Insight: The impact cyber crime has on conveyancing - Part 3

In this short blog series, Lawyer Checker’s Jennifer Williams has outlined, what cyber crime is and how criminals are infiltrating conveyancing transactions and stealing funds. This week she is focusing on what law firms can do to mitigate their risk.

Cyber fraud - What can law firms do to protect themselves

In our previous blogs we’ve looked at what cyber fraud is and why conveyancing firms are under attack 

In our final blog we look at what law firms can do to protect themselves from 80% of cyber fraud, mitigate their risk and potentially reduce their PI premiums. 

The first place to start, is to make staff more aware of the risks and create a cyber aware culture in the workplace where staff have clear reporting and feedback structures enabling them to report anything suspicious. 

As we have identified in our previous blogs, many of these frauds are carried out with alarming simplicity and staff must be more aware of the risks they face at the sharp end of conveyancing.  

Accreditations like Cyber Essentials are endorsed by the Government and require firms to beef up their security to withstand up to 80% of cyber attacks. Cyber Essentials will encourage firms to implement 2 factor authentication when logging in and out reducing the risk of hacking, investigate the security of your networks, and help train staff to identify suspicious activity. 

Email is still one of the most effective ways of executing conveyancing fraud and therefore email security should be top of the agenda. This includes ensuring the firm has robust email security measures in place, including a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy and implementing proactive measures to prevent cloning and block spoof emails and phishing attacks. 

When it comes to checking firms on the other side of the transaction, a key part of fraud prevention - identified as such in both the Lexcel and Conveyancing Quality Scheme standards - firms should be cautious. There is no single definitive source of verification with fraudulent firms even appearing on the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor page.  

A combination of checks and balances are best to ensure the firm, and the solicitor on the other side of the transaction, is legitimate.  

The fraudster’s ultimate objective is redirect the funds to their own bank account and pocket the proceeds.  

Lawyer Checker’s range of fraud prevention tools help law firms implement effective cyber security measures.  

  • Account & Entity Screen checks the bank details of the other firm involved in the transaction and provides further verification with an interpreted report.  
  • Client Bank Account Check verifies the bank details of the client you’ve been provided. 
  • OnDMARC actively blocks phishing attacks and prevents third party impersonation of your email domain