One of the world’s largest law firms is understood to be working with investigators on both sides of the Atlantic after it fell victim to the latest international cyberattack.
The National Crime Agency in the UK and the FBI in the US were reported to be speaking to partners at DLA Piper, one of the most prominent transatlantic legal practices, after it confirmed on Tuesday that it had shut down its systems.
In a statement, the firm said that its “advanced-warning system detected suspicious activity on our network, which, based on our investigation to date, appears to be related to the global cyber event known as Petya. Our IT team acted quickly to prevent the spread of the suspected malware and to protect our systems”.
Lawyers at other commercial firms around London were quick to offer advice. “Cybersecurity is increasingly the most significant unknown risk factor facing organisations and businesses,” said Jonathan Thornton, the managing partner at Russell-Cooke, in what must have been cold comfort to DLA Piper.
Georgina Squire, a partner at the law firm Rosling King, warned that hackers were becoming increasingly sophisticated. She encouraged firms to increase staff training and to build in additional protections to limit the potential harm. “We have legal and regulatory obligations like all other professionals involved in the mortgage industry,” she said. “Our regulators are increasingly taking a more hands-on approach to data security and publishing regular guidance.”