In the wake of the high profile cyber attacks that crippled Philadelphia and Baltimore’s court systems and city government, New York State Court officials have been reluctant to provide its strategy to safeguard judicial computer systems.
Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the New York State Unified Court System <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/New-York-Court-Officials-Mum-on-Cybersecurity-Efforts-in-Wake-of-Attacks-in-Phila-Baltimore-_-New-York-Law-Journal.pdf">provided very vague details</a> regarding cyber-security measures taken since the Baltimore and Philadelphia attacks. When asked questions about the steps the Courts are taking, his response was “We constantly monitor the triangle of greatest vulnerability that any large computer network faces: email, e-filing and internal case management.” Moreover, he stated “Any further detail about our interaction and what we are doing is not appropriate to discuss.”
The evasive responses given by Chalfen shouldn’t be that surprising as any further information could assist hackers in their plots against the Court System. Notwithstanding such, the New York Bar Association has published a cyber-security brochure outlining the best practices to prevent cyber-attacks.
This month, the bar association launched a program that allows bar members to access network security services through JDL Group, an outside vendor, at a discounted price. A benefit to NYSBA membership, the program helps put attorneys in touch with a range of security-assessment services, including vulnerability checks, log monitoring and penetration tests.
As the online platform for the Courts expands and advances, it is very important that security measures keep evolving to ensure catastrophes like those in Philadelphia and Baltimore don’t occur in New York. That being said, it’s not only the Court system that needs to keep up with security measures it also the law firms that regularly access these databases. As the saying goes “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Thanks to Jon Avolio for his contribution to this post. Please email <a href="mailto:BGibbons@wcmlaw.com">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.