While most legal staff are not expected to be extremely tech savvy, there are some cybersecurity fundamentals that all lawyers should be aware of. From recognizing an email phishing scam to creating a strong password, understanding even the fundamentals can help your law firm avoid data breaches.
One fundamental cybersecurity tip is to understand what malware is, how it works, and the various types of malware that exist. And if you work in a law firm, you are almost certainly being targeted by malware. Law firms outnumber courts, prosecutor’s offices, and many other legal organizations in terms of being the target of a ransomware attack, with 61.36 percent of attacks on the legal industry specifically targeting firms. Firms of any size and scale can fall victim.
What is Malware?
Malware is essentially malicious software written with the intent of causing harm to computing devices. Malware includes ransomware, spyware, trojans, and viruses. Most malware is created with the intention of being sold on the Dark Web or spreading quickly between computer systems. Some, on the other hand, are created for other reasons, such as a vehicle for protest, a digital weapon for political purposes, or a means of testing an organization’s cybersecurity system.
Adware is another type of malware. It is an aggressive form of advertising software that sabotages systems in order to serve up intrusive and malicious advertisements and popups. Adware can be extremely inconvenient and downright annoying to deal with, but it is often not as dangerous as other types of malware.
There are also Botnets, which are best described as entire networks of infected computers. These networks are designed to work in unison while under the control of an attacker.
Trojans, on the other hand, are a type of malware that disguises itself as supposedly legitimate software or is hidden within ostensibly legitimate software that has been compromised. Trojans operate invisibly, creating back doors into systems and networks to allow other malware to infiltrate.
Worms are particularly dangerous because they infect entire networks of devices, whether on the internet or locally. Worms cause havoc when they use network interfaces. Unfortunately, once a single machine becomes infected, the infection is likely to spread to other machines at your law firm.
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