Professional Services

Safeguard client data and protect your firm’s reputation with top-notch legal cybersecurity solutions. Stay compliant and resilient against cyber threats.

Legal Industry Diamond


Professional services organisations spanning legal, financial services, tax services, consultancy, design, and architecture all rely extensively on digital platforms to streamline processes and enhance client interactions. The sector as a whole plays a crucial role in supporting the growth, efficiency, and competitiveness of businesses across different industries. Information is the lifeblood of their operations and its value is incalculable. 

As these organisations navigate today’s complex technological landscape, where ever more sophisticated cybercriminals operate, the role of cybersecurity, safeguarding client data, preserving professional integrity and ensuring resilience, has never been more critical.

Legal Industry Diamond

Industry Overview

The demand for professional services is driven by factors such as regulatory changes, technological advancements, and the need for specialised skills to navigate complex business environments. In the UK, the sector is expected to achieve revenues of $3.94 billion USD in 2023, and it is predicted to grow to almost $6 billion USD by 2028.(source – Statista). 

Like many industries, the professional services market is experiencing a surge in demand for technology consulting and digital transformation solutions. Organisations the world over are looking at artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology, to help with data insights, large-scale data analytics, and the automation of manual tasks. Professional services firms are no different, and they recognise the value Al can bring by increasing efficiency, maintaining top people, controlling scope creep and increasing profitability. 

As far back as April 2021, Deloitte, the UK-based organisation that delivers industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services, presented ReadyAl, a full portfolio of capabilities and services that brings together skilled Al specialists and managed services, in a flexible Al-as-a-service model.

The need to embrace new technologies is non-negotiable. But given that the sector is a treasure trove of sensitive client information, financial records and confidential business strategies; it stands as an attractive target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in its digital infrastructure. 

A cybersecurity breach not only jeopardises the confidentiality of client data but also poses a significant threat to the trust that forms the foundation of client-professional relationships. For firms operating in this sector, cybersecurity is not merely a technological investment; it is a strategic imperative for preserving reputation and sustaining success.

Market Trends & Statistics

Cyber attacks are a significant concern for professional services companies as cybercriminals invent increasingly sophisticated methods to attack firms. As a result, the professional services sector is regularly at the top of analysts’ leaderboards as the sector most impacted by cyber threats. 

According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), professional services organisations were impacted by three broad attack vectors: system intrusion (47%), basic web application attacks (25%) and social engineering (18%). 

When it comes to how these breaches occur, the report points to web applications (55%), email (25%) and desktop sharing software (17%). 

This latest report found that ransomware accounted for approximately 23% of the incidents in this sector, a significant increase from last year’s 14%. 

According to a recent study by Oxford Economics, large law firms experienced an average of 23 ‘cyber incidents’ in a 12-month period.

Professional services firms face significant cybersecurity challenges due to the nature of their work and the sensitivity of the data they handle. Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, and organisations in the professional services sector need to stay vigilant, and implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information and maintain client trust.

Data sensitivity

Professional services firms deal with highly sensitive client data, including financial information, legal documents, and proprietary business strategies. Protecting this information from unauthorised access and data breaches is a significant challenge.

Client trust and reputation

Clients expect professional services firms to safeguard their valuable and sensitive data. Failing to do so can have serious consequences.

Third-party risks

Professional services firms work with a network of suppliers and partners which means supply chain security is a critical consideration. Collaborating with suppliers and partners introduces additional points of vulnerability, and a breach in the supply chain can have cascading effects on the security and integrity of the entire network.

Remote and mobile workers

For many professionals, the ability to work remotely is non-negotiable. Securing remote access to sensitive data and managing the use of personal devices for work-related tasks is a critical component of any cybersecurity strategy.

Ransomware threats

As this year’s Verizon’s DBIR found, nearly a quarter of cyber incidents that took place in professional services firms in 2023 involved ransomware. Given the high value, and sensitivity of the data that professional services firms hold, they are an attractive target for ransomware attacks.

Limited IT resource and skills shortage

Smaller firms may find themselves with limited IT resources, and firms of all sizes are having to deal with an industry-wide cybersecurity skills shortage. This can make it challenging to implement and maintain robust cybersecurity measures, resulting in vulnerabilities that cyber attackers may exploit.

Challenges & Opportunities

Professional services firms face a range of cybersecurity challenges due to the nature of their operations, which often involve handling sensitive client information and intellectual property. The below list is not exhaustive, but it does illustrate the scope and seriousness of the cybersecurity threat landscape that professional services organisations must continuously address.

Regulations & Compliance

Professional services firms often operate in regulated industries, and they must comply with data protection and privacy regulations. Staying compliant with evolving regulations and ensuring that client data is handled according to legal requirements can be challenging. Some of the key requirements and guidance that apply to professional services firms include:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a landmark piece of legislation that governs how organisations collect, store and use the personal data of individuals. Enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the United Kingdom, fines for non-compliance with GDPR can be significant, ranging up to 4% of an organisation’s global turnover or £17.5 million. Large retail organisations have been subject to large penalties for GDPR non-compliance, including one large retailer where a technical error exposed sensitive personal data stored on the organisation’s network to all employees in the company.

Looking for cybersecurity peace of mind?


The rise of digital transformation, the adoption of AI, and the huge surge in sophisticated cyber threats, only underline the urgency for professional services companies to prioritise cybersecurity measures. The combination of data sensitivity, client trust and regulatory compliance, creates a unique set of responsibilities for professional services firms that necessitate robust security frameworks.

Ultimately, cybersecurity is not just a technical challenge but a strategic imperative for professional services firms. By embracing a proactive cybersecurity mindset, professional services firms can navigate the digital landscape with confidence, ensuring their sustainability and trustworthiness in an increasingly interconnected world.

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