Yet again, another large-scale cyber security attack has come out as a major news story. This time, titans of industry such as WPP and Merck were the victims. Whilst these companies are likely to face fines and penalties for these breaches, the real impact is the negative publicity they face in the aftermath. TalkTalk estimated the hack in 2015 cost them £42m in lost customers and clean-up costs.
Whilst these hacks are terrible news for the target, they have increased the profile of any company involved in preventing attacks. Sophos, the end-user security software provider, has seen its market cap double in the last year whilst cyber security services provider ECSC Group has seen its increase fourfold. Large IT services companies are desperate to acquire companies that specialise in cyber security to take advantage of the increased demand from corporates trying to prevent these scandalous attacks.
Companies across the world are reeling from the impact of a large-scale cyber attack, which appears to have been aimed at Ukraine but has disrupted operations at AP Moller-Maersk, WPP, Rosneft and US drugmaker Merck. Several dozen large companies with hundreds of thousands of computers have been hit, according to Accenture, the professional services firm, as well as Ukrainian government and bank infrastructure, ATMs and supermarket checkouts.