In today’s elite world of law, many attorneys are finding themselves the target of cybercriminals. These skilled criminals know how to exploit weaknesses in a law firm’s digital security to steal data or money. In some cases, they may even blackmail firms with the threat of releasing sensitive client information.
While no law firm is 100% safe from these attacks, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. Here are 6 ways that cybercriminals target law firms and how to defend against them:
- Phishing emails – One of the most common ways that cybercriminals target law firms is through phishing emails. These are emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, but are actually from a malicious actor. They may try to trick the recipient into clicking on a link or attachment that will install malware on their computer. To defend against this, it’s important to educate all employees on how to spot a phishing email and never click on any links or attachments from unknown sources.
- Malware – Once a cybercriminal has gained access to a law firm’s network, they can install malware which can allow them to steal data or take control of the computers. To prevent this, it’s important to have a robust anti-malware solution in place as well as strict policies on what employees can and can’t download onto company computers.
- Ransomware – In some cases, cybercriminals will encrypt a law firm’s data and demand a ransom be paid in order to decrypt it. This can be especially devastating for a firm if they don’t have backups of their data. To protect against this, it’s critical to have regular backups in place as well as security measures to prevent ransomware from being installed in the first place. Managed IT Services can help with both of these.
- Social engineering – Cybercriminals will often try to trick employees into giving them access to the law firm’s network. This is done through social engineering, which is a type of psychological manipulation. For example, they may pretend to be an IT technician and ask for login credentials under the guise of fixing an issue. To defend against this, it’s important to educate employees on how to spot social engineering attempts and never give out login credentials to anyone.
- Insider threats – In some cases, the cybercriminal may already have access to the law firm’s network through an insider threat. This is someone who has legitimate access to the network but uses it for malicious purposes. To prevent this, it’s important to have strict policies and procedures in place for accessing sensitive data as well as monitoring activity for any suspicious behavior.
- Weak passwords – One of the most common ways that cybercriminals gain access to accounts is through weak passwords. This is why it’s critical to have strong password policies in place, such as requiring employees to use long and complex passwords. Additionally, it’s important to use two-factor authentication whenever possible.
By following these six tips, law firms can greatly reduce their risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. However, it’s important to note that no security measure is 100% effective. This is why it’s critical to have a comprehensive security plan in place as well as insurance to protect against any damages that may occur.