It's happened. You've done everything you can to defend your law firm from this day, but the hacker successfully breached your walls. Now, you're faced with encrypted files, lost confidential data, demands for money, the insertion of other forms of malware on your network or, even worse, some combination of these and/or more malicious activities or demands.
What do you do now? Who needs to know? Who are you gonna call?
After the attack has been detected, you should always immediately inform fellow staff members and your IT department or managed services provider.
The obvious and most difficult call needs to be to your clients.
Who else should you notify?
There are a variety of government and law enforcement agencies that collect and investigate such events.
- Let your local police department know so the attack can be made official and a paper trail initiated.
- The agency you often hear the most about is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You'll want to get in touch with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
- The Secret Service does more than protect the president. They also have an Electronic Crimes Task Force where reports on cyberattacks can be reported.
- The U.S. Computer Readiness Team (US-CERT) out of the Department of Homeland Security is another important organization to contact.
- You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- If confidential and/or personally identifiable information has been compromised, ensure your clients visit the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft site.
Additionally, many of the above agencies offer a newsletter with alerts, tips, tricks and other cybersecurity resources.
Cybersecurity isn't just hardware and software. It's knowledge, and information-sharing is important in building that knowledge base. When your law firm or organization is attacked, share the information to get help and protect others.
Note that this is not comprehensive nor all-inclusive. For additional help, see: https://www.ready.gov/cybersecurity.
Worried you may need to call the above agencies soon? Let us take a look before the attack.