Legal practices and law firms are not immune from any form of ransomware. The integrity and income of a law firm are based on the impeccable confidentiality of all communications between attorneys and clients. Computerization of verbal and written communication has made legal practices a prime target for ransomware.
The costs can be staggering. Ransomware cost companies $24 million in 2105 and that cost jumped by 200 percent in 2016 according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Ransomware can infect your computer system through email, disguised system updates, and can even tag along on cell phone messages that are stored for future reference. The threat is very real for law firms that want to remain immaculate in their valued client’s eyes.
There are two ways to deal with ransomware that you need to be aware of. They are free defeat and dedicated proactive protection.
Self-propagating strains of ransomware called zombie ransomware are hopeful attempts to capture unsuspecting victims. The perpetrator releases the ransomware and lets it wander about on the internet. Your law firm is not a specific target.
The zombie ransomware is often so out of date that it has been overcome and defeated by legal IT support. There are free sites that can free you from the lock down that your computer and information have acquired from a zombie ransomware thief. The perpetrators are not really bright.
The best sites are Fightransomware.com’s Breaking Free list, Avast’s free decryption tools, Trend Micro’s Ransomware File Decryptor, and Kaspersky Lab’s No Ransom list. You simply access the site, find the name of the ransomware or the originator, and follow the instructions to eliminate the threat.
Prevention is much easier and more cost effective than dealing with a ransomware threat even if you use a free ransomware relief site. Legal IT support that keeps your law firm from ever having to deal with a ransomware threat is simpler and safer. You do not have to deal with your competitors spreading the word that you were hit with ransomware.
There are three steps to making your legal practice safe from ransomware:
Every employee including the head of the firm must learn what to do and what not to do when using a computer, a portable, or a cell phone. All of your data should be backed up as a matter of routine in a safe storage facility that is in no way accessible through any part of your company’s computer system. If you get hit you simply restore and lose a minimal amount of information.
Update all software as soon as new updates are available. You use software that is written by huge organizations. The companies are aware of defects in their programs and are quick to respond to maintain their integrity. Updating your software makes it harder for ransomware to invade your system.
Legal IT support needs a professional’s touch. A professional can evaluate your system and spot your vulnerabilities. The professional has the expertise and training that you simply do not have. You run the risk of fighting a never ending losing battle against ransomware that costs you clients and money even if you never pay a penny to the ransomware thieves.