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How IT Security Can Help You Secure Your Law Firm

All businesses are at risk of cyberattacks; however, hackers are now targeting law firms more often than they have in recent years.

As businesses continue moving to remote work, their employees are spending more time online.

But since law firms traditionally conduct business in person, they typically have less IT security for their remote workers. That doesn’t mean law firms should go without IT support. In fact, law firms need IT security to protect themselves from a rising trend of cyberattacks.

Hackers are targeting law firms because of their clients’ sensitive information. According to the American Bar Association, in 2020, firms with 10-49 attorneys experienced a security breach at a rate of 42%. While 21% of attorneys were unsure if their firm’s security had ever been breached.

The need for strong IT support at law firms is clear. 

So how can IT security protect law firms from cyberattacks?

Law Firm IT Security Practices To Protect Against Cyberattacks

 

Professional IT support is crucial for protecting a law firm from cyberattacks. From ransomware to malware, law firms are at risk.

Law firms need reliable IT security to protect their clients’ information. Waterdog Computer Works can provide the latest IT security solutions to fit your needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Data Loss & Ransomware Protection 

 

Ransomware is a form of cyberattack that aims to steal data. For law firms, that means important client information.

When ransomware is successful, data gradually encrypts. When complete encryption takes place, you’re essentially locked out of your own data. Which is where the ransom comes into play.

A person behind a ransomware attack will tell you to pay a certain amount of money for your data. Then, the hacker will give you an encryption key. Only after you have the key are you able to regain access to your data.

However, there’s no guarantee that you will reclaim everything stolen. This means that not only do you lose sensitive information – but that this data may be used for malicious purposes.

Cybercrime Magazine estimates that a ransomware attack takes place every 11 seconds. In comparison, just five years ago in 2016, a ransomware attack took place every 40 seconds.

Over the course of 2021, the ransomware cost to businesses and governments is projected to be more than $20 billion dollars. Each ransomware attack can cost a business hundreds of thousands. Or even millions of dollars.

Some businesses are unlucky enough to encounter a ransomware attack so harmful that they close up shop for good.

Because when a business, and law firms especially, are subject to a ransomware attack, the firm doesn’t just lose the cost of the ransom. They lose their credibility. This means their clients no longer trust them to keep their documents safe.

Protect Clients In Certain Industries From Data Loss & Yourself From Federal Consequences

 

Cybercriminals target law firms because of their client’s intellectual property and data.

A common way hackers use stolen data from a law firm is to practice insider trading on the stock market. 

For example, consider that your law firm knows that a company is merging with another. By doing so, there’s money to be made. Hackers will comb through that data to make investment decisions.

Currently, federal law does not regulate the cybersecurity policies of law firms. But it does regulate specific industries. For instance, if a law firm works with a client in healthcare or financial services, then the law firm takes on certain federal obligations.

These sectors deal with sensitive materials. So they must protect this data to remain compliant. Law firms that have access to their files can face similar consequences if a data breach takes place.

Investigations, lawsuits, fines, and a loss in your reputation are all possible.

Examples Of Ransomware Attacks On Law Firms

 

Ransomware attacks are always harmful. No matter how big or small, law firms stand to lose from a ransomware attack. Lost data leads to lost revenue in the short and long term, and can shut down a law firm for good.

Campbell Conroy & O’Neil

The law firm Campbell Conroy & O’Neil works with large clients like Ford, Walmart, And Coca-Cola, to name a few. At the end of February of 2021, the firm noticed strange activity on its network. As it turns out, the firm was a victim of a ransomware attack. Social security information, driver’s license numbers, and more information were stolen.

Oleras Phishing Attack

Several law firms that represent Wall Street banks were victims of a 2016 phishing attack. A cybercrime group called Oleras targeted over 50 law firms in an attempt to steal data. They planned to use the information to conduct insider trading.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is one of the most known global law firms. In 2017, the firm was the victim of a ransomware attack. Because of malware called NotPetya, DLA Piper’s staff was unable to access company emails, telephones, and files. This ransomware attack cost millions of dollars to resolve. And, the IT employees that worked to fix it clocked in over 15,000 hours of paid overtime.

Waterdog Computer Works offers a wide selection of IT solutions for law firms. Our IT experts commit themselves to help you resolve all your technical obstacles. And with solutions like remote monitoring, you can save yourself time and money. Contact us today to start.

Account For Human Mistake

 

With so much at stake, your law firm must have good IT practices in place as well as IT experts ready in case something goes wrong.

A lot of ransomware attacks begin with phishing emails or clicking on the wrong website or link. So your attorneys should know how to browse the web safely and know how to notice strange emails.

Your team should also change passwords often as well as set up authentication for accessing data on personal devices. It’s also a good idea to backup your data often

Expect Remote Work

 

Cyberattacks can happen when an employee connects their personal device to a public network, like at a coffee shop. From there, if the employee chooses to open company data, they put themselves and your firm’s data at risk.

The ABA says it’s more likely that larger law firms have IT security in place. But they also note that it’s more likely the attorneys at larger firms don’t know proper IT protocols. 

Our personal and professional digital lives intersect more often than ever. So teaching employees safe IT practices is key for long-term security.

Waterdog Computer Works: Helping You Keep Your Focus On The Courtroom

 

Since 2002, Waterdog Computer Works has helped businesses stay safe from cyber threats. With both on-premise and cloud solutions, our IT professionals strive to find the IT setup to help grow your business.

No matter your firm’s size or goals – Waterdog’s IT experts are committed to creating the ideal remedy for all your tech challenges. Schedule a call with us today to start the process!