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The faceless enemy

View profile for Richard Hill AILFM
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We live in a digital world where we are more connected than ever. Technology influences our daily lives, activities and decisions. In business it drives innovation, efficiency and collaboration. From customers to suppliers to employees to owners, technology connects us and fraudsters are exploiting this heavy reliance on technology. Cybercrime was estimated to be worth more than the drug trade in 2015 and it will continue to rise.

Fraudster clone websites, hack email accounts and send out 'phishing' emails to trick their victims (i.e. you) into giving away sensitive information. With the ease of internet use and mobile capabilities we have been blissfully unaware of these dangers. This is changing. You only have to read the news to hear about the latest cyber threats (state hacking, Ashley Maddison, Talk Talk, Carphone Warehouse, Edward Snowden ......and I’m sure there will be more cases by the time you read this) as major brands, businesses and government agencies are being targeted. There have been more cyber-attacks in 2015 than the last five years combined.  Businesses are becoming more alert and building defences against these attacks.

Just imagine though your business involves holding and transacting other people’s money, requires dealing with sensitive and personal information, are relied upon to advise on key personal and commercial investments, and is considered a public function in administering the rule of law. Legal practices and professionals are heavily regulated with an overriding obligation to protect client’s assets.

With this in mind how can cybercrime and fraud not be one of the top risks facing legal businesses? Having recognised this as a risk the big question is what to do about it? You will hear frightening things hackers can do (recent story of cyber geeks hacking into the internet-connected navigation and entertainment system on a Jeep Cherokee vehicle to turn on the radio, windscreen wipers and even apply the brakes) but 80% of cyber-attacks on businesses can be prevented by taking basic and simple steps. It is not as difficult as you might think. Hackers and fraudsters tend to pounce on our weaknesses rather than apply complex and sophisticated hacking techniques to defraud businesses. It’s often human error more than IT that causes hacks and cyber breaches. Solicitors also need to break out of the mindset that they’re too small to be targets and be oblivious to the dangers therefore being unprotected and exposed to cyber-crime because of painfully obvious gaps in security.

The ILFM has designed a half day workshop to tackle the cyber and fraud threats that we face. The title says it all ‘law firms under attack’ and this workshop is tailored for legal businesses in mitigating this risk, offering practical tips and raising awareness of this faceless enemy.

ILFM Cybercrime and Fraud Training