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Don’t forget ‘people’ risks

Michelle Garlick urges firms not to simply focus on technology when assessing their exposure to cyber threats such as email scams and ransomware

11 April 2017

The SRA’s announcement in early March that up to 500 law firms had been targeted in a single email scam by fraudsters serves as a reminder that cybercrime remains one of the key risks for the legal sector.

That particular scam – an example of ‘phishing’ – saw firms receive an email purporting to be a request for their services. When they responded, a further email was sent with an attachment or links containing malware, which allowed the scammers to remotely access, infiltrate, and block access to the firms’ IT systems.

The risk and damage posed by cybercrime and the infiltration of IT systems can be huge. For a law firm which holds valuable client data, the use of ‘ransomware’ - in which scammers seek to extort money from businesses by locking them out of their IT systems until they agree to transfer funds – is a particu...

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