Not a Matter of If, but When

Ransomware to proliferate as a cyber threat to firms in 2018

When it comes to protecting client data, law firms will face myriad cybersecurity threats in 2018. But one threat — ransomware — is growing much more quickly than others.

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack in which a hacker encrypts a victim’s files in order to extort money from them in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Because it has proven profitable and simple to use, ransomware has enjoyed exponentially greater popularity among hackers over time.

A report by Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that ransomware damages worldwide would total $5 billion in 2017, which would be 15 times the damages incurred two years earlier. By 2019, ransomware costs will total more than $11.5 billion, and every 14 seconds, a business will face a ransomware incident, according to the report.

That only increases the likelihood that law firms of all sizes could face a nightmare scenario of having their critical documents and emails held hostage. For law firms, time is money, and every hour that attorneys can’t access their files to serve clients poses significant losses, according to Denver-based attorney Mark Spitz.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the January 8, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.