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A small legal firm in suburban Chicago and the largest law firm in the world have both fallen victim to it, the largest email cloud providers can do little to guard against it, and once the damage is done it's all but irreversible. "Spear-phishing" - the act of sending emails to specific and well-researched targets while purporting to be a trusted sender - is a growing concern for law firms of all sizes.

Law firms and attorneys are some of the most popular targets for cyberattacks. Email is an attorney’s trusted and preferred method for communicating with his or her clients and sharing critical information. However, due to a lack of mandated security policies or regulatory guidelines in place to protect sensitive data against theft, misuse or alteration, law firms often lack the protection necessary to detect and combat advanced attack campaigns. 

Eighty percent of law firms report being hit by phishing attacks over the past 12 months, and in recent years, the amount of money stolen in email scams targeting businesses in the legal sector has risen by as much as 300%. In addition to being frequent victims of phishing campaigns, law firms and other professional services organizations are also the most popular targets for ransomware attacks of any industry sector.

Downtime due to a cyberattack is time that a law firm cannot bill for, resulting in direct monetary losses as well as serious and potentially irreparable damage to a firm’s reputation. Establishing and maintaining trust with clients is essential to achieving long-term success in the legal industry, and inadequately securing email accounts is a lethal mistake that can instantaneously erase decades worth of hard-earned credibility.

The most effective protection against phishing attacks for attorneys involves proper use of sophisticated authentication including SPF, DMARC and DKIM to provide greater assurance that not only are the emails being sent are from a trusted source, but also the emails being received are as they appear.

A well-designed email security solution for attorneys and law firms provides complete end-to-end control of email accounts through the use of multiple layers of software and detection engines, which work in harmony to accurately identify and rapidly quarantine ALL malicious emails before they reach the inbox.

We’ve also compiled a list of general technology best practices that organizations can follow to protect their business in any industry.

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