• Darling Milligan

Law Firms Must Be Proactive to Prevent Cyberattacks

Originally published on The Legal Intelligencer by Daniel J. Siegal
In the past few years, major law firms, including Cravath Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges, were victims of cyberattacks. In addition, more than 11.5 million files from Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, were stolen because the firm failed to take the necessary steps to protect its confidential data, including updating the security of its web servers.

Pop quiz. How many of the following items are you familiar with?

  • Back door/trap door

  • Cracks

  • DNS poisoning

  • Eavesdropping

  • Hackers

  • IP spoofing

  • Malware

  • Man-in-the-middle spoofing

  • Network sniffing

  • Password cracking

  • Phishing

  • Ransomware

  • Replay attacks

  • Social engineering

  • Spam

  • Spyware

  • System penetration

  • System tampering

  • TCP/IP hijacking

  • Trojan

  • Tunneling

  • Viruses

  • Website defacement

  • Worms

When lecturing about or assisting law firms with cybersecurity issues, I ask them to tell me what each of these items is, and not surprisingly, no one has ever gotten a perfect score. In fact, no one has ever come close to receiving a passing grade. Of course not, lawyers aren’t trained to be cybersecurity experts. Yet cybersecurity—which is the process of protecting a computer or computer network against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data—is something every law firm needs to know about and to protect against.

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