Cyber-crime is a growing risk to law firms of all sizes as lawyers and the legal profession increasingly become targets of cyber-criminals.
We have seen an increase in fraudulent emails purporting to be from the client sent to law firms directing funds be paid to the fraudster’s bank accounts. The fraudster has either hacked the client or the law firm’s email accounts to find out about the transaction and send the email. The other common attack we have seen is from infected emails, that when a staff member clicks on a link in the email it releases ransomware which locks down the firm’s computer system and a ransom is required to have it released.
While many law firms may not appreciate it, they hold information about clients that may be valuable to cyber-criminals who can on-sell client personal or transactional information once they have access to the firm’s computer system.
Having strategies and practice management processes to raise awareness of and boost a firm’s cyber-security is important in protecting the firm’s clients and reputation as well as sound claims prevention. See our Key Risk Checklist: Cyber Security and read the articles listed below. There are also links to useful websites below.
Law Council of Australia – Cyber Precedent – strengthening the legal profession’s defence against online threats