Protecting law firms from cyber fraud

The threat of cyber fraud keeps many of us up at night. Law Society partner Dye & Durham looks at some of the steps your firm can take to avoid its devastating effects.

In a world where advanced digital tools like generative artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to strengthen hackers’ tactics, solicitors – especially those responsible for large financial transactions – are on high alert for what could go wrong.

While all areas of the legal sector are vulnerable to various degrees of cyber fraud, conveyancers can be frequent targets as they transfer significant amounts of money during property transactions.

It is imperative that conveyancing firms stay on top of technical advances to protect their, and their client’s, interests.

In September 2023, it was reported that mortgage-related fraud increased by 32.8% in the last year, with fraud related to property at the centre of many of the 1.1 million cases identified between April 2022 and March 2023.

This was around 15% higher than in the same period from 2021/22.

How Dye & Durham can help

At Dye & Durham, we help our clients avoid the devastating effects of cyber fraud with our Lawyer Checker solution.

Lawyer Checker compares a law firm’s account details with our protected database to verify whether the account has been used in conveyancing transactions before.

Its algorithm simultaneously searches 10 different databases, while also checking for Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Scam Alerts.

If we are unable to verify an account, our research team will conduct any necessary further investigations to mitigate the risk of fraud.

Due diligence is an essential element of digital operations – as a misspelt email address or incorrect number can leave your information or transaction vulnerable.

Solicitors should not underestimate the power of proofreading and setting secure passwords.

Lawyer Checker can also be leveraged to validate information and protect against human error.

The threat of cyber fraud should not dissuade conveyancers away from digital tools, as digital services still provide many more elements of security than a filing cabinet can.

We recommend that our clients conduct regular risk assessments, and continuously review security processes.

It’s the responsibility of the whole team at a law firm to protect client data. That’s why every member of the team, from the most junior staff to senior partners, must be digitally proficient and aware of the importance of cybersecurity as anyone could be a target of hackers.

To maximise security, we recommend that law firms also be equipped with the right digital tools. This dual approach of education and tech adoption will ensure transactions are as de-risked as possible.

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Law Society partner Dye & Durham offers solutions that can help your law firm achieve more growth with less effort.

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