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Linklaters to recruit first chief information security officer as DLA breach pushes security up firms’ agenda

Linklaters is seeking to recruit a chief information security officer (CISO) to establish, shape and deliver its global IT security strategy and management programme, a new position for the Magic Circle firm.

The recruitment drive follows swiftly after a major cyber attack on DLA Piper on 27 June, which knocked down the firm’s communication system, temporarily putting its phones and computers out of action. 

The full extent of the DLA attack has yet to be established but in a 27 June statement, DLA said that the interference appeared to be related to the global cyber event known as “Petya.”

The malware attack, similar to that which hit UK public organisations such as the NHS in May, has yet to be fully resolved, although DLA stated that it continued ‘to see no evidence that client data was taken or that there was a breach of the confidentiality of that data.’

The new Linklaters security role, based in its London office, will report to chief information officer Matt Peers, according to an advert placed by the firm.

The CISO will be a member of the information system and strategy leadership team and will have overall responsibility for ‘all aspects of information security’ across the firm, to protect the firm and its clients’ data and information assets.

The role is initially for one year and will include identifying, evaluating and reporting on security risks, aligning the security posture of the firm to help Linklaters effectively protect its information and technical assets.

Linklaters requires the CISO to manage and execute security controls to support its compliance and regulatory requirements.

The resource will play ‘a key role in shaping and delivering the Linklaters global IT strategy’ and ‘protecting data and information assets of the firm and its clients’, according to the firm.

The new CISO will also work train Linklaters staff against information security threats and may communicate with clients ‘to give them comfort over the processes and controls that we have in the firm’, according to the advert.

Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy,  Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance all have similar roles in place.