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Telefonica (TEF) Inks Deal to Boost Robotic Cybersecurity Foothold

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In a concerted effort to reinforce its foothold in the cybersecurity sector, Telefonica, S.A. (TEF - Free Report) recently announced that it has teamed up with Alias Robotics to establish the world’s first robotic cybersecurity laboratory in Munich, Germany. The investment is led by Telefonica’s innovation hub — Wayra — and is primarily aimed at increasing the usage of robots across industrial environments. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The investment will be further integrated into Telefonica Tech Ventures. Founded by Telefonica Innovation Ventures and ElevenPaths, Telefonica Tech Ventures is a venture capital global vehicle for cyber security startups. At a time when the tech industry is hounded by evolving cyber threats, the partnership with Alias Robotics comes as a boon as it will help in promoting industrial digitization with a streamlined workforce to enhance operational efficiencies.

Instituted in 2018, Alias Robotics is a leading robot cybersecurity company based in Spain. The company assists its clients in improving robot security through services like penetration testing and professional threat models. These clients include industrial robot users, large automation companies and government institutions. Its cyber security services provide end-to-end security research and compliance for robots and robot components.

The company shares working relationships with organizations such as ABB Ltd (ABB - Free Report) and Kaspersky, to name a few. Impressively, Alias Robotics is known as the originator of the first Robot Immune System (RIS), a security certified software solution that shields robots against malware. Equipped with an integrated portfolio of protection technologies, RIS is sponsored by the European Union and the Basque Government, among other associations.

Backed by the strong backgrounds of both companies, the strategic alliance with Telefonica is likely to enable Alias Robotics to strengthen its RIS solution to better serve customers with best-in-class security services. Notably, the lab, which has been mainly established to conduct cybersecurity research, will serve as a prime center for stakeholders who are interested to find the drawbacks in robots. The cybersecurity lab aims to emphasize the importance of cutting-edge technologies that will enhance the quality and productivity of the current workforce, driven by digital transformation. The technological hub is slated to open in the first quarter of 2021.

Telefonica provides a comprehensive suite of service platforms for fast go-to-market launches. Its IoT connectivity platform has been designed to address dynamic business requirements and enable a cost-effective solution to improve business productivity. Over the past years, it has invested heavily in the deployment and transformation of its network to provide seamless connectivity with enhanced capacity, speed, coverage and security. With operations across 17 countries, the Spanish telecom company is capitalizing on the opportunities in the digital world through several growth strategies to enhance long-term prospects, while experiencing healthy traction in the smartphone market.

Telefonica currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have returned 12.9% compared with the industry’s growth of 9.9% in the past three months.

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Telenor ASA (TELNY - Free Report) and Otter Tail Corporation (OTTR - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Telenor has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 27.9%.

Otter Tail delivered a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 9.9%, on average.

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