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Trustwave SpiderLabs Finds Law Firms Top Ransomware Targets in Professional Services

Trustwave released a comprehensive report titled "2024 Professional Services Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies." The research reveals a rise in ransomware, third-party supplier exposure, and technology-based attacks targeting professional services firms.

The professional services sector, which includes consulting, accounting, legal, and other business services, is a prime target for threat actors due to the treasure trove of sensitive information these businesses contain. This data can range from intellectual property to legal documents to client personally identifiable information (PII), which can be sold on the Dark Web or used to launch additional attacks.

"Across today's B2B and B2C vendor supply chains, a cybersecurity breach for professional services firms isn't just an inconvenience, it can be catastrophic," said Trustwave Global CISO Kory Daniels. "The financial losses from recovery, legal fees, and potential fines are just the tip of the iceberg. The severe reputational damage can erode years of client trust and stall future business. Operational disruptions, employee stress, and increased regulatory scrutiny further compound these challenges. This is why robust cybersecurity is no longer optional, it's a critical priority for these information-rich firms."

Trustwave SpiderLabs' latest research delves into the attack flow employed by threat groups, shedding light on their tactics, techniques, and procedures. Professional services firms face a unique cybersecurity challenge due to a combination of factors including complex vendor ecosystems, regulatory burden, and extremely high value data.

The Trustwave SpiderLabs report analyzes threat groups and their methods throughout the attack cycle, from initial foothold through to data exfiltration. To ensure comprehensive coverage, this report examines cybersecurity challenges facing professional service firms, including legal services, consulting services, and accounting services. While a broad coverage area, the sector encompasses businesses that sell expertise and intellectual capital rather than tangible products.

A few key findings from the report include:

  • Law firms are the most vulnerable professional services entities to ransomware attacks, accounting for 46% of incidents.
  • Phishing is a leading threat within professional services, responsible for a staggering 93% of initial access gained by attackers.
  • 20% of ransomware attacks in the professional services industry were carried out by ALPHV, with LockBit 3.0 and 8Base accounting for 19% and 18%, respectively.

To access the full Trustwave SpiderLabs threat report, "2024 Professional Services Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies," please click here.

Published Thursday, June 27, 2024 7:10 AM by David Marshall
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