Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- by Brittany Day
How a Ransomware Attack Crippled One of the World’s Largest Law Firms - and What We Can Learn from the Incident
As industries continue to face increased challenges associated with moving forward in our new online reality, law firms and the legal world have discovered the importance of instituting and improving technology that supports the practice - whether in the office or remotely.
Law firms are being forced to rapidly modernize their operations and their infrastructure - transitioning to operating digitally and, in many cases, moving critical business communications to cloud platforms like Office 365 and G-Suite to continue to service their clients.
Without additional layers of security defenses, these platforms are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks such as phishing and ransomware - and this risk has been compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rushed deployments and frequent misconfigurations of cloud platforms. This leaves law firms - an already popular target among cyber criminals - more susceptible than ever to the compromise of sensitive data and stalled operations due to a cyber attack.
A Closer Look at the Cost of a Ransomware Attack in the Legal Industry
DLA Piper - one of the largest law firms in the world that specializes in cyber security - has experienced the devastation of a ransomware attack firsthand. In 2017, DLA Piper LLP was taken down by the infamous NotPetya ransomware, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers across its platform and halted operations for days. The global attack encrypted all affected files, costing the firm 15,000 extra hours of overtime for its IT staff. In an industry dictated by strict timelines, the legal giant worked quickly and tirelessly to mitigate the crisis. However, although DLA Piper paid a large sum of bitcoin to the attackers in a desperate effort to regain access to their critical data, not all email records were recovered.
The incident also resulted in a dispute with DLA Piper’s insurance provider Hiscox over the insurer’s failure to pay out for the significant costs and damages associated with the attack. In 2019, DLA Piper attempted to sue Hiscox over this incident, but lost the case.
It is estimated that the total direct and indirect costs of NotPetya ransomware attacks are now “in the millions”, and other international corporations hit by this dangerous ransomware variant continue to experience permanent damages including compromised data, lost files and a tainted reputation.
The fact that DLA Piper - a world renowned law firm that advises leading anti-phishing and cyber security company Cofense - fell victim to a ransomware attack prior to the COVID-19 crisis is a clear indication that no legal firm is safe from this ominous, growing email-borne threat without adequate cyber defenses in place - especially in this current environment of heightened digital risk.
Ransomware emails have evolved to become highly targeted, sophisticated and difficult to detect. Malicious actors thoroughly research their victims in order to craft highly convincing and deceptive attack campaigns. Human behavior is ultimately unpredictable, and companies cannot rely on employees to identify signs of fraud and implement email security best practices - even if their employees have received security awareness training.
Combating ransomware and other advanced, persistent email threats requires a comprehensive, multi-layered email security solution that implements techniques including URL scanning, file analysis, email authentication protocols and sender reputation tracking to confirm the safety and legitimacy of each email that passes through its gateway prior to delivery.
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: Founder of Guardian Digital – Open Source Cloud Email Security
- New Ransomware Warnings: Is Your Business Safe from This Silent Threat?
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- How To Safely Navigate Office 365 While Working Remotely
- Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online During COVID-19
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- Email Threats By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- The Modern Email Threat Landscape: Where Traditional Defenses Fall Short
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How To Secure Your Remote Workforce: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Is A Zero-Day Attack & How To Prevent Zero Day Exploit?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Email Security: Complete Guide on Email Protection & Types of Email Threats
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail