Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Best Week, Worst Week: Md. minimum-wage workers get a pay bump; DLA Piper falls prey to cyberattack

bestworst-070117Minimum-wage workers in Maryland woke up Saturday with a little more for their pockets while DLA Piper got a firsthand look this week at the vulnerabilities of law firms to cyberattacks.

Business writer Tim Curtis reported Thursday that while Maryland implements the next incremental increase in the statewide minimum wage for workers today business leaders remain wary of its effects and discussion of a $15 minimum wage.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.75 to $9.25 an hour as it incrementally rises to $10.10 next year. Montgomery County will also increase its minimum wage from $10.75 to $11.50 an hour. Prince George’s County will raise its rates from $10.75 to $11.50 in October.

So far, the increase has not been the job killer opponents predicted when it passed in 2014. The state’s unemployment rate has steadily dropped to its current level of 4.2 percent even as the minimum wage has risen three times.

Some business leaders believe the incremental increases have helped businesses adjust to the effect and aid in planning future business strategy. Some say the incremental increases are so minor that the effect could be nominal.

Meanwhile, worldwide law firm DLA Piper was caught in the unenviable position this week of falling prey to a cyberattack, forcing it to shut down its telephone and email communications with clients out of its Baltimore office.

Legal affairs writer Anamika Roy reported Thursday that the firm was one of several businesses globally hit by an attack known as “Petya.” Once notified of the breach, the firm immediately began an investigation and remediation efforts, working closely with leading external forensic experts and relevant authorities such as the FBI and UK National Crime Agency.

The firm first detected suspicious activity on Tuesday, and on Wednesday said it did not have any evidence suggesting any client information was affected.

Law firms’ vulnerability to cyberattacks has been on the American Bar Association’s radar. Recently, the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force published a checklist for businesses to vet the level of security for outside vendors. Law firms are among the most vulnerable third-party vendors that expose company data to hackers.

Separately, the FBI last year issued an alert warning law firms about potential attacks and investigated breaches that hit several prestigious law firms.