DLA Piper partner Peter Jones warned firms were likely to be among potential future victims.
“As a law firm, we are acutely aware that as a result of the work that we do we are sitting on significant corporate transactions and dispute issues. We absolutely are obvious potential targets,” he said.
Sophisticated hackers are increasingly breaking into corporate systems to hold data hostage – and law firms make for attractive targets. According to information at DLA Piper’s ‘In a Flash: A lesson in cyber security’ seminar, there have been at least six instances of data extortion at large corporates in Sydney in the past two years. Under this practice, hackers break into a company’s secure files, encrypt confidential data, then demand a multi-million dollar ransom in exchange for the data's release. Fellow DLA partner Jacques Jacobs agreed, warning firms “own, control or keep safe very valuable information”. “The more security you overlay, the less flexibility you have, the less ease you have with access – you have to balance all of these things,” he said.