“HMCTS now has a technical architecture team, supported by 6point6, a specialist cyber security consultancy, to manage the technical risks and issues associated with our systems and applications and establish improved processes and procedures in support of the transition to becoming a fully digital business.”
Enable HMCTS to launch new online services, securely, as part of a £1 billion digital transformation project to support the resolution of cases and provide new routes to justice.
Security architecture and strategy, information assurance, operations and engineering.
Results that matter:
An improved security posture reduces the risk of cyberthreats, enabling HMCTS to go live with user-friendly digital services that allows people to manage and resolve disputes fairly and speedily – improving access to and the efficiency of the courts and tribunals system for all who need it.
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is an agency of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the administration of criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales – and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Operating from more than 300 courts and hearing centres, they handle about four million cases a year and have around 16,000 full-time, mostly frontline, roles.
To make justice more accessible, they embarked on a reform programme to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork, simplify processes and provide people with new tools and routes to exercise their legal rights. The aim was to develop a range of digital services –divorce, probate, civil money claims, social security appeals and plea services – that would ultimately comprise the ‘online court’.
6point6 was appointed to assist in developing the security elements in support of the programme’s evolving delivery and operating models to address security automation, assurance and compliance at scale, threat and incident management, vulnerability and compliance scanning, audit, monitoring, patching and host hardening.
Our engagement covered three main areas: architecture and strategy, information assurance (privacy) and security operations (monitoring and responding to threats across the estate). In addition to facilitating a three-year security roadmap, we stood up a security team that would allow HMCTS to secure their online services and monitor them throughout their lifecycle for continuous assurance.
We worked with the HMCTS DevOps team and other consultants on the project to build a new capability for their security operations function, incorporating security information and event management (SIEM) and threat management capabilities into the Azure estate.
This was followed by modernising the HMCTS information assurance programme. We developed new risk and assurance processes and governance structures to support agile releases of digital services going forward.
The scale of the project was significant: to get security operations up and running and monitor services that were going live, we ramped up our team to 18 people in eight months.
We followed a process of discovery and strategy while standing up tactical capabilities to support the immediate go-live on new beta services for the platform.
We conducted a cybersecurity maturity assessment and used the results to develop a roadmap for securing their digital services for the next three years.
Design reviews were conducted for each service and, using secure-by-design technical guidance libraries, we embedded architectures to work with each service to ensure secure access management and progress tracking.
Our work with HMCTS has augmented their technical security information assurance and design capability to support Agile methods and DevOps operating processes and target operating models, ensuring online services can be delivered securely.
The HMCTS reform programme is part of a wider global movement to shape justice systems around the needs of those who use them. Online services will increase in scale and functionality, and new services will be developed. HMCTS will conduct further testing and piloting of new ways to resolve disputes – all with a view to continually improving the way the courts and tribunals system operates.