Cybersecurity stocks jump after major 'WannaCry' attack

Key Points
  • Palo Alto Networks, Symantec and FireEye led the gains on Monday among cybersecurity stocks following the Friday WannaCry malware attack.
  • CNBC analyzed 15 major cyberattacks over the last decade using analytics tool Kensho and found cybersecurity-related stocks posted big gains in the week and month after a big hacking.
Security experts warn of second wave of cyberattacks

Cybersecurity stocks surged on Monday following a Friday cyberattack which hit at least 150 countries and affected computers in factories and hospitals.

Palo Alto Networks closed down more than 2 percent, while Symantec closed about 3 percent lower. FireEye closed up more than 7 percent. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK) gained more than 3 percent by Monday's close.

Experts fear the WannaCry malware may worsen into this week as people log back on to their computers Monday.

Even if the malware attack is contained, cybersecurity stocks may perform well in the coming week and month as companies beef up their defense systems against another hack.

CNBC analyzed the last 15 major cyberattacks using analytics tool Kensho. A week following the hacks, shares of Barracuda Networks, F5 Networks, and Fortinet posted the biggest average gains.

A month after an attack, the major cybersecurity players did even better as demand for their services increased. Barracuda, FireEye, and Fortinet, along with Proofpoint, were big gainers, on average, a month out.

— CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.