One in three businesses will be impacted by cybercrime by the end of 2019. No matter the size of the business, many are not safe from cybercrime. Hackers use small businesses as gateways to bigger rewards. Many small businesses have professional relationships with larger organisations, or they may be the conduit to a network of sensitive data, like accounting practices, legal firms, and conveyancers. These organisations are custodians of sensitive data, ranging from customer information through to confidential passwords, systems access, and valuable financial information. All this information is exactly what cyber criminals are taking advantage of.
Email fraud has become a major problem in the Australian property. Hackers are continually finding new ways to intercept email communications and divert funds to different accounts, robbing innocent individuals. Your firm is only as strong as the weakest link in your information sharing.
There are plenty of ways to protect your firm against cyber security threats including:
- Investing in multi-factor authentication.
- Always verifying details with relevant parties like double or triple checking any change in details via different methods of communication. If there is a change of account details, call your client to confirm.
- Lean on your technology provider and ask them how they can help you. The key to using innovative technologies to enhance your legal service delivery is keeping your tech provider accountable. Tell them what you need. That’s how they can continue to provide you with second to none service.
- Educating your employees with phishing awareness training.
- Using the right anti-virus software.
For cyber security, put the onus back on your technology provider to keep your firm and your client safe. Push back on your vendor to get you accurate information so you can spend time with your client. They have the resources to deliver you with up to date, accurate information, fast. This means you can build stronger relationships with your clients.
Tips that can help you and your firm be prepared for the digital future include:
- Tell your clients what kind of communications they can expect from you and educate them about potential phishing scams so that they are alert
- Include a disclaimer in your emails to further emphasize the importance of verifying account details
- Know who you are communicating with and always choose the safest method to do so.
To combat hackers, in March 2019, InfoTrack launched Securexchange, which is designed to stop the need to share account details via unsecured emails and protects the reputation of all professional parties involved in the property transaction.
The key to the service is that only verified parties can view account information, streamlining communication between those parties and offering transparency over the progress of the exchange.
The reason we developed Securexchange was that we surveyed our legal clients and learned of an alarming number of cyberattacks. 29.8% experienced hacking attempts and 23.3% had their emails intercepted.
Securexchange is a tool that you can use to communicate with your clients and your clients can communicate back to you directly. This keeps your firm secure and means no third party is needed.
Securexchange now gives lawyers the ability to securely share an Electronic Contract of Sale (eCos) with real estate agents directly from the InfoTrack platform. Coupled with the ability for lawyers to share Trust Account details securely with other parties, Securexchange provides legal and conveyancing professionals with a real answer to combat cyber-fraud at no expense to their firm.
Over 250 verified parties now use the service.
The rise of digital platforms and push to take these on board increases hackers’ abilities to commit cybercrime. Make sure your staff and clients are aware of scams and use technology to assist you to keep your firm and your clients safe.