CNBC's Jim Cramer knows that the cybersecurity industry isn't going anywhere but up anytime soon.
"Cybersecurity is, unfortunately, a secular growth business, meaning that long term, hackers and digital terrorists [are] going to keep trying to steal our data and mess up our systems," the "Mad Money" host said. "That's why I think it's worth circling back to the companies that combat this stuff, especially since the whole cohort pulled back today, so it's a good opportunity. When a secular growth group pulls back, you need to use the weakness to dip your toe in the water."
Cramer started with Mimecast, a cloud-based data security company that came public less than two years ago. With shares up 72 percent so far in 2017, Mimecast specializes in protecting employees' email accounts at large companies.
Emails may not sound like the most exciting medium for mitigating cyberattacks, but it's anything but stale: in September, Mimecast's CEO told Cramer that hackers are increasingly realizing that humans, not computers, are the "weakest links" when it comes to breaches.
While the company's
Israeli cybersecurity firm Cyberark was another one of Cramer's picks. The company protects administrator accounts, which hackers often target because they can unlock digital ecosystems.
Cyberark has a strong long-term track record, but the stock is down 3 percent for 2017 due to management's full-year guidance cut in May and a weak earnings pre-announcement in July.
"The stock rallied more than 11 percent on the news, but since then, it's pulled back a bit, including today," Cramer said. "I think you're getting a buying opportunity in Cyberark."
Cramer also liked the stock of Proofpoint, which helps companies handle advanced cyberattacks that occur via email, mobile and social media.
"Sure, defending mobile apps may not seem as important as defending the demilitarized zone in Korea or crushing ISIS, but there's no denying that Proofpoint is a lucrative business," the "Mad Money" host quipped to a room full of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Shares of Proofpoint have rallied almost 700 percent over the last five years, including a 24 percent run just in 2017. The stock declined on Thursday, so Cramer blessed the strategy of scaling into it slowly on the way down.
But Cramer's favorite pick in the space was the stock of Palo Alto Networks, an enterprise-level cybersecurity giant led by West Point alumnus Mark McLaughlin.
Even though the company boasts 42,000 customers in more than 150 countries, Palo Alto's stock has been struggling, far off its 52-week highs due to sales issues in its second quarter. That said, some analysts on Wall Street have re-valued the company's platform and since upgraded the stock, lifting it off its April lows.
Cramer agreed with the upgrades, recommending that investors carefully buy into some shares ahead of the company's next earnings report.
"Here's the bottom line: Some of these cybersecurity stocks have been consistent winners while others, like Palo Alto, have been humbled. But this theme's not going away, which is why it's safe to pick up stocks like Palo Alto into weakness, and you have a ton of weakness right now," the "Mad Money" host said.