First – get the computer off the network. Unplug the blue network cable. Turn off wifi.
Second – pick up the bat phone. Or shoe phone. Or Dick Tracy wrist phone. Oh wait – that really exists…
The simplest, fastest way to recover is to restore your files from backup.
If you are ready to improve your practice and take advantage of the best that is available call us on 1800 199 682 to arrange a personal demonstration of Wise Owl Legal Practice Management Software.
Depending on your needs and preferences we can come to you, demonstrate via an Internet meeting, or invite you to a group presentation.
So what are you waiting for?
Message us today to see what the Wise Owl can do for you!
Under attack! By Chris Herrmann of Far Edge Techonology North Sydney
You are almost certainly under attack. Certainly every day, most hours of most days, and probably right now. No, it’s not the Government (or the Opposition)… it’s a shady organisation in a country far far away, trying to swindle you out of your hard earned dosh.
There are a few ways they go about it, but one of the most common modus operandi is to send you a very important email. You know – the one telling you about that Australia Post parcel you need to pick up. Or the speeding fine you didn’t pay. Or less likely an invitation to meet the love of your life.
But what happens next?
Typically the email sends you to a website that downloads a virus* to your computer, which then starts to encrypt all of your files. Depending on how many documents you have and how fast your computer is, it will then pop up a message mocking you – advising you that your documents are now “safely encrypted so that no one except us can read them – but don’t fear – if you give us a whole bunch of money we’ll unlock them for you”
You just lost all of your data.
So what do you do?
You should be taking regular backups – and by regular we don’t mean “once a week” or “every day” – it should be every 1 – 2 hours. And you should have the systems in place so that you can recover things quickly.
Every hour that you’re down means another hour that you and your staff can’t bill. You should also test this regularly – at a minimum twice a year, so that you know for certain that your systems are actually working and you can retrieve files when you need it most.
Like everything in IT, these things are evolving rapidly. What was good enough to protect you last year will no longer suffice. Some of the new trends that are appearing in this space include:
• Uploading your documents back to a remote server to blackmail you
• Getting smarter with how they encrypt things and generally improving the quality of the programs
• Working out how to better evade protections like firewalls and anti-virus
• Working out how to attack other information that’s harder to get to – like your email and other systems (you do backup your email and practice management systems…?)
Discussing how to reduce your risk is a detailed topic in its own right – but there are plenty of things that you can do, to make it harder for the crooks to take you down. But in short:
• Make sure you have adequate computer security systems in place. The ye olde ADSL modem that you have at home offers exactly Zero protection – and doesn’t constitute a reasonable attempt to secure your systems.
• Backup backup backup. If you keep everything “in the cloud” you may actually be more vulnerable than if you have systems in house. Don’t just assume your cloud is backed up – find out – and test it**
• Put in place restrictions so that staff can only see documents that they’re entitled to.
• If it smells suspicious, it is.
• Put in place restrictions to ensure that staff can only run authorised software.
So – be careful. Share examples with your team of what not to do, encourage common sense when opening or responding to messages that are not expected. And remember that you are responsible for keeping important and sensitive information for your customers secure – and you need to take appropriate steps to keep it secure.
Chris Herrmann runs Far Edge – an IT consultancy by day, two children by night, and attempts to run on the weekends.
* I’ve used the term virus here very loosely. Technically it’s not a virus – it’s malware. But people are more familiar with the term viruses and frankly the technical distinction is not overly important if you’ve just been infected.
** By the way… in case you’re wondering. The cloud isn’t really “a thing”. It’s just someone else’s computer.
Is your practice spending too much time and resources on the business side of the business and not enough time doing what you do best?
Are you ready to streamline the running of your office to save time, increase productivity and take the worry out of compliant financial reporting?
Look no further, for Wise Owl Legal has hatched!
Practice Management for the Wise Lawyer
Wise Owl Legal is perfect if you –
Want peace of mind, with all your legal obligations covered, knowing that the Law Society is off your back! Wise Owl Legal ensures compliant trust accounting without the headaches.
Need the ultimate user friendly system, which even the most techno-challenged staff member can easily adopt and understand.
Have support staff that need to be freed up and stop wasting valuable time on duplicate tasks.
Want to keep your data safe, yet accessible. Wise Owl uses secure, two factor authentication to ensure only authorised users have access to your important records.
Are ready to future proof your business with the latest state of the art technology which runs on multiple platforms and all modern browsers.
Require the freedom to access your files no matter where you are.
The Wise Owl
will help you soar!