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Getting Started in Cybersecurity Law

Chantel Lafrades

Getting Started in Cybersecurity Law

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In today’s technologically driven world, cyber issues have pushed themselves to the forefront no matter what our practice area. It is especially true now that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a new work-from-home world where we regularly attend court, mediations, depositions, and client meetings via Zoom, BlueJeans, or some other remote video platform.

Law firms have had to implement new security measures to ensure the safety of their computer databases now that many (if not all) of their employees are working from home. Proper safety protocol safeguards the firm’s work product, client data, and other confidential information from hackers, who are more readily implementing data breaches. In doing so, the bad guys make financial gains by demanding their cyber victims pay ransoms to prevent data loss and distribution of confidential information the cyber-attackers stole and can make readily accessible to the public.

Why Is Cyber the Next Big Thing?

According to the FBI, reports of cybercrime increased fourfold by April 2020 (COVID-19 breakout). The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 daily cybersecurity complaints (compared with 1,000 daily complaints before COVID-19). Similarly, there has been an increase in cyberattack ransom demands and the amounts that cyber victims are willing to pay to mitigate the attack’s damages. In the recent ABA On-Demand CLE program entitled, “Law Firms and the Scourge of Ransomware: How to Prevent, Detect, Respond and Recover,” experts offered chilling stories of law firms crippled by ransomware along with tips for defending against and responding to ransomware. In this webinar, they noted the following cyber ransom statistics:


  • Average ransom paid = $30,000
  • Highest ransom paid = $1 million


  • Average ransom paid = $300,000
  • Highest ransom paid = $5.6 million
  • Highest ransom demand = $18 million

As of November 2020

  • Highest ransom paid = $15 million
  • Highest ransom demand = $68 million

What Does All of This Mean for You?

The influx of cyber breaches means that more and more businesses are falling victim to cyber-attacks, resulting in litigation. Businesses need attorneys to defend them against claims that they breached a duty to safeguard data (often in a class action setting). Companies prefer to prevent the headache, time, and expense of litigation and instead attack the cyber risks head-on. Attorneys can counsel their clients on the necessary means required to prove that they took adequate precautionary measures to eliminate the potential for a cyber breach.

Knowledge of cyber-related issues infiltrating the legal world will help you pave a path to a successful practice, whether that practice concerns intellectual property, civil litigation, or criminal litigation.

How Do You Get Involved?

If you want to learn more about this developing field, the ABA TIPS Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee holds monthly Zoom meetings every third Wednesday for one hour at 4 p.m. EST / 1 p.m. PST via The March 2021 business meeting will occur on March 17, 2021. The first 30 minutes will cover business, followed by a social trivia game networking hour (4 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EST / 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. PST).