Cyber security watchdog issues law firm warning
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, yesterday published its first report on the growing cyber threat to the legal profession.
It said that while the primary threat stemmed from cyber criminals with a financial motive, “nation states are likely to play an increasingly significant role in cyber attacks at a global level, to gain strategic and economic advantage.
“There has also been some growth in the hacktivist community targeting law firms to achieve political, economic or ideological ends.”
The NCSC said that, according to Action Fraud, in the two years to March 2018, 18 law firms reported hacking attempts.
“Such attacks tend to be more targeted in nature and are most likely initiated by phishing. They are often the work of more sophisticated cyber actors such as organised crime groups and nation states.”
The NCSC said the most significant cyber threats facing law firms were phishing, data breaches, ransomware, and supply chain compromise.
The report spells out the dangers and steps firms can take to combat them.
On phishing, it said the Solicitors Regulation Authority has publicised 110 scams against law firms so far in 2018, but “there are likely to be many more that go unreported”.
It gave the case study of a “mid-sized law firm with a multi-million pound turnover”, where a senior partner broadcast on social media full details about a business trip to Barcelona.
A criminal gang based overseas used this information to initiate a phishing attack against the firm’s accounts team. An accounts clerk received an email from an account spoofing the senior partner’s email address, instructing her to pay an invoice and imploring confidentiality.
Even though the firm had in place a number of policies and procedures that systemised the payment of invoices, they were able to persuade the accounts team to bend the rules, under the pretext of urgency, confidentiality and seniority.
The criminals also knew that the accounts team were tied up in installing a new accounting package and training on the new system, as a staff member had mentioned it on Facebook. It was at this time that the criminals convinced the clerk to make an authorised payment of £35,000.
The section on ransomware referenced the global attack last year on DLA Piper that caused significant business disruption for a number of weeks and is to date the single biggest cyber attack to ever hit any law firm.
The attack utilised a new variant of the Petya malware (NotPetya) via the software update mechanism of M.E. Doc, a Ukrainian tax program that had been compromised to spread the malware.
The report said the attack appeared to be a ransomware attack; it was later identified as a destructive variant so that the data was encrypted.
DLA Piper was running around 800 applications at the time and went through a process afterwards of building them back up. “Since the attack, the firm has been running a number of programs to enhance security and business resilience.”
Looking to cyber security trends, the report noted the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems among the large law firms, saying: “AI may help with thwarting future attacks, although may also be used maliciously, for example, to fool AI fraud checks or craft high-quality phishing emails.”
NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin said: “Like all businesses, law firms are increasingly reliant on IT and technology and, as a result, are falling victim to a range of malicious cyber activity.
“Losing access to this technology, having funds stolen or suffering a data breach through a cyber attack can be devastating, both financially and reputationally, not only for the firm but also its clients.
“The NCSC is committed to supporting the legal sector as part of our role to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online and that’s why we feel it’s extremely important to offer the tailored advice and guidance outlined in this report.”
The report was created in collaboration with major law firms working under the NCSC Industry 100 scheme and the Law Society.
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “In the post-GDPR world and as the sector delivers and transacts more online, it’s vital that we get a common view and understanding of cyber threats and their impact.
“The Law Society sees this report as a positive step to help our members spot vulnerabilities and put relevant safeguards and protections in place.”
To help firms further, the NCSC and industry partners have also launched a legal sector group on the free Cyber Information Sharing Platform.
- Sales Manager (IT Managed Services)
- Up to £80,000 Base + Double OTE
Sales Manager (IT Managed Services) Ref BD7627 Salary: Up to £80,000 Base + Double OTE A great opportunity has come up for a Sales Manager to join a fast-growing IT infrastructure provider to manage their north west-based new business sales team. The Sales Manager will be responsible for leading an enterprise new business sales team who will be bidding and winning new business within the North West region. Skills & Experience required: Direct sales experience in the telecommunications/technology sector. Strong leadership/team skills and a positive track record in executing sales process & strategies and coordinating among internal and external stakeholders. Strong understanding of IT managed services such as Cloud, Cyber Security, Telecommunications (WAN/MPLS/SDWAN etc.) & Unified Communications. Have a team player attitude as well as being able to manage. Sales Manager Jobs, Telecoms Jobs, Telecommunications Jobs
- Security Overlay Specialist, Presales Consultant
- Up to £80,000 plus 25% Commission and benefits
RA7291 Location: South East Salary Up to £80,000 plus 25% Commission and benefits Security Overlay Specialist, Presales Consultant A technically minded but sale focus individual is needed to be the Security Overlay Specialist for a global Tier 1 Service provider, Your remit will be to be the technical sales advocate for solutions based on security and Managed Network Services products; proactively working with the Account teams, Marketing Teams, Strategic Partners and key customer prospects directly in the development of pipeline and closure of key deals in this technology domain. They are looking for someone who has the technical networking and security background with the ability to do high-level technical solution design but who enjoys being more sales-focused and is able to help shape and develop deals with customers and work internally in helping to shape and develop the solution proposition Key responsibility will include 1) Technical qualification 2) pipeline generation 3) key deal leadership They are not looking for a hardcore Security Deep Domain expert, more of a global network services generalist with good broad security knowledge and some experience in working on managed UTM and Threat Monitoring services deals, but eager to learn and skill up in this area. Presales Jobs, Pre-Sales Jobs, Overlay Sales Jobs, Cyber Security Jobs, IT Security Jobs
- Presales Consultant (Collaboration)
- £60,000 - £70,000 + bonus + benefits
Presales Consultant (Collaboration) RA7316B Location: London £60,000 - £70,000 + bonus + benefits One of the leading Global Telco’s are looking to expand their Collaboration presales team. The Presales Consultant will be responsible for providing technical guidance to the sales team and Enterprise Customer focusing around Cisco and Microsoft UC solutions. The Presales Consultant will have a good technical and general knowledge of cisco UC and Contact centre solutions and ideally experience to Microsoft Skype for Business and teams, you will be able to translate enterprise customer requirements into functional, effective and appropriate solutions for your customer base. Candidates need to have previous presales experience advising customers on collaboration solutions. You will need experience of doing high level design and presenting these solutions to C-level Executives. (Unified Comms Jobs, Unified Communications Jobs, UC Jobs, Collaboration Jobs)
- Collaboration Practice Lead
- Up to £90,000 + bonus + benefits
Collaboration Practice Lead RA5791 Location: London Salary up to £90,000 plus bonus and benefits Collaboration Practice Lead is required for a global Tier 1 Service provider, you will be part of a global team helping to shape and deliver UC and Contact centre (CC) solution to enterprise clients and select SI partners. Responsibilities include Regular interaction with multi Regional SMEs to understand divergent UC/ CC needs and drive a team of Solution engineers and aid them in review/ approve the functional design, prepare and present customized solutions etc. Support the Proposal team in RFI, RFP and SO Identify desired UC/ CC solution functionality, evaluate alternatives, close gaps with Product. Strong alignment with Various OEMs in Collaboration (Audio, Video, Web and Social) Industry. Ability to work with Engineering, Product and Marketing teams to offer feedback, bridge Gaps and conduct technology sessions and participate in Industry forums representing TCL. Create readily demonstrable demos and develop POCs with prospective customers thereby enhancing Sales Funnel for UCC portfolio. Able to position Hosted Solutions across Contact center, Webex and IPT Solutions against premise setups You will require Proven leadership skills that build relationships with key stakeholders. Ability to communicate effectively and experience in documenting requirements and specifications is essential. Ability to cross-train and mentor associates on UCC technologies and updates Strong Knowledge around SIP, IP PBX, Webex, IPT, Various Video endpoints, interoperability scenarios is desired. Knowledge and experience designing and implementing enterprise room-based and mobile videoconferencing systems Experience with enterprise Cisco voice platforms is required, including Communications Manager, Unity Connection, Cisco Presence, Contact Center Express or Enterprise, Telepresence, Jabber etc Enterprise voice, video, and collaboration architectures including core call processing, voicemail, presence, contact centre, call recording, video conferencing, instant messaging, etc. In depth understanding of high availability design best practices for enterprise voice and video systems Microsoft Skype and teams experience would be beneficial (Unified Comms Jobs, Unified Communications Jobs, UC Jobs, Collaboration Jobs)