Cybercrime is a big issue faced by businesses and the general public today. In particular, phishing makes up a large portion of all cybercrimes committed. Phishing is the use of electronic communication to obtain security information including passwords, credit card details, etc. People tend to believe that phishing emails are easy to spot and that they are well equipped to prevent hacking. This is not necessarily the case.
Therefore, it is important that law firms, which are filled with important and confidential information, know how to protect themselves from hackers.
It is inevitable that there will be attempts to hack your law firm, and it is crucial to understand how phishing works and how to catch it. Phishing emails are believed to be easy to spot. We often think that all phishing emails have weird spelling, randomly capitalized letters and an email address along the lines of “email@example.com.” Although this would help us all in being able to spot a hacker, it is not always that easy.
It can be extremely difficult to identify fake emails. The email address may just be missing a letter or the link it is advertising for you to click on may look normal but by hovering over it with your cursor, you may discover that it does not go to the website it says it will. Just learning to be cautious when opening emails can decrease your chances of getting hacked.
In addition, it is not all up to the IT department to prevent phishing. Everyone in an office, including the lawyers themselves, should understand phishing. The entire firm has to work to make sure the office is cyber-secure. The lawyers cannot just depend on IT to keep them safe from cyberattacks because in the end, it will be the lawyers themselves who receive fake emails that could lead to the loss of confidential information.
Getting hacked through phishing emails is not only a security problem, but a financial one as well. Once hackers realize that companies have a poorly set up email protection service and are rather likely to open a phishing email, they will continue to attack. This leads to a large amount of valuable information being stolen. In addition, companies may be wasting tens of thousands of dollars on programs they believe are protecting their emails when they may not be.
One way in which law firms are beginning to work to combat phishing, is through anti-phishing technology. Many cloud-based anti-phishing technologies now exist and are helping mitigate the likelihood of cyber security attacks. Cloud-based programs are more widely used that in-house systems as they are both easy to implement and highly reliable. There are a wide variety of anti-phishing services available today including Mimecast, Symantec and MailGuard. Just the implementation of an anti-phishing software can decrease the chance of being targeted by hackers. Many only go after companies that lack these types of services.
At the same time, the anti-phishing technologies do not always work perfectly.
There is still a chance of being hacked despite using a protection service. Firms with these programs are lulled into a false sense of security that can often make people less likely to be cautious when they open emails. One way in which hackers are able to get around these technologies is through a direct email spool attack. In direct email spooling, the hacker is able to go right around an email security solution and directly from their email server to the company’s.
In order to prevent this, firms are advised to only be able to accept emails on their local server that have gone through their upstream security solution. This way, direct email spool attacks cannot occur, and another level of safety is added on to protecting against hacks. Despite both layers of protection mentioned prior, the chances of getting hacked are still not completely prevented. It is equally important that staff is educated in the formal processes regarding opening emails and dealing with phishing attempts. Security awareness training can go a long way in improving the cyber security of a law firm.
To review, phishing is a major issue that should be at the forefront of not only IT departments but everyone working in law firms or large companies. It is important to realize that these fake emails may not be as easy to spot as you expect. In addition, companies should look into email protection services and ensure that the service they use is doing a good job in protecting their company from hackers. Lastly, training employees on how to handle these situations is crucial in making sure the company is as safe as possible.