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The Legal Sector Affected by Outsourced IT Breach 

By Paul Maxwell, Director, Stratia Cyber

The UK legal sector was recently hit following a cyberattack on CTS, a leading IT service provider for law firms. This incident, affecting over 80 law firms, especially in real estate, is more than just an isolated event – it’s a clear indicator that outsourcing IT does not equate to outsourced cybersecurity responsibility. 

In a previous article, I wrote about the myth in certain quarters that outsourcing your IT means your cybersecurity is automatically “dealt with”. The recent CTS cyber incident is a timely example, underscoring the imperative for businesses to ensure their resilience, even when their major service providers face cyber threats. It is a stark reminder that cybersecurity is an integral part of business responsibility, not just a service to be outsourced and forgotten. 

Immediate Response Required 

The attack on CTS, which occurred around November 24, 2023, has led to widespread operational disruptions. Law firms affected may now be facing the consequences of not having an independent and robust cybersecurity strategy, as client data and legal processes hang in the balance. 

Why Complacency is a Risk 

Law firms are often targets for cybercriminals due to the sensitive nature of their data. This incident demonstrates how vulnerabilities in a service provider’s system can have far-reaching impacts, proving that cybersecurity is not just an IT issue but a business-critical concern. 

Actionable Steps for Law Firms 

  • Carry out Supplier Cyber Security Assessments: Check that your supplier understands and implements cyber security and their responsibilities to your business. 
  • Conduct a Security Audit: Review and assess your firm’s current cybersecurity measures. 
  • Educate and Empower Staff: Awareness is key. Train your team to recognise and respond to cyber threats. 
  • Strengthen Defences: Implement advanced security measures like multi-factor authentication and regular data backups. 
  • Develop a Contingency Plan: Prepare for worst-case scenarios with a clear, actionable crisis response strategy. 
  • Foster Industry Collaboration: Share insights and strategies to collectively enhance cybersecurity across the legal sector. 

The Way Forward 

The CTS cyberattack is a reminder of the constantly evolving nature of cyber threats and the paramount importance of robust cybersecurity measures. Staying vigilant, informed, and proactive is crucial for organisations across all sectors. 

At Stratia Cyber, our sole focus is cybersecurity. Unlike many in the field, we are not aligned with any technology providers, ensuring that our advice and solutions are entirely impartial and tailored to your unique needs. This independence allows us to offer unbiased, expert advice, helping you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity with confidence and clarity. 

We have extensive experience across all sectors including the legal sector, so if you are looking to understand and enhance your cyber security posture, Stratia Cyber is your trusted partner in this critical journey. Reach out to us for comprehensive and impartial cybersecurity guidance that puts your interests first. 

Please feel free to have a look at our other legal sector-based articles