IT Horror Stories – Law Firm Liability

Imagine that you are the Managing Partner of a large law firm. One day in the middle of a big case, one of your attorneys is complaining about not being able to access an important case file on the network. A call into your outsourced IT Company and a scan through their computer verifies that there is in fact, an issue. The IT company’s anti-virus scanning software confirms that the attorney’s PC has been infected with the crypto-locker ransomware virus.

If this was your firm and you heard that news, how would you feel? This was the scenario at a local law firm and The Purple Guys were that IT Support company. Thankfully, our Network Operations Center was already remotely active in an investigation after receiving alerts. Had the law firm not had responsive IT Support and the proper security tools in place, this could have been an IT horror story.

For those not familiar, the crypto locker ransomware virus is a form of cyber attack where the hacker often uses a malicious email (also known as phishing) posing as a legitimate well-known company like Amazon, Bank of America, or even the CEO of your company to attract an individual into clicking on or entering in vulnerable information such as banking information, passwords, or other forms of personal and confidential information. The malware then encrypts files and offers to decrypt the data and provide access once again for a fee to be paid by a certain deadline.

Most of the time, without paying the hacker, the ransomware can be removed easily but files are often still affected unless your data has been backed up recently in various forms. If your data is backed up, you can ignore the malware request with peace of mind and after everything is cleaned and passwords are changed, you can restore files to a current date. If your data isn’t backed up, think of all the time lost and that will be spent recreating flies and all of the information lost (and what if this is confidential customer information?).

The lesson here is that there is no perfect security. If it can happen to Facebook and Google, it can happen to anyone, large and small. Without adequate cybersecurity tools and training for your employees in place, one click on the wrong email can bring some nasty viruses into your network and potentially cost you your business, if not many hours, days, or months of downtime.

In this law firm’s fortunate case, our anti-virus software had created alerts that went to our Network Operations team. The software had locked down that attorney’s machine, isolating it from the network and not allowing the malicious hacker to access the files through our customer’s network.

Our Support team was looking into the alerts remotely when we got the call from the law firm’s Managing Partner. We were prepared with spare computers already on-site and we were able to remotely set one up for the attorney’s use within an hour. This allowed him to have a new computer and regain his access to the needed files quickly with minimal downtime.

Our Network Operations Center scanned the company’s network to verify that the infection had not spread but found that it had corrupted one folder on one server.  Our IT recovery team restored that folder from our on-site backup, removing the corrupted files and completely restoring the original data.  After verifying that the network was healthy, our field services team went on-site to wipe clean and refresh the PC that had the infection and put it into the spare PC pool for future distribution.

What could have been an IT horror story turned into business as usual at the office thanks to the right tools and systems being in place, as well as a speedy response and recovery team that answers when you call for help.

Is your IT company ghosting you? Are you frustrated with slow response times? Do you know where your data is being backed up and how frequently? The Purple Guys are Kansas City and St. Louis’s highest-rated IT Support team, holding a 97.3% customer approval rating pulled from surveying the 5000+ customers that we serve each and every day. We offer quick response times, an all-inclusive service with a flat monthly fee (no surprise bills), and are friendly Purple people-people here to serve you. Oh, and we’re also really great at managing your technology and delivering systems and services that fit your business’s needs. Contact our IT Support team today!

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