Our reliance upon the internet and computing technology is astonishing. No surprise then there are unscrupulous individuals and organisations looking to trip us up.
The speed and reach of Friday’s WannaCry ransomware attack may have come as a shock to the businesses affected – and indeed public institutions like the NHS – though that outbreaks of this scale can happen should surprise nobody.
That financial services, businesses often built around IT platforms, should take such threats seriously is without any doubt.
However, can investors also profit from cyber attacks, something long identified as a ‘megatrend’ alongside the likes of demographics, climate change and urbanisation?
ETFS ISE Cyber Security GO Ucits ETF has been running since late 2015 and Howie Li, co-head of Canvas at ETF Securities, is keen to talk up the threat as an “inescapable issue” as individuals, businesses and governments increasingly store and connect their data digitally.
“While this was a ransomware attack, there are other types of attack that have happened before, such as when personal details were hacked at Talk Talk, and stolen data at Sony a couple of years ago,” he explained.