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News, opinions and updates from the Virtuoso team.

Nov
21

The Advantages of Outsourcing (Part 2)

Five more reasons to outsource

In this week’s blog we’re bringing you the second part in our series on ‘The Advantages of Outsourcing’. Today we’re looking at five more important benefits that outsourcing can bring your business. Let's get straight to it!

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Sep
18

The Hidden Value of Outsourcing

We often hear the concept that you need a set number of people to support a task and employing that number of people is cheaper than buying a service. However, this mindset overlooks the significant value added from the outsourcer itself. Our blog this week demonstrates that to get a true comparison you also have to consider the value they bring from their processes, tools and practices. 

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Aug
15

Supply Chain Risk - What You Need To Know - Part 2

A few weeks ago we wrote in one of our blogs, cyber-security-lessons-for-law-firms  “….for law firms the safety and security of their own and clients’ data is not only a legal and compliance requirement, it is also essential to their….survival.”   

Why are law firms such an attractive target for hackers? 

This is a question worth considering because the reasons behind the hacking of law firms can serve to better illustrate the security needs peculiar to law firms.

Take the example of New York law firms Cravath Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges.  According to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Fortune during 2016 both these prestigious firms were hacked in an insider-trading scheme that involved planned mergers.  The motive was clear, financial gain. And what better way to get information about future corporate mergers than to target firms active in the M&A market.  Both firms it should be said denied that there was evidence of anyone benefiting from the hack although they did not deny that there had been a hack.

In 2012 Bloomberg reported that Wiley Rein, one of the largest law firms in Washington, DC was hacked - reputedly by Byzantine Candor, linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.  Of course accusations of cyber attacks by nation states are easy to make but harder to prove.  At around the same time twenty other companies including nine law firms were hacked by the same or linked groups.  The motive was apparently industrial espionage and the reason these specific law firms were targeted is instructive to consider. 

All the law firms hacked were engaged in activities relating to China: pursuing trade claims on behalf of US firms against Chinese exporters or acting on behalf of oil & gas companies drilling or bidding for drilling rights in seas near or claimed by China.  In the case of Wiley Rain the firm was acting on behalf of SolarWorld which at that time was also hacked by the same group (Byzantine Candor).  Why?

SolarWorld was scaling up for mass production of Passivated Emitter Rear Contact (PERC) solar cells, one of the first manufacturers in the world to do. At the same time they were fighting a trade case against the importation of solar cells from China citing unfair competition. Engineering and other IP was stolen and coincidentally a Chinese solar cell manufacturer brought a PERC solar array to the market 18 months before they were expected to do so.

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