Survey says Cyber attacks on Irish Law Firms has increased

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Irish Law Firms have witnessed a 50 percent increase in cyber attacks in the past 12 months. It is estimated that 38 percent of the country’s top 20 firms were under severe cyber attack this year. The stats would have been worse if all the attacks were reported.

According to a survey conducted by Amarach Research in September and October this year, thirteen of the top 20 law firms in the Ireland had to pay a ransom to unlock the files locked by ransomware.

Ransomware is a malware which is delivered through phishing. The malware has the ability to enter the database and lock all files and folders depending on the remote instructions given by the cyber criminals. The victim is then asked to pay a ransom to unlock the files. Sometimes, the files are unlocked as soon as the ransom is paid. But in most cases, the cybercriminals demand more.

As the cyber crime is on rise, it is emerging as a biggest threat to legal profession. As these firms host valuable data about individuals and corporate, they can act as access point to cyber criminals eyeing ransom. Thus, customers seeking legal assistance are showing a blind eye towards those firms which have been victims of recent cyber attack due to a data security concerns.

The Amarach survey which was commissioned by Accountancy and consulting firm Smith & Williamson confirmed that 4 out of 10 Irish law firms suffered downtime as a result of cyber attacks. The study also discovered that the firms incurred around 99 million pounds loss due to ransomware.

Early this year, Irish law firms became a soft target to a hackers group who tried to obtain merger and acquisition details in order to facilitate trading.

If the Irish law firms want to avoid any such situation in future, they should start investing in effective business continuity plans such as backup, encryption, employing training and other such definitive steps.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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