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Shares in cyber security company WhiteHawk have nearly tripled after the company became the United States government’s latest cyber risk consultant.

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) is a cloud-based cyber security exchange platform that offers virtual consultations.

It told investors it will provide a tailored version of its 360 Cyber Risk Framework service to various US government departments so they can beef up defences against attacks on their supply chains.

And shareholders loved the news: shortly after 11am WhiteHawk shares had nearly tripled to 10c. The company listed at 22c in January.

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) shares since listing.

Whitehawk says concerns over “systemic risks posed by IT and software supply chain vendors” have been growing at the US Department of Defence and Department of Homeland Security.

The service it is providing to the US government is risk analytics to “warn of and prevent the type of breach recently suffered by British Airways”, it said.

They were referring to the September 6 breach of personal and financial data of British Airway customers, which affected over 380,000 people and could result in the airline being fined up to $1.58 billion under new European Commission regulations where penalties for data breaches can reach up to 4 per cent of turnover.

“We will be providing sensitive risk analytics and mitigation, providing needed added protections to a breadth of office and mission functions. The initial phase of the contract is commencing immediately, followed by customer evaluation and option for expansion.”

The first phase of the contract will be worth less than $US100,000 but WhiteHawk says an expansion of the program “can derive additional revenues from the sale of products purchased across the exchange”.

Further, the company says it is positioned to “potentially close and an additional four sales of in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019”.