Solicitors Regulation Authority reveals solicitor cyber thefts are rocketing, triggering fresh advice to insurers about their proposal forms
Solicitor cyber thefts are rocketing, triggering fresh advice to insurers about cyber security questions they should have on their proposal forms for solicitors’ insurance.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed it is getting notice of 40 confidentially breaches a month.
Money stolen by scammers has tripled to £3.2m in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time last year, says the SRA.
For the total year, from April 2016 to March 2017, the SRA says £11m was taken from its regulated firms by cyber tricksters.
Around three-quarters of thefts involve some form of email hacking fraud, where criminals modify emails and alter bank details so funds go to the criminal.
SRA boss Paul Philip, speaking as the organisation released its risk outlook report for 2017/2018, said: “The threats of criminals using IT to steal client’s funds is an increasing problem. It is important that law firms develop a culture where cyber security is treated as a serious priority, and take sensible steps to warn their clients about the risks.”
Law firm DWF has responded to rising cyber crime figures by advising that insurers make sure they have a robust proposal form dealing with cyber security when indemnifying law firms.
DWF said: “Given the potential exposure to cyber theft from client accounts, insurers should enquire about solicitors’ cyber security on their proposal forms. For example, insurers should obtain details of:
- The nature and volume of all client account transactions (including details of how are electronic/paper)
- How the firm’s financial records are stored and protected
- The security protocols or processes to protect the client account from a cyber threat
- Any previous cyber breaches in the firm
- The firm’s computer network and data security (and what elements are outsourced)
- Steps taken to protect data and computer devices, servers and networks
- Steps taken to monitor, detect and potentially prevent unauthorised access.”
Solicitors aren’t the only profession being ravaged by cyber crime. Earlier this month, Insurance Times reported that farmers are in need of cyber insurance as hacks surged.