SMJ Partners and AWCCA organize Expert Panel on the Dark Web’s Risks and Resilience Strategies

SMJ Partners, in collaboration with the Austrian White Collar Crime Association (AWCCA), recently hosted an insightful roundtable discussion titled “Into The Dark.” Held on November 20, 2023, at the elegant Beletage – of “Schwarzes Kameel” in Vienna. This event brought together experts, lawyers, forensic experts and investigators, to shed light on the often misunderstood and shadowy realm of the dark web.

The keynote speaker, Mark Turnage, CEO of Dark Owl, a US based cyber security firm which is offering the world’s leading – Darkweb Monitoring Services, captivated the audience with his deep understanding of the dark web’s growing threats. He emphasized the need for companies to enhance their cybersecurity measures to safeguard against the dark web’s dangers.

Turnage explained how the dark web, a part of the internet hidden from conventional search engines and accessible only through specialized software, serves as a digital underworld. Here, anonymity enables both legal and illegal activities, often evading law enforcement and public scrutiny.

The Dark Web’s Threat to Law Firms and Businesses

Mag. Claudia Brewi, Attorney-at-law at Paulitsch Law and board member of AWCCA, along with Martin Jenewein, Senior Partner of SMJ Partners, discussed how the dark web is a hotbed for trading stolen data – from credit card numbers to confidential business secrets. They highlighted the increasing prevalence of hack-for-hire services targeting specific businesses, and the availability of tools for cyberattacks and malware. The discussion underscored the unseen risks posed by the dark web to companies: financial losses, reputational damage, and theft of intellectual property. The legal profession’s vulnerability to these risks was a focal point, considering the sensitive nature of the information they handle.

The roundtable delved into strategies for mitigating these risks and preparing for potential cyber breaches. Experts discussed the importance of including cyber breach scenarios in crisis simulation routines and developing robust event-driven crisis response strategies. The panel also explored the role of strategic communications in managing the aftermath of a data breach, highlighting the new and dangerous phenomenon of cyber mercenaries who attempt to destroy reputations for hire by so-called “disinformation campaigns”

SMJ Partners‘ Role in Addressing Cybersecurity, SMJ Partners brought its extensive experience in handling large international legal cases and disputes to the discussion. The firm’s expertise in navigating high-profile contentious cross-border disputes, white-collar crime, and regulatory defense was evident throughout the event.

If you want to know what your firm can do to manage risisk related to the Dark Web or if you want to know which exposure your (law)firm has to cyber risks, please feel free to reach out to Martin Jenewein.