According to the American Bar Association, one in four law firms with at least 100 attorneys have experienced data breaches that involved hackers. In addition, the Department of Justice believes that at least 25% of all law firms have been subjected to, or experienced, some form of a data breach involving hackers.
More recently, on April 29, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security released updated Microsoft 365 Security Recommendations, highlighting the fact that many organizations are rushing to “adapt or change their enterprise collaboration capabilities to meet ‘telework’ requirements” and that organizations “may not be fully considering the security configurations of the platforms they are moving to.”
Taking Reasonable Measures to Protect Client Data
Though hackers have become more active during COVID and the shift to remote working, they still rely on the basic hacker methods. Hackers generally start by accessing your server. They do this by using remote desktop protocol credentials, which they are able to gain access to by initiating a brute-forced attack. The number of brute-force attacks on remote desktop protocol (RDP) servers has drastically increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as a record number of employees are not working from home. This is primarily due to the companies allowing their workforce to remotely access their in-office desktops and workstations from home.
What is “Ransomware?”
Ransomware is a form of malware that installs on a device without the user’s knowledge. Once the hacker has access to the device, they threaten to hold the victim’s data hostage or publish the data unless a ransom is paid. Usually, these ransoms are demanded to be paid in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
What is “Wiperware?”
During a “wiperware” attack, the hacker threatens to destroy the data or the entire system. Just like ransomware, the demands in wiperware hacks are usually for money and the request is to be paid via Bitcoin.
What is a “Hacktivists?”
A “hacktivist” is a form of hacker who will use different forms of malware and ransomware to access a device or server. The key difference from a hacktivist and other forms of hackers is their motivation for carrying out the attack.
Usually, a hacktivist disagrees with some social or political cause that a law firm or business supports, or appears to support, and their demand usually includes actions to be taken by the business (as well as money.)