Powerful Technology Security Solutions Safeguard Your Law Firm from Ransomware
Discover why law firms are among the most susceptible businesses to ransomware attacks an how to protect your business from the financial consequences
Canadian law firms face an ever-growing threat to be a victim of a cyberattack. With sensitive client financial and legal information available, hackers know the value of attacking law firms’ websites.
Ransomware is one of the most insidious forms of cyberattack. And the recent ransomware attack on TrialWorks, a leading case management software platform, brings the issue home for the nation’s barristers.
What Is Ransomware?
In a ransomware attack, a hacker infiltrates a law firm’s network and blocks access to all systems and files. As the name suggests, the attacker demands a ransom, usually in the form of untraceable cyber currency such as Bitcoin to regain access to files.
Ransomware attacks are often delivered via malware — software programs that are hidden in emailed attachments or website links. When an unsuspecting law firm employee clicks on the link or attachment, a program is launched that gives the hacker access.
The attacks can cripple law firms, not only financially but also reputationally. Consider the following statistics from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s recent national assessment:
- 85 percent of owners of “.ca” domains reported receiving a phishing email
- 32 percent reported users had unwittingly shared sensitive information
- 22 percent were victims of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which massive volumes of accounts ping a website, causing it to crash
- 19 percent were victims of a ransomware attack
“Cybercriminals are — and will continue to be — the greatest cyber threat facing businesses of all sizes in 2019,” the assessment notes. “Cyber threat actors target Canadian businesses for their data about customers, partners and suppliers, financial information and payment systems, and proprietary information.”
Despite its relatively small market size, Canada was third worldwide in a recent study of 2,300 data breaches worldwide that exposed 2.6 billion records. In those 48 breaches, 12.5 million records were compromised, an average of 261,000 per incident.
“That Canada had the third most cyber incidents in the world is not surprising considering Canada continues to be one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world,” noted Canadian Underwriter.
Are Law Firms Susceptible to Ransomware Attacks?
Law firms are an ideal target for cybercriminals for multiple reasons, including:
- Most law firms still operate using a model of billable hours. That means law firms will be hard hit by a ransomware attack when billing records and systems are inaccessible. A ransomware attack can completely eliminate the ability to access client files or bill them for work
- Many small- and medium-sized businesses like law firms do not regularly update their IT, whether it’s automating anti-phishing software, backing up data or having a disaster recovery plan. The lack of these core data security and updating protocols leaves firms vulnerable
- Employee training often lags at smaller firms, so workers are not aware of the telltale signs of a phishing attack that can lead to a ransomware incident
- Law firms can lack perimeter protections such as advanced firewalls that are the first line of defence against a ransomware attack
Third-party providers of software commonly used by law firms are also susceptible and can derail a law firm. In October 2019, TrialWorks, which provides case management software for law firms, was hit with a ransomware attack. Lawyers could not access documents stored on the platform. It took two full days for access to begin to become available, forcing law firms to ask for extensions on court cases and grinding many legal businesses to a halt.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Ransomware Attacks?
Your business needs prevention and ransomware recovery for Vancouver law firms. Compunet offers comprehensive IT solutions designed with law firms in mind. Ransomware security and recovery services include:
- Onsite and cloud-based data backup procedures
- 24/7 system monitoring to detect and resolve issues remotely and quickly
- Disaster avoidance protocols to keep your law firm up and running
- Data backup and recovery that minimizes the risk of lost data in the event of a cyberattack
Learn more about how your law firm can protect itself from ransomware attacks by contacting us for a free initial consultation.