May 30, 2017

Three Steps So You Don’t “WannaCry” about Ransomware

Alison Austin

In early May, the largest ransomware attack of all time, affecting tens of thousands of organizations internationally, froze and disrupted computer systems. The software program ransomware is known as Wanna Decryptor, or “WannaCry.”

Ransomware can take over computers so that the owner cannot use it and extort them into paying hacker to unlock their device, typically with currency known as BitCoin.  Ransomware attacks have increased in the past few years, with the US Department of Justice estimating 4000 attacks per day in 2016.  However, this year those numbers are expected to increase due to the WannaCry attacks.

Although the ransomware attacks hit all industries, most law firms have been fortunate enough to avoid the attention of these fiends. Here are three ideas that law firms may want to consider:

  1. “Cyber Extortion” insurance can prevent data and income loss as their policies cover various ransomware and cyberattacks. Insurance can supplement cyber extortion costs, but it is important to review the conditions of each policy as some may vary in what they cover.  Pay attention to the scope of coverage, key definitions, conditions, exclusions, and sub limits and retentions. Because there are many cyber insurance companies, the prices are negotiable due to the high competition.

  2. Keep system and operational programs up to date. Make sure security patches are timely installed to avoid cracks in your protective armor.

  3. Improve computer security. Backing up all files, use spam filters and firewalls, and train employees are the best ways to prevent cyber attacks.

Alison Austin

Austin Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.