Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

About Lawrence Perret-Hall Lawrence Perret-Hall is director of CYFOR Secure and leader of its commercial department. His primary responsibilities involve advising clients on the management of digital evidence, such as the application of eDiscovery technology and forensic techniques. A qualified project manager, Lawrence has also provided expert consultancy on numerous high-profile, complex and multijurisdictional forensic investigations. About CYFOR Secure CYFOR Secure is CYFOR’s dedicated cybersecurity division, specialising in digital forensics, incident response and a broad range of other proactive and reactive IT security services. The company supplies SMEs and large corporations internationally, with clients across the legal, healthcare, engineering, manufacturing, finance and telecom sectors. reinfecting the network with malware. And for businesses operating with tighter cybersecurity budgets, a comprehensive suite of backups proves far more costeffective than falling victim to ransomware and paying up to try and regain stolen, compromised data. Backups should also form part of a wider overall response in the event of a cyber incident. Proactively implementing a strong incident response plan is critical when reacting to an event, such as a ransomware attack, to help meet an organisation’s recovery time goals and minimise business disruption. However, none of this is possible if an organisation’s board does not recognise the severity of the ransomware attack and allow IT teams to begin the process of remediation. Once the business leaders recognise the risk, it is then about understanding exactly what has happened and reviewing logs to analyse the vulnerability and the source of the breach. Without logs, incident response becomes far more difficult – an issue also exacerbated if an organisation is not working with an experienced cybersecurity partner. Collaborating with cyber professionals who have expertise in developing detailed incident response playbooks can be crucial to effective and speedy remediation. If not, it can take up to four weeks to get an organisation back up and running. This is not viable for customerfacing businesses and is the reason why more enterprises are turning to thirdparty security partners for support. Working With the Experts All organisations should be prioritising cybersecurity from the start. Proactively implementing a blend of security controls and solutions such as backup strategies, incident response plans and business continuity playbooks offers strong and varied protection against the consequences of a ransomware attack. However, to get all of this right is no small task – especially without support. Law firms can therefore advise their clients to invest in a retainer with a trusted security partner. Retainers can be customised and designed bespoke to tailor security controls and solutions to individual business needs when not required to cover the cost of responding to an incident. For example, they can include proactive measures such as vulnerability scanning and dark web monitoring to identify the most critical areas of risk, uncover weak spots and discover if data has already been unknowingly stolen and is being sold by bad actors. Furthermore, taking on a regular and smaller cost of a retainer, which can be budgeted for in advance, ensures far better ROI compared to a purely reactive approach to a ransomware attack – especially when considering IBM’s ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ report revealed ransomware attacks in 2022 cost organisations £3.8 million on average. Looking Ahead In the current threatscape, where cyberattacks and ransomware are an inevitability for the clients of law firms, it is simply dangerous to pay up. Legal professionals play a significant advisory role on such matters. It is therefore critical they can translate the benefits of proactive cybersecurity to their clients. Indeed, having a varied and comprehensive proactive cybersecurity strategy with incident response, backups and retainers at its core is vital to ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum and business operations face minimal disruption. Working with a security partner to achieve this not only offers one of the best ways to bolster cyber resilience and reduce the severity of a cyberattack; it ensures ROI on cyber investment. Contact Lawrence Perret-Hall Director CYFOR Secure Tel: +44 03301 358542 E: 38 LAWYERMONTHLYOCTOBER 2022

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