Attacks on Law Firms Are on the Rise as Cybercriminals Seek IP

Last month a federal grand jury indicted three Pittsburgh residents for conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization, for hacking into a law firm’s computer server and stealing information.  

This is far from an isolated incident. According to a recent Computer Technology Industry Association survey, 76 percent of companies of various types and sizes have experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past 12 months that resulted in the loss of intellectual property, money, data or simply the ability to conduct day-to-day business.

It’s impossible to know how many of the victims were law firms, because “few law firms will admit publicly to a breach” according to an article in the Wall Street Journal last month. “Thefts of confidential information strike at the core of the legal profession’s obligation to safeguard clients’ secrets, and can do considerable harm to a firm’s reputation.”

Law enforcement officials have observed that attacks against law firms are on the rise — with cybercriminals launching increasingly sophisticated hacks aimed at gaining access to the valuable information entrusted to law firms, according to the same article. “We’ve seen specific documents from law firms, on specific deals, being exfiltrated from cyberattacks,” the FBI’s Mary Galligan said in April at a conference in New York. The perpetrators “know exactly what they are looking for and, as a result, there is some undercutting of bids in those deals.”

There is no type of business, and no industry, that is immune. As a cybersecurity firm with a host of clients in the legal profession, we see attacks on law firms large and small every day. But the outcome is different in these cases. The unique one-two punch of patented CloudJacket technology and live 24/7 monitoring by our certified security engineers means the difference between attack attempts and actual breaches.  And that’s the difference between secure law firms whose partners can rest easy at night and those who will experience security breaches.

Do you know where your intellectual property is right now — and who has access to it?

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