Securing Trust in Conveyancing: Lessons and Strategies from Recent Cybersecurity Incidents

Property Conveyancing

Recent cyber-attacks on conveyancing firms, resulting from a breach at the IT services provider CTS, have highlighted critical lessons in cybersecurity and operational resilience. The incident, which left around 80 firms unable to complete transactions, emphasises the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and contingency planning for firms like Imperial Law.

Firstly, it’s crucial to recognise that cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated and can affect any part of a supply chain, including IT providers. The CTS incident led to significant service outages, impacting numerous conveyancing transactions and placing firms and their clients in challenging positions. This underscores the need for thorough due diligence before engaging with IT suppliers, as highlighted by Peter Wright from Digital Law. Law firms need to scrutinise their IT suppliers’ security measures, data management practices, and disaster recovery plans with the same rigour they would advise their clients in serious transactions.

Moreover, the response to such incidents is vital. The Council for Licensed Conveyancers highlighted the importance of communication, both with clients and other parties involved in transactions, to limit disruption and consumer harm. The example of O’Neill Patient Solicitors, which resorted to manual methods to progress deals, demonstrates the value of having alternative processes in place to maintain operations during cyber incidents.

Imperial Law can assure clients of its commitment to cybersecurity and operational resilience in several ways:

  1. Due Diligence with IT Providers: Ensuring that our IT suppliers adhere to the highest standards of cybersecurity and have robust measures in place to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber incidents. This includes regular audits and compliance checks.
  2. Transparent Communication: Maintaining open lines of communication with clients, particularly during times of crisis. This includes promptly informing clients about any potential disruptions and the steps being taken to resolve them.
  3. Cyber Insurance and Recovery Plans: Investing in comprehensive cyber insurance to access specialised support and having well-defined recovery plans to quickly restore services in the event of a cyber attack.
  4. Client-Centric Approach: Prioritising client wellbeing and taking proactive steps to mitigate the impact of any disruption on their transactions.
  5. Regular Staff Training: Ensuring that all staff are trained in recognising and responding to cyber threats, which helps in preventing potential breaches and minimising their impact.

By implementing these strategies, Imperial Law stands as a safe and reliable choice for residential conveyancing, equipped to protect client interests even in the face of growing cyber threats.

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