If you work for a law firm, it is unlikely that the idea of protecting your firm’s website has entered and lingered in your mind. Attorneys and paralegals are focused on clients, not websites. Most firm’s sites contain service descriptions, company history, and contact information, so if they were hacked it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, right?
Wrong. Just ask Matt Passen.
Passen Law Firm Becomes Victim of Malware Cyber Attack
Passen Law Group is a two-man personal injury firm in Chicago. As told by USA Today, in June of 2011 Matt Passen went to his site and says he was confronted with “a series of letters and numbers that made no sense to me.” Passen soon learned that he had been targeted in a slew of malware-based cyber attacks.
Being infected means lost traffic, not just an ugly webpage- Google actively blacklists websites that are known to be infected with malware (currently 700,000+), rendering the sites invisible to searches, or marked with a warning not to visit it. The idea of not having a searchable web presence is unacceptable.
Passen needed to remediate immediately, and after a few weeks and three separate attempts by hired professionals to remove the malicious script, Passen’s site was finally back to an uninfected state. But what did he lose by not preparing for a situation like this? He put it best himself by saying: “It will easily cost us a couple thousand dollars to remedy, and I can’t tell you what the costs are in terms of lost business opportunity.”
What Could Passen Have Done?
Matt Passen could have dedicated a considerable amount of time each day to manually checking his site for unsolicited changes. He could have downloaded his site’s source code and compared it line-by-line to a prior version in order to detect discrepancies between the two. If he found something that didn’t look right, he could rollback to an earlier rendition of his site by finding that version’s source code and pushing it onto his server. If he had done this each day, he would have caught and eradicated the malware in a shorter timeframe, and with less damage.
Unsurprisingly, Passen didn’t do any of that. Shifting focus away from day-to-day professional responsibilities in order to manually monitor a website isn’t a feasible option for most. Luckily, it isn’t the only option.
CodeGuard, a cloud-based website backup, monitoring, and restore service could have easily lessened Passen’s burden. After a simple initial backup, CodeGuard monitors each site for malware every hour and completes daily scans for file changes. Should a site become compromised, the user receives an email notification from CodeGuard. But it doesn’t stop there: we store every backup taken of your site, so someone in a situation similar to Passen’s can choose a prior version and quickly restore their site back to an uninfected, fully functional state.
Law Firms Need CodeGuard
Law firms are prime targets for hackers because website security is not currently a priority in the legal industry; regulation, competition, and client-servicing dominates mindshare. Here are two things law firms stand to lose by not focusing on properly protecting their websites:
1. Losing potential clients- without a searchable web presence, site traffic will plummet. In today’s search dominated lifestyle, you will lose industry traction by not appearing to potential clients looking to utilize your services.
2. Losing credibility- current and prospective clients may perceive your firm as unprepared and insecure, and choose to take their business to a competitor whose site and content hasn’t been tampered with.
CodeGuard is part of a solution that helps protect against real struggles that law firms face, and should firms encounter difficulties with their website, can help to quickly remediate the problems. Law firms have enough things to worry about – the website shouldn’t be one of them. Talk with your IT department or webmaster about giving CodeGuard a try before it’s too late, and gain peace of mind that you never knew you could have!