According to recent research by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, more than £4 million was stolen from 23 law firms by cyber criminals in the last three years When you consider the highly sensitive nature of the information firms hold, plus the substantial amounts of client money being processed every day, it’s no surprise that cyber threats and security will continue to be a major risk for all law firms in the future.
Although law firms are most often targeted for financial gain (especially firms specialising in corporate or property law), there is also a growth in bad actors using cyberattacks to achieve political, economic or ideological goals. You could see this trend at play when the volume of attacks on firms rose during the recent tensions between Iran and the US. With state-sponsored attacks continuing to spread in the last few weeks, it’s still advisable for any firm handling American clients or transactions to review their cybersecurity plans and processes.
What risks do you need to be aware of?
DNS Spoofing – If your domain names are not strongly protected, it’s all too easy for attackers to pose as your firm. The legal sector is increasingly under attack from criminals exploiting security vulnerabilities and spoofing a firm’s web IP addresses to send fraudulent emails, redirect clients to compromised websites, steal sensitive data and more. The reputational damage from these types of attacks can be significant, so it’s critical to ensure domains are protected to best practice so your client communications remain secure.
Ransomware – Large scale ransomware attacks continue to hit the headlines, and the first few weeks of 2020 saw five law firms have sensitive internal data stolen in the Maze ransomware attacks. Many firms are now paying the ransom in order to restore business as usual as quickly as possible, but there could be troubling long-term consequences. Is your firm’s professional indemnity insurance still valid if you pay the ransom? It's important to realise that insurers will often also refuse to pay out on a claim if the ransomware attack succeeded due to the firm not taking reasonable precautions to secure their corporate network and sensitive client data.
Payment Fraud – Although criminals posing as genuine firms could cause serious levels of long-term reputational damage with misinformation campaigns, generally attackers are looking for a quick pay day before their activity is detected. It’s increasingly common to see sophisticated social engineering attacks targeting firms that use legitimate logos, employee identities and cloned websites to impersonate senior partners at the firm and fool both employees and clients into transferring fraudulent payments.
How can we help?
Darkbeam is here to help you review your security processes and ensure your IT teams have the risk insights they need to keep your firm, clients and third parties secure. Our automated solution helps law firms to identify email or website server vulnerabilities prior to an attack and prioritise remediation efforts, without the need for manual effort or resource-intensive analysis. We also offer third party risk services, making it simple to rapidly visualise threats across your supply chain and minimise the risk of remote access attacks and data breaches.If you’d like to expand your threat visibility, we’re here to help your firm actively block phishing attacks and prevent third parties impersonating your email domains. Speak to Darkbeam today to help defend your firm and clients from the latest cyber threats.