17:04 17 May 2017
The recent ransomware attack that disrupted the NHS and businesses around the world has caused share prices of cybersecurity companies to rise sharply amid expected increase in spending on IT security.
Share price of Sophos, a cloud network security specialist, has jumped by 8per cent while NCC group added 5per cent to its share valuation and cyber consultancy ECSC surged 42per cent.
Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Significant increases in public sector cyber defence spending [are] now looking inevitable. [Sophos] already provides services to the healthcare industry and will be looking to increase selling to the sector in the aftermath of the attack.”
US firms that benefited from the attack include Symantec (up by more than 3per cent), FireEye (up by 7per cent), and Palo Alto Networks (2.7% increase).
Neil Campling, head of technology research at financial services firm Northern Trust, said: “These attacks help focus the minds of chief technology officers across corporations to make sure security protocols are up to date, and you often see bookings growth at cybersecurity companies as a result.”
Thomas Fitzgerald, the associate fund manager at EdenTree Investment Management, added: “The attacks raise significant questions about whether or not countries that are developing and stockpiling cyberweapons can do more to protect those tools from being stolen and turned against their own population. The WannaCry attack is likely to be a catalyst for more of these types of cyber-attacks from copycat criminal organisations.”
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