Last week we saw the government and Law Society warn that all solicitors and law firms must make the development of staff skills and understanding of cyber security a priority.
Both bodies are keen to ensure that practitioners develop skills to protect their clients and themselves from cyber-attacks.
They have therefore collaborated to make available a bespoke free training course to help professionals protect themselves from information breaches and other threats that could potentially cost them millions of pounds. The new online course is funded by the government’s five-year, £860m National Cyber Security Programme.
Launched on the 7 October, and available through the Law Society’s website, its deputy vice-president Robert Bourns described the new online course as ‘essential’.
He said: “Cybercrime has the potential to compromise both clients’ and solicitors’ sensitive data. Training to raise awareness and understanding for all involved in practice is an important part of protection.
“That is why we are supporting our members by providing this bespoke training package, developed in partnership with the government and other professional bodies.”
The course is designed to increase awareness of common cyber-risks and threats they may experience in the workplace and how to prevent and deal with them.
Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: “Members of the legal and accountancy professions deal with sensitive client information on a daily basis and can be a target for cyber-attacks. The new course we are launching today makes cybersecurity part of the day job for lawyers and accountants.
“It’s essential government and industry work together to protect UK companies from online attacks that can cause millions of pounds worth of damage.”
This most recent initiative is much more than yet another nod to the fact that the industry is increasingly vulnerable to criminals and their intent to get their hands on innocent client money. At the recent Law Society National Property Law Conference: New beginnings, mortgage fraud and bogus firms were high on the agenda and a constant topic of conversation.
The Law Society and the SRA are now taking this issue seriously as should all law firms. Are you?
Solicitors are being targeted as unwitting accomplices in the criminal’s game of vendor conveyancer fraud. In the second SRA Risk Outlook earlier this year, the report outlined the fact that Bogus Firms are now a serious threat to both client and lawyer.
The use of a risk management tool such as Lawyer Checker  can help conveyancers spot the warning signs often missed and potentially prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of client money and protect your firms’ indemnity premiums at the same time. 70% of professional indemnity insurance claims against the legal profession relate to property transactions.
The online course is just the start of ensuring that you and your firm are aware and armed in this battle against cyber-crime; don’t become part of this statistic and implement Lawyer Checker’s product into your conveyancing process.
The Account and Entity Screen is just £10+VAT per case and looks for a track record of use on the bank account number provided identifying whether or not it has been subject to multiple and large movements of funds. The search is conducted over 10 databases to equip you with as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision as to whether you feel that the account is legitimate or not.
Anthony Hess, principal advisor in KPMG’s cyber security team, commented on the UK government initiative to give lawyers and accountants free cyber security training. He said:
“It’s a positive step to see the UK government offering this type of training to legal and accountancy firms. The fact is that lawyers and accountants handle some of the most sensitive and valuable client data; it is essential that they are up to speed with the latest threats, because if the clients are well defended and their advisors are not, attackers will simply move on to this easier target to achieve their aims.
“The government’s initiative will further enhance our own training and awareness programmes, continuing to raise cyber security awareness amongst our colleagues.”
Do you protect client money from the cyber criminals? – visit Lawyer Checker today www.lawyerchecker.co.uk