By Legal Futures’ Associates Lawyer Checker
In this unprecedented state of national emergency it hasn’t taken criminal organisations long to see a window of opportunity.
The largest migration of staff from office to home working has brought about many consequences for business. The speed with which law firms have had to implement remote working will have left holes in on and offline security, unintended or not, which fraudsters will seek to exploit.
It is critical that your home workers are operating as safely, securely and importantly compliantly, as possible and you are able to mitigate risk to your clients and your own business.
Risk practitioners often talk about implementing cultural and technical competencies to protect your employees, clients and business.
Cultural competencies embed an expectation around security within an organisation, ensuring staff know it is incumbent upon them to do what they can to protect the business.
This is especially important in these extenuating circumstances where with reduced supervision staff must act appropriately cautiously, adopting an assessed approach to risk. This might include
- Consider not sending sensitive information via email, instead using secure portals
- Not clicking on suspicious emails/attachments and reporting to IT
- Upgrading security procedures when updating things like bank details on case files
Alongside these cultural competences, firms should also look to implement technical competences.
Some of these have come to the fore in recent weeks with essentials like firewalls, secure network configurations, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for security while remote working all being tested by the extent of remote working needed.
Other things to consider more widely might be; do you have people within dedicated to delivering security awareness and supporting best practice e.g. Security Champions? Is risk, fraud, cyber crime etc a regular Agenda Items at Management/Board Meetings? Have you got accreditations which embed this in your culture and governance?
Critically, any change to your risk management policies as a result of these changing circumstances must be documented and evidenced to provide a full audit trail.
The advice from Lawyer Checker is to tread carefully and err on the side of caution. Criminals are banking on the uncertainty of the situation, combined with remote working, to intercept communications and misdirect funds.
If you are looking for additional layers of risk mitigation in your processes Lawyer Checker can help you:
- Verify law firm’s bank account acting on the other side of conveyancing transactions
- Verify client’s bank accounts when transferring funds from property sales, probate, family and PI awards etc.
- Verify clients remotely without the need to see them or provide certified documentation
- Train staff on safe home working and help implement security infrastructure
If you are interested in discussing how Lawyer Checker can help with these challenges please CLICK HERE to book your FREE security consultation with our resident experts.