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A new research has shown that there is 50 percent increase in the cyber-attacks in Irish law firms. Per the study, three out of every ten firms have suffered a cyber-attack in the past 12 months.

The data shows that more than half of the attacks were caused by malware, while 35 percent involved ransomware, a program that blocks access to computer systems until a sum of money (ransom) is paid.

Amárach Research conducted the survey, drawing data from 107 law firms during September and October. Although the names of the firms were not revealed, 13 of the country’s top 20 firms, 17 mid-tiers and 77 small firms were involved.

The report states that : “Law firms present a particularly attractive target for cyber criminals. Firms hold sensitive and potentially valuable data about individuals and corporates and may have significant client account balances on hand. Losing client data or funds or having sensitive and confidential information exposed may be the most frightening outcome for a law firm resulting from a cyber-attack.”

“Earlier this year it was reported that law firms were the targets of espionage by hackers who tried to obtain merger and acquisition details to facilitate insider trading. Firms acting in this area are likely to remain at risk from both cybercriminals and nation state attacks.”

The report described cybercrime as “a clear and present threat to legal practices in Ireland”, warning attacks will occur more frequently.

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