This week’s ransomware attack against DLA Piper, one of the nation’s largest law firms, provided a harsh reminder of the need for lawyers and law firms to be vigilant about cybersecurity. In DLA Piper’s case, the firm’s security system detected suspicious activity and its IT team acted quickly to isolate the malware, according to a statement, but as of yesterday, the firm was still working to restore full operations.
A ransomware attack against a global law firm is a major intrusion, but it is important to remember that such attacks often begin with a single malicious email and can happen to law firms of any size. Opening a malicious attachment or clicking a malicious link can plant the ransomware virus and allow it to propagate throughout a firm.
Given the vulnerability of email, every lawyer who has not done so already should stop and read the opinion issued last month by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. It provides guidance on the steps lawyers should take to protect the confidentiality and security of client information in electronic communications.
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