Minimising cybercrime in conveyancing: The steps your business needs to take
Annie Button has written an article that discusses minimising cybercrime in conveyancing and the steps your business needs to take.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving and changing their tactics. This means that they are also regularly changing who they are targeting. And perhaps unsurprisingly, they often look for targets that they consider to be lucrative.
With the boom in the housing market, it may be no surprise that many cybercriminals have turned their attention towards the property sector – and this includes conveyancing firms. There are growing numbers of reports of conveyancers being targeted for cybercrime as criminals attempt to intercept both personal data and money transfers, such as deposits.
Here we take a look at the steps that your conveyancing business needs to take in order to minimise the risk of cybercrime.
It is essential that you should limit access to your system. Some conveyancing firms simply provide every team member with the same privileges on the system, meaning that everyone in the company can access all of the data. Worse is when every team member accesses the company data through the same login credentials.
In both of these cases, it can create a situation where a cybercriminal only needs to find a way to gain access to a single account in order to breach the entire company.
Edward Hill, Chief Technical Officer at law firm software provider Insight Legal, explains:
“If every member of your firm has access to all of the personal details and other information stored, any breach of their credentials can give a cybercriminal access to everything they want.
“If instead members of staff are only given access to the information and data they need to do their day-to-day job, it can limit the scope of the damage, should an attack take place. Your IT team can place blocks on certain parts of the server so that access is only granted to those who need it.”
Invest in the right technology
The next step in minimising cybersecurity risks across your conveyancing business is to have the right kinds of cybersecurity technology in place. For example, some companies are still heavily reliant on technologies such as antivirus software and a firewall. These types of software do remain important in cybersecurity, but are no longer the instant solution to progressive cybercrime threats.
Modern cybersecurity technology takes an approach that is focused on proactive protection. For example, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a type of analysis tool. It gathers data on the ‘normal’ activities of a business which then allows it to understand when ‘abnormal’ activity is occurring.
It can then create an alert which can be investigated by members of your IT team.
Assess your system with penetration testing
Many businesses feel confident that they have cybersecurity in place that will protect them against any kind of cyberattack. However, this kind of thinking can be flawed. The cybersecurity specialists in your businesses may have the company fully defended against all of the types of cybercrime they know about – but cybercriminals evolve constantly, so the knowledge of professionals can become outdated quickly.
The remedy for this comes in the form of regular security assessments in the form of penetration testing. Penetration testing is a type of ethical hacking. A cybersecurity professional (ideally from outside your organisation) will carry out a test on the system by using the kinds of techniques and methods deployed by cybercriminals.
This helps to uncover potential vulnerabilities in your defences. Once they have been revealed, these weaknesses can be fixed so that they cannot be exploited in a genuine cyberattack.
Outsource to overcome the skills gap
You might assume that one of the most important ways to minimise the risk of cybercrime against your business is to hire cybersecurity professionals. This is true, but unfortunately, it is not as easy as you might think. The fact is that there is a shortfall in the number of trained and experienced cybersecurity staff compared to the number of jobs they are required for.
The cybersecurity skills gap has been known for a number of years – but it remains a real problem today. In fact, despite efforts across the industry to train more staff, it is estimated that the current shortfall still totals more than 2.72 million cybersecurity workers. This not only has the effect of making it harder to recruit staff, but it also pushes up the cost of staff.
Thankfully, however, there is a solution at hand and this comes in the form of outsourcing. Rather than trying to hire an in-house cybersecurity term, your firm can work with a team of cybersecurity specialists who can provide you with everything you need.
Train your staff
It is sometimes forgotten that your staff play a vital role in protecting you against cybercrime. We are not saying that every member of the team needs to be a security specialist – but rather everyone in the company must have a basic understanding of the types of cybercrime they are likely to face and what they can do about it.
It is no longer appropriate simply to have a short cybersecurity session when someone starts. Cybersecurity needs to be a key focus and there should be regular updates on the ways cybercriminals are changing up how they attack.
Kindly shared by Annie Button
Main article photo courtesy of Pixabay