Last Friday, the WannaCry ransomware virus struck. Its penetration technique was old-fashioned but, as the technology used by organisations such as the NHS, FedEx, Renault, Telefonica, the German railway and the Russian interior ministry seems to have been equally as outdated, its impact has been significant.
Cyber attacks are not new but they are increasing at quite a rate. In a survey last year of more than 10,000 industry participants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that there were an estimated 59 million cyber security incidents globally in 2015, representing a 38% increase from the previous year*. At the same time, the average cost of a cyber attack to an organisation is on the rise.
Where hacking was once about curiosity and thrill, today it can be big business. And with the increase in internet-connected devices, and more and more confidential and personal information stored in the digital space, cyber risk is a key concern for companies.
The investment opportunities in this area are diverse and interesting. While you may initially think of new technologies, there are also socially responsible investing and insurance aspects to consider.
Socially responsible investing
EdenTree, a pioneer of socially responsible investing, says that assessing and mitigating potential financial losses from a data breach should be a top risk-management priority. They believe that investors have a role to play in asking tough questions of companies around cyber resilience and the resources they employ to respond to it.
An expanding and increasingly complex digital economy, combined with heightened levels of government and company board oversight, should drive further growth in investments for security technologies and services, in their view.
An example of one such company held in Elite Rated EdenTree Amity UK is NCC Group. Headquartered in Manchester, it is the largest player globally for storing software source code for critical applications to ensure business continuity. It also boasts the world’s largest team of ethical hackers, who are hired out to companies to find vulnerabilities in their cyber defences.