Why do hackers target law firms? Simply put- The weak cybersecurity of law firms make them an irresistible lucrative easy target for hackers. Not only are they a goldmine for highly sensitive corporate, financial, and personal data, but also because most firms aren’t prepared to fight off such attacks.
Hackers target law firms with a vengeance — An ALM Legal Intelligence’s cybersecurity report, 95% of corporate counsel agree that cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent. But most law firms continue to ignore the threat with nearly one-third not undergoing any formal information, cybersecurity, and privacy assessment.
Just take a look at what happened to global law firm DLA Piper, who, after proclaiming themselves experts on cybersecurity (even offering their services to affected companies through their 24/7 Rapid Response hotline) fell victim to a massive ransomware attack. Ouch.
For days, they were unable to have access to their files and had to revert to good ol’ fashioned texting to manage the law firm’s operations. And with companies losing anywhere from $300,000 to $1.7 million every hour of downtime, it’s not surprising that it’s still reeling from the attack.
Hackers Target Law Firms: Weak Cybersecurity Make Law Firms Irresistible To Hackers
Hackers can launch million dollar phishing scams like CEO fraud to take advantage of your law firm’s inability to immediately and accurately confirm information and documents.
Once they gain access to your system, they can take all of your law firm’s and clients’ classified information or change the content of legal documents, which could drastically affect your practice.
So more than the cost of downtime, it’s the incalculable costs such as damage to reputation, loss of clients, and lower employee productivity that could prove to be more disastrous for law firms after a natural disaster.
So How Can Law Firms Protect And Recover Their Data After Being Hacked?
Invest In A Dedicated Managed Services Team For Better Cybersecurity.
Before you argue cost, take the case of Equifax, who compromised 143 million personally identifiable information after failing to download a two-month-old patch that could’ve prevented the massive breach.
It was the same lapse in cybersecurity that led to companies like FedEx, Maersk, Honda, and LG to fall victim to ransomware like WannaCry and Petya, with most of them still trying to deal with the hefty price of the attack’s aftermath.
Hackers target law firms — a data breach to a law firm, a business built on trust and information, carry even more costly consequences beyond lost revenue. This is where having a dedicated managed services team that could perform regular systems update priceless.
Similarly, a dedicated managed services team is crucial in protecting the cybersecurity of law firms when it comes to how hackers target law firms.
- Start with the survival basics: Check the technical specifications of your data center, if it can withstand a natural disaster. (i.e., fireproof, waterproof, hurricane-proof, etc.)
- Create and continuously test a data recovery plan that would allow your business to continue even after being hit by ransomware or phishing attack.
- Remember- hackers target law firms, which means employees of law firms, too. Educate employees on how to keep their own devices secure if they have to work remotely with no access to office-provided devices.
- How hackers target law firms can be through BEC scams, spearphishing attacks or “whaling” – no one in your firm is off the hook on this one (pardon the pun!) so implementing a security protocol amidst all employees to guard against possible cyber attack like this phishing scam that targeted the Attorney General’s office is crucial.
Redundancy Is Key.
When it comes to how hackers target law firms and how you can protect your firm- the best defense against the unpredictable quality of cyber crime is to have a Plan B to Z.
Data redundancy ensures faster recovery, avoids downtime, and prevents service disruption, which could make or break your law firm’s chances of survival after being hacked.
Choose A Data Center With Geographic Stability.
Make sure to choose data centers located separately in geographically stable areas – whether local or abroad – to minimize the risk of being hit with a natural disaster.
Another option is to choose data centers that have been built or reinforced to withstand not only cyber threats like ransomware and spearphishing attacks, but consider external threats like hurricanes and even nuclear attacks.
Keep It In The Cloud.
As an off-site backup, cloud-based servers have many advantages when it comes to keeping your data safe in case of a cyber attack.
Because it provides an almost real-time redundancy, cloud-based storage prevents downtime by kicking in immediately when on-site servers suffer a break.
It also offers unmatched retention, flexibility, and scalability without purchasing additional physical servers, making it a very cost-efficient IT option for small to medium law firms with tight budget requirements.
Tie-In Your IT Data Recovery Plan With Your Business Continuity Plan
Research by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows that 40% of businesses fail to recover after a disaster with more than half closing their doors within one year.
A business continuity plan with a comprehensive IT disaster recovery plan ensures that there’s no downtime in your law firm’s daily operations. So with your managed services team, consistently test your ITDR plan to identify and fix vulnerabilities.
If you want to know more about managed services check out our post on when you might need managed services as well as why law firms should invest in managed services to protect their data.