Conveyancing theft main law firm cybercrime issue
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have revealed that email hacks of conveyancing transactions are the most common cybercrime in the legal sector, with £7m of client losses reported in the last year.
The SRA state that three-quarters of cybercrimes reported to them in the pas
t 12 months have involved some form of “Friday afternoon” fraud where criminals modify emails withy the intention of altering bank details so that funds go to the criminal. Other research has shown that a quarter of firms have been targeted by cybercriminals, with nearly one in ten resulting in money being stolen.
The SRA have stressed that firms must inform the regulator if they lose client money or information, but the problem and size of losses may currently be under-reported. By sharing information on cyber attacks, the whole legal sector can work together to be as safe as possible.
The SRA is taking a constructive and engaged approach, particularly if firms take steps to make good any losses to the client, and are looking to learn from the incident. Their report, IT Security: keeping information and money safe, is targeted at helping law firms manage the risks of cybercrime by offering advice on the latest trends, so they can protect themselves and their clients. The report stresses that as most cybercrime involves some form of deception, firms should protect themselves by focusing not just on technology but also people and training.
The SRA report can be found at www.sra.org.uk/risk/resources/information-security-report.page