Ankura beefs up cybersecurity practice with UnitedLex team

Business consulting firm has beefed up its cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of a cybersecurity practice from UnitedLex, a provider of digital services to the legal industry.

In a bid to accelerate its growth in one of consulting’s fastest growing segments – cybersecurity – Ankura has turned to inorganic growth, roughly a year after the Washington, D.C. headquartered company closed the largest deal in its still brief six year history.

The acquisition of Navigant’s Disputes, Forensics and Legal Technology and Transaction Advisory Services businesses lifted its headcount to around 1,400 globally, making it one of the larger US-origin management consulting firms with a global footprint.

The purchase of UnitedLex’s Managed Detection and Response business is focused on deepening Ankura’s cybersecurity portfolio. The wing already helped clients with among others cyber investigations, incident response, cybersecurity assessments and audits, cybersecurity and privacy compliance, cyber due diligence during deals, and threat / vulnerability remediation.

Ankura beefs up cybersecurity practice with UnitedLex team

Now, Ankura also can help its clients with managed detection and response – geared at building threat detection that can trigger immediate, active response capabilities, so that threats can be suppressed before they have an impact on an organization. 

“This addition enables Ankura to deliver enhanced expert cybersecurity support and response services at a time when there is an increased demand for managed services designed to mitigate risk,” said Jessica Block, Senior Managing Director and Data & Technology Business Group Leader.

The move comes at a time of growing interest for proactive cyber defences, as dealing with risks when it is too late comes with a hefty price tag. According to an estimate from McAfee, the annual cost of cybercrime spiralled to over $600 billion globally last year, and companies are increasingly turning to detection to curb their risks. 

Ankura’s new Managed Detection and Response unit provides real-time threat detection and response services to organizations of all sizes in a wide array of industries, supported by a 24/7 managed cybersecurity services operation.

“Whether a client’s biggest concern is the unrelenting wave of global ransomware attacks, state-sponsored espionage or careless users, managed detection and response is the most effective way for an organization to dramatically improve its ability to quickly detect a threat and react to control incident impact,” said Jason Straight, a Senior Managing Director at Ankura.

As part of the deal, the full team of UnitedLex’s unit will join Ankura, including Managing Director, Kevin Noble, and Senior Directors, Pete Nelson and Sam Barlow.

Earlier this year, Accenture closed the acquisition of Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business, while MorganFranklin Consulting launched a cybersecurity practice to tap into the in-demand market.

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