WannaCry’s Fortuitous Fallout: Sudden Surge in Cyber Security Stocks

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Pegged as the atom bomb of cybercrimes, the WannaCry ransomware hack locked systems real fast with a pop-up asking users to shell out US$300 to be able to access those again. From the UK National Health Service (NHS) to Spanish telco Telefónica, FedEx, and the Russian Interior Ministry, the malware spread to systems of various organizations across 150 countries in no time bringing crucial infrastructure and organizations down to their knees.

The cybercrime, unprecedented in scale and speed, however, had one fortuitous fallout – a sudden spike in cyber security stocks. In the wake of the ransomware attack, governments and various organizations are expected to ramp up spends on cyber security. This has pushed up share values of cyber security firms sharply in the past couple of days.

Companies that have gained

Take for instance Sophos, a prominent cyber security provider that counts the NHS among its clients. Its share price has risen almost 8% in the past few days. The company expects its sales to accelerate further in the wake of the malware attack that has most affected countries of India, Ukraine, Russia, China, Romania, Brazil, and Italy, among others.

NCC group, another cyber security giant, rose 5% and cyber consultancy group ECSC added a whopping 42%.

Cyber security firms in the U.S. have also seen their share prices surge. FireEye’s prices, for example, increased by 7%, Symantec’s 3%, and Palo Alto Networks’ 2.7%.

With businesses once again forced to focus on adequate cyber security, having realized the vulnerability of their systems in the face of several malware attacks, substantial growth in public sector cyber defense is inevitable. This will likely help cyber security firms across the globe to reap a windfall in the foreseeable future.

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