Cyber Security for Law Firms, Attorneys, Court Reporters and other Stakeholders

Special thanks to Judge Jeffrey Levenson for his assistance in presenting the June 25, 2021 webinar and  his continuing support of ABOTA Fort Lauderdale.

On June 5, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed his agency was investigating approximately 100 different types of ransomware software variants, just as the number of reported cyber attacks have tripled in 2020.

In just the last few months of 2021, the number of high profile malevolent incursions have reminded professionals of the urgent need to be proactive in internet defense strategies.

The White House has characterized ransomware as an urgent national security threat. It is also a significant hazard to the foundations of the technological infrastructure used hourly by the modern legal practitioner.

Not only are such malicious attacks costly (in the hundreds of millions of dollars to billions), they are also a direct threat to attorney-client communications, work product materials and other privileged information. You may already know of a law firm or attorney that has suffered a harmful and disruptive intrusion.

This webinar covers law firm vulnerabilities to ransom cyber attacks, the kind of technical expertise required to mitigate against such attacks, ethical implications of data vulnerability, the implementation of strategies to safeguard your practice, legal implications of paying ransom, cyber victim tax consequences, along with other concerns and proactive ideas.

Webinar Presenter and Helpful Links

Brian Butterfield, Microtech IT and Cyber Security Services

Bruce Spector, Baltimore Cyber

Robert Reynolds, Morris & Reynolds Insurance

To download the June 25, 2021 Power Point presentation made by Mr. Reynolds, please click the following.

National Law Review; Law Firm Cybersecurity Starts With You (4.22.21)

​FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3

“The mission of the Internet Crime Complaint Center is to provide the public with a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism to submit information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity and to develop effective alliances with law enforcement and industry partners. Information is analyzed and disseminated for investigative and intelligence purposes to law enforcement and for public awareness.”

Should there be a state-wide legal profession reporting database for cyber attacks?

​Reasons why such a database can be helpful in the fight against threats to our clients, our offices, the Courts and the legal profession in general:​

  • Lawyers have an ethical duty to take steps to preserve the security of the legal system. By reporting ransomware attacks, a data base can be used by law enforcement to try to identify trends and methods to help thwart such disruptions.
  •  A Cyber database can be hosted by the Florida Bar to gain maximum input from across the State. It would be focused on Florida-based law firms and offices and Court Reporters.
  • As ransom intrusions mount, in early June, 2021, commentators and stakeholders have advocated companies to be urged, and perhaps even required, to report incidents.

Should your office initiate an internal policy for “Two Level Approval” of questionable E-mails?​

Phishing emails are one key way attackers invade law office computer systems. Often office personnel inadvertently click on malicious emails, and allow invader code to enter servers and other computer equipment.

One counter-strategy is modeled after a modified “Two Factor Authentication” many use when accessing websites. Under this proposed strategy, your employees can be oriented to critically read and review incoming emails for signs that they may be suspicious. If they are not sure the email is safe, they can elevate the issue for approval to open. Once identified, before opening the email, law firm administrators can require their approval prior to clicking on the suspected malware intrusion.