FireEye CEO: Cyber danger has never been more real

FireEye CEO: Cybersecurity massive market opp
FireEye CEO: Cybersecurity massive market opp   

Cyber security breaches seem to flood the headlines on a weekly basis. The state of play has made FireEye Chairman and CEO Dave DeWalt issue a stark warning about the dangers that companies and governments are facing around the world.

"Cybersecurity has never been more important," DeWalt said in an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Thursday. "The danger is never more real."

DeWalt said his company is currently "at an inflection point," just as the dialogue surrounding cyber security and cyber terrorism in America is reaching an inflection point.

In a speech at the White House summit on cyber security and consumer protection at Stanford University on Friday, President Barack Obama outlined the need to beef up the country's technological barricades, a situation made all too real by massive intrusions at U.S. businesses, resulting in major losses and bad press.

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"These attacks are getting more and more sophisticated every day, so we've got to be just as fast and flexible and nimble in constantly evolving our defenses," Obama said. The president also signed an executive order Friday to promote information sharing on cyber threats between private sector companies and the government.

That ups the ante for FireEye, which sees dangerous yet potentially lucrative times for its business.

"We see a massive market opportunity in cybersecurity," Dewalt said on Thursday. "The threat levels are changing nearly every day. Now we're starting to see sabotage terrorism and, really, acts of war around the world in the cyberspace."

High-profile hacks at companies such as JPMorgan, Target and Sony have made it a boom time to be in the business of putting out cyber fires. A new report from digital security company Gemalto found that more than one billion records were compromised last year alone.

DeWalt's company has been called in to handle some of the most highly publicized cases of the past two years. That publicity, coupled with an increased awareness of a changing threat landscape, has helped FireEye's business grow exponentially, he said.

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Spending 'like rock stars'

According to DeWalt, the company doubled in size in 2014 and has grown by 10 times in just the past three years. FireEye added more than 1,000 new customers last year, according to a recent investor presentation.

FireEye's stock is off to a great start in 2015, as well. Shares have climbed 30 percent so far this year after a volatile 2014, which saw the company's stock drop more than 25 percent.

Yet even with seemingly gangbuster growth, the company still posted a net loss of 38 cents per share when it reported results for the fourth quarter earlier this week. That loss beat analyst estimates, but as "Fast Money" trader Brian Kelly pointed out, " 'Beating' is a bit generous when you lose less money than people expect you to lose."

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Some analysts have taken note of FireEye's spending habits. FBR Capital Managing Director Dan Ives said in an email that the company is "spending like rock stars," and noted that spending has become a "hot button issue."

According to Ives, Wall Street "was fine with that model at first but now is commanding to see profitability trajectory sooner rather than later."

DeWalt said his company is "spending appropriately to the growth" and is following a "very specific path to profitability" over the next three to four years.

"Fast Money" traders were split when discussing how to trade the stock following the company's quarterly report. Guy Adami of Private Advisor Group said that now might be the time to take profits in the stock. Triogem Asset Management's Tim Seymour said the company is "building a very good base," and said "if you're long the stock, I think you stay there."

DeWalt said he's optimistic about the company's future, and remains committed to building shareholder value. "I think we're just getting started with what we built, and I hope to return that to shareholders."

Disclosure: Neither of the traders cited in this story own shares in FireEye.