre in the country
  • The annual cost of cybercrime is projected to reach over $10 trillion by 2025

Following Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, both Finland and Sweden sought military alliance and inclusion within NATO. While Finland was accepted in early 2023, Sweden had a longer wait and was finally welcomed by unanimous decision of all current members of the alliance last week.

As well as pledging commitment to come to allies aid should they come under physical attack, NATO serves as a platform to share information, mitigate, and prevent cyber-attacks. Last year, members enhanced their previously made Cyber Defence Pledge and gave commitments to strengthen cyber-defence as a matter of priority; acknowledging cybersecurity as a central part of NATO’s core task of deterrence and defence.

The estimated cost of cyber-crime

Source: Statista, 2023


With an estimated 15 billion (nearly twice as many as the global human population!) devices currently in use around the world and technology becoming more engrained into our everyday lives; the digital landscape has become a target of sophisticated attack with a predicted 45% of global businesses being impacted in some way over the next two years, ultimately costing them trillions annually.

This level of crime cannot be ignored, and the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report added cybersecurity to the current and future top 10 risks globally. As such, businesses investment to secure their digital environments has and continues to surge some 12.4% annually and reached around $150 billion in 2021.

Bowmore Portfolios

Cybersecurity is a key theme within our portfolios, and we allocate to the sector passively at present – namely the First Trust Cybersecurity ETF. The fund tracks the performance of companies engaged in the cybersecurity segment of the technology and industrials sectors, investing in those primarily involved in the building, implementation, and management of security protocols applied to private and public networks, computers, and mobile devices to provide protection of the integrity of data and network operations.

The fund continues to enjoy positive momentum this year so far, delivering 5.01% to investors. With the level of cybercrime growing some 300% in the last decade, and expected to rise in the future, we forecast revenue within the cybersecurity sector to continue to grow.  

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