The Bar Council of England and Wales has warned its chambers to check their IT security systems and obtain insurance for cyber-related breaches, after a spate of ‘ransomware’ attacks against legal practices.
According to the Law Gazette of England and Wales, two barristers’ chambers in London are reported to have suffered cyber-attacks in the past month.
The Gazette says that one of these, 4 New Square, is pursuing the unknown hackers in the High Court, obtaining an injunction blocking the use, publication, communication or disclosure of information listed in a confidential schedule.
The Bar Council said that the attacks “should act as a wake-up call for everyone to check the security of their information networks, and that their critical business interruption plans are up to date and effective”.
The organisation added that this was particularly important at a time when so many barristers continued to work from home.
The Bar Council said that there had been a recent surge in malware attacks through text messages that include hyperlinks asking readers to “click here” for more information.
At the start of lockdown in Britain, the Solicitors Regulation Authority warned of the risks of homeworking to cyber-security, publishing extensive guidance for firms.
A survey of 3,500 firms by software provider Access Legal, however, found that more than 40% of practices had not fully updated their cyber-security policies since moving to remote working in March last year.