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Prevention is key to protecting your law firm.

The recent “Panama Papers” scandal showed lawyers around the world just how damaging a digital leak can be for any law firm. In that situation, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, 11.5 million highly confidential documents were leaked from the database of large, Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. While this large-scale attack was widely publicised, every year thousands of similar attacks on smaller firms go unreported in the media.

Of the 7,600 complaints made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by small businesses in 2016, a new strand of computer viruses known as ransomware topped the list as the biggest problem. According to the ACCC’s Small Business in Focus report, small businesses suffered at least $1.6 million in losses from ransomware scams in the past six months.

When you read the word “ransom” you might think of a violent kidnapping similar to the first scenes of the film Taken. While ransom attacks in today’s digital age are generally less obvious or heavy handed, they can be just as scary for your law firm, says Nicholas Carr, the Managing Director of legal IT support company BOAB IT.

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