Industry calls for greater cyber security awareness as cybercriminals target solicitors

UK businesses have lost more than £6.2 million to cyber scams in the past 12 months with nearly a third increase in cases during the peak of the pandemic, shows new research from cyber security firm Nexor.

From May to June this year, reported cyber scam cases on businesses increased by 31%.

Worryingly, with the switch to operating remotely the most common type of attack was hacking through email or social media, which equated to 53% of attacks over the year, with a loss of £2.9 million. The second most common attack was hacking of computer servers over the 12 month period.

It’s more important than ever that the industry needs to be cyber security aware and that we not only protect our own businesses but also that of our clients during this period of remote working.

We recently announced that we have been awarded the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, the highest standard achievable following assessment of our systems and procedures. We are doubly proud, as we believe we are the first property search company in the UK to achieve this status.

The information security standard, Cyber Essentials is the Government backed, industry supported scheme which helps organisations protect themselves against common online threats and cyber-attacks.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority visited 40 firms recently with three quarters reporting they had been the target of a cyber attack.  In the remaining ten cases firms reported that cybercriminals had directly targeted their clients during a legal transaction.

Achieving Cyber Essentials Plus certification verifies that X-Press is fully compliant and actively monitoring the security of our IT systems to ensure that all data and documentation which is kept digitally is safe from cyber-attacks and threats.

With cybercriminals using a broad range of approaches when targeting their victims such as email modification, spyware, ransomware, viruses and denial of service attacks it’s important to guard against financial loss. Firms have seen a wider cost including an increase in insurance premiums, lost time and damage to client relationships.

To be Cyber Essentials Plus verified is great news not only for X-Press Legal, but also for all our conveyancing clients. It’s another way we are able to demonstrate that the safety and security of your data is at the heart of what we do, ensuring our property search services are safe and of the highest standard.