Comment 8: Risk Ain’t Just a River in Egypt
The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Rule 1.1 Comment 8 requires, “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer shall keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” To that end, we have developed this regular series to develop the competence and skills necessary to responsibly choose and use the best technologies for your educational and professional lives. If you have any questions, concerns, or topics you would like to see discussed, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recent blog, I discussed that reality that no business, or even person, is too “small” to escape cyberattacks. Digital devices in the twenty-first century are a necessity, and that necessity comes with risk. While “it won’t happen to me” thinking is nothing new—remember those driver’s safety videos with titles like ‘Red Asphalt’—it seems particularly easy to distance ourselves from risk when it comes to the internet.
Part of my work includes following a lot of cybersecurity blogs and podcasts. It’s hard to keep up with them, but it feels hard to keep up with anything sometimes. We’ve got supercomputers in our pockets that let us access almost the entirety of human knowledge (and Twitter), and it’s overwhelming. While reading one such blog I was introduced to a tool that visually shows the prevalence of a particular type of cyberattack.
The type of attack is known as ransomware. The tool is called The World Ransomware Map. It was developed through the research of a firm called Comparitech, which I usually describe to people as being like Consumer Reports for cybersecurity and privacy.
The data here isn’t likely complete and some of the information may not be particularly important to you (such as the particular strain of ransomware used), but I really recommend that the next time you are planning to doomscroll on Twitter you instead check out this great tool and familiarize yourself with the costly risk of ignoring cyberattacks. You may even find that ransomware attacks have happened at businesses or organizations in your own backyard. You’ll certainly find less comments from Elon Musk.
I’m also including a link to the Stop Ransomware! website which is operated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in case you want to learn more about ransomware attacks and how to better protect yourself from them. You should really check out these sites. Seriously. Twitter will probably still be there later.